New computer charting killing me.


We started computer charting in early december and I absolutely love it...except...the ergonomics is horrible. The monitors were place in each room, near the window ledges. To chart in the room, I have to crane my neck upwards as the seats are too low/monitors too high. And you literally have to twist your waste to get into the space the computer sits. I am just standing to chart now which means I'm on my feet 13 hours a day. I have put in 3 requests to fix it. Other nurses are complaining also and our complaints are falling on deaf ears. Well, now I notice I have neck pain, back pain, and headaches exacerbating every time I work. I have RA and I'm not sure I can sustain this for the rest of my career. I'm not sure I can do this if something is not fixed. Has anyone else had this problem with the computers?


47 Posts

Specializes in ortho/neuro/ob/nicu. Has 31 years experience.

Oh yes.....we have little notebooks we have to take room to room. (we are just starting since Jan. 1st) Not only is the notebook difficult to see, especially with bifocals, i have difficulty with the thumb pad. I have bought my own optical mouse, which helps some. There is nowhere to put the notebook to chart...only the sink ledge, which is too low, or the patent table which is too full/dirty or inaccessable due to equipment or visitors. What we could chart in 5-10 minutes now takes 30 minutes by the time you are done....our system is not user friendly.

I work in nicu and nursery, so when babies are born it often takes admitting 30 minutes or more to even get the baby in the system. So we are running around with notes on paper towels, etc until we can get to the computer charting. None of our monitors are synced to the computer, so hourly vitals have to be entered by hand. Most of use feel we are now data entry operators rather than nurses. Our new manager tells us if she see.s anyone charting at the desk instead of the bedside, we will be reprimanded. (of course my thought is "unless you can do it, don't tell me what to do" she has no clue as she came from another non clinical area to be our manager, and has not done patient care in years. Plus our system seems to go down a lot and you end up back charting. I work nites and have stayed over as late as 10 am to finish charting.They are real big into the 'realtime' just isn't practical.

We have had complaints of carpel tunnel, sore shoulders, backs and headaches. The patients and families really don't want us in the room to chart, and i don't like the idea that someone could see the patient list over my shoulder. there a re a few nurses with RA and osteoarthritis who go home with swollen knuckles and wrists from typing, (me included). we can't wear our wrist splints in pt rooms, they could be germy and we can't wash our hands with them on.

The kicker is that our manager wants us to sit at the bedside and chat/educate our moms in our spare time. If you have six babies, it takes 30-40 minutes to assess, weigh, do a hearing screen, do your charting. That's a minimum of 3 hours....if you don't have a problem, wait for mom to finish nursing, get called away to a delivery, or have to do something else. So it's now almost 11pm, and the moms want to get what little sleep they can (and btw, we don't do mom/baby, so there are 2 of us trying to chart in the room at the same time)Our manager also wants us to do q 2 hour rounds and chart them.and oh, I forgot, you may also have a baby on monitors, 02 and iv's in the nursery besides!!! The idea of computer charting is fine, it's the process that makes it ahrd.

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

They have to invest in some WOWS (work station on wheels). They are adjustable and you can adjust any chair you pull up to it and you are not stuck in pts room (where you often have constant interuptions). They have an obligation to fix any of these ergonomic issues for you. I would visit employee health every day until they fixed it!!!!!!! They need to provide a safe working enviroment for you!!!!


977 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

we have COWs (computer on wheels) and because i am 6'1" the computers don't rise to my height. I refused to use them unless i am only doing something quick and thats it. i would much rather be in the nurses station using computers that are at my eye level, than be looking down at everything. Mgmt states that the COWs are adjustable (as they are), but even though they don't come to a comfortable height for me, the refuse to get new ones, and just tell me to use the ones in the nurses station. Argh...

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