Reply To: Nurse to patient ratio

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Even more than patient to nurse ratios, I think charting is hurting quality time I get to spend with each patient. With the introduction of computerized charting (to save us time) it seems I spend more time at the computer than I do in the patient room. Also, the things we now chart seem pointless to me. Back in the day I would chart the things that were important for the doctor to read the next morning or to document the progress beging made by the patient. Now most of my charting is over things to make the lawyers happy, such as the bed is in the low position, the call bell is within reach, the bed brakes are on. We also have to make sure to chart a stop time on our IV fluids to get paid for them. If I chart I started an IV bolus, the patient should be charged for it, regardless of if I didn’t chart a stop time, especially if the fluids are still going in on admit from ER to the floor. Additional duties, extra charting, more patients who are sicker than they used to be, it all adds up to less patient care. I try to provide each patient with the care they need, but I also have to balance it with the ten patients in the waiting room who need some care also.

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