we do focused assessment with more detail the more acutely ill. VS every 2 hours or more often if needed. VS within 30 min of sending a patient to the floor. we chart q2h for all patients and more often if needed. within the next year or so we will be doing computer charting.
the times i've seen poor charting has been with nurses that are new grads or new to the ER. your unit based educator should be addressing your problems. talk to him/her. find examples of good charting and pass them around. if you don't have standards in place, make some. ex: right ankle pain. assessment guidelines: color, warmth, bruising, edema, pulses, cap refill, pain scale, injury, wt. tolerance, etc. intervention guidelines: elevate extremity, ice applied, xray ordered, tylenol/motrin (work with the docs to get premedication order protocols established). then write it all down.
the facility i work with now is awesome about nursing protocols. we have protocols for damn near every c/o out there. if they aren't used, the docs will come to you or your charge nurse and say "what's up? why isn't anything done? why wasn't the assessment done?" etc.