Would you do this for someone else?


I'm a new grad. I just realized I forgot to sign off on a 0600hr g-feed that I gave. I just phoned and spoke with the nurse who came on after me and asked her if she could just put my initials beside it for me on the MAR. She said ok, but what I am wondering is if this is common practice? would you do it for someone else? She knew I gave it because the pt vommited up the feed and I stayed to clean it before I left...I just don't want to get in trouble for asking someone to do something that they shouldn't have to do.




38,333 Posts

It would have been better had you gone in and done it yourself. Not a good idea to ask coworkers to violate policy. For something like this, it could have waited until you came in for your next shift.

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

In this situation I wouldn't have a problem signing it off for you. However, if it was drugs (esp narcs) then I most definitely would not be signing off for you.

uRNmyway, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,080 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Im pretty sure legally this is not supposed to be done. Where Ive worked, if someone did this, we would usually just flag the sheet, leave a note for them to sign it, let the next shift nurse it was done and not to worry about it, etc... But you should not be signing off FOR someone else for a treatment YOU didnt give.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

Technically, no, it's against policy.

But in the real world it's done all the time and I've never heard of someone getting in trouble for it. I would never ASK another nurse to initial for me, but good nurses who got your back will do it for you and I do it for them.

Obviously, there's exceptions. The fentanyl patch the pt gets every 3 days? I wouldn't initial for someone on that. I WOULD try to tell them to initial it before a manager or a

tattle tale sees it first. But if I see the first shift nurse forgot to initial a prilosec or something, sure, I'll initial it for her. Why not?

I know some nurses will get their feathers all ruffled at that. Some might cry "falsifying a document" or something like that, but they're being melodramatic. (nurses LOVE being melodramatic, maybe you've noticed) But if anyone can honestly say they've heard of a nurse who got in trouble for helping someone out and filling in a few blanks, well, they must work in a hellhole where the manager has WAY to much time on her hands.


63 Posts

Specializes in ER, M/S, transplant, tele. Has 19 years experience.

I think the point of signing things off is communication and responsibility. It says "yes, this order has been carried out" and "this is the person who did it". The most common remedy I can remember from working on the floor was to have the patient's current nurse notate by the order that it was done, when, and by whom (if that nurse KNOWS first hand) then when the original nurse returns to work they can put their initials/sign it off. I've rarely just signed something off for someone else with just my initials simply because the smallest thing can come back and bite you years later in a deposition. We all forget stuff sometimes...it's my opinion though as long as the facts are documented correctly and the nurse who carried out the order signs it as soon as possible there should be no problem. The biggest exception to this would be administering and/or wasting controlled substances.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

I would NEVER sign someone else's initials or sign something "for" someone else. I would however, make a note of the truth -- saying that the ABC had reported via telephone that XYZ had been completed.

To actually sign someone else's name or initials is to falsify a record -- and that is never the best way to handle it. At the very least it opens the door to accusations of other falisifications.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

Are we talking about signing your OWN initials on the last shift's meds/treatments, or are we talking about signing that shift's initials FOR them? I would NEVER put MY initials on another nurse's shift or on my day off. Wouldn't that be a huge red flag? I DO put a JS (or whatever) for Jane Smith when she forgets to initial an aspirin or that she flushed a tube feed or something. Nurses do this for each other all the time where I work. No one has ever got in trouble....

Ayvah, RN

722 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Specialty. Has 10 years experience.

Not really the best practice to do often. If the facility isn't too far away, I'd suggest turning around and going back to do the initials yourself.


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

Our computerized system has a code we can use for cases like this when we know a drug has been administered but not by ourselves. We simply enter the code and the nurse's who administered it's initials. The system then flags the nurse to co-sign it on her next shift.

Specializes in Medical Oncology, Alzheimer/dementia. Has 15 years experience.
Our computerized system has a code we can use for cases like this when we know a drug has been administered but not by ourselves. We simply enter the code and the nurse's who administered it's initials. The system then flags the nurse to co-sign it on her next shift.

I would feel better with something like this. I would not sign my initials for it, nor would I sign someone elses initials for it. I would call the next nurse on shift to let them know I did give it,and then document it when I came back to work.

I'm not real anal about stuff like this, but I don't document something that I didn't do as something that I did...just the way I was taught.


412 Posts

Specializes in Trauma-Surgical, Case Management, Clinic.

I would not sign it with my initials, nor would I forge the other nurse's initials. I have put notes on paper mars that the med was given on previous shift. On computerized mars I select given and place a comment to show that it was previously given. Some meds you want to make sure that it's documented that they were given so pt doesn't get double medicated bc the nurse gave it but forgot to sign off on it.