]...it's not the decline of nursing only. It's healthcare in general. Maybe it's that we only view the past through rose-colored lenses, but it seems to me that it hasn't always been this way. In only the four or so years I've worked in healthcare, I've witnessed a slow yet steady sinking of the discipline of nursing into an endless sea of paperwork, checks and double-checks that help shelter from litigation, a useless array of CYA tests and medications, etc. How much easier would our jobs be as nurses if the fear of malpractice litigation wasn't forever hanging over our heads? Seems like it used to be that we felt pressure to provide the best care because someone's life, health, and happiness hung in the balance. Now, however, so many of us are propelled by the fear that our missed assessment or forgotten medication will result in our professional or financial ruin.
]"I'll be right in there with your pain medicine, right after I get all these boxes checked so that you can't sue me later on!"
]Don't misunderstand me: I don't lament the decline of nurses themselves. I work and have worked with wonderful nurses that I still strive to emulate.. nurses with keen eyes that pick up on key assessments, impeccable prioritization and time management, and great technical skills... But what kills me is to see these nurses practically chained to a chart or computer checking an endless amount of boxes that serve only minimize their risk of legal repercussions should the worst happen when they could be at the bedside (where they truly want to be, anyway) curing and comforting their patients.
]I love recovering fresh CABG patients. Usually there are two other nurses in the room helping me to get the patient settled in, drawing stat labs, arranging chest tubes, documenting, etc. But I get to take a step back and, if only for a moment, devote all my attention to that patient. What's the cardiac output? How does that PA waveform look? Are the chest tubes draining ok? What does the patient need? Colloids? Pressors? Inotropes? After all these questions are answered and the patient has stabilized the high tends to wear off quickly. I snap back to reality when I return to the chart and see the mountain of safety checks, restraint documentations, and falls precautions assessments that have accumulated while I worked to keep my patient alive.
]So, what's a young RN to do? Deal with it, I guess. Continue to improve my time management so as to accommodate both patient care and all this documentation.
]Anyone else feel this way? I just needed to decompress, I think. Thanks for reading.