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Drowning in paperwork

(6 Posts)
drowninginpaperwork Tue 22-May-18 01:37:18

I work as a qualified nurse in a private care home for disabled adults. I’ve been there for a few months now and it’s a nice place with nice people working alongside me. I’ve been nursing for almost 30 years now.

However, I am very, very stressed sad

The work is busy, which I like, but I am completely overwhelmed with the amounts of paperwork my employers expect us to complete. It is just incredible and around 70% is totally pointless tick box stuff. There is also endless duplication of info and, on average, I’ll be writing the same piece of info in around six different places.

They also keep changing the paperwork, so I’m sometimes writing on a form that I later find is obsolete then I have to then find the right form and do it all again. There are forms to fill in to say you’ve filled a form in.

There is zero use of technology to help us - other than the photocopier to produce these blasted forms.

I understand the value of accurate documentation, but this is ridiculous. Six pages to fill in for a simple wound assessment! Everything, a repetitive and confusing array of boxes to tick where a simple description with a diagram would suffice. It’s taking away our professional judgment and reducing the nurses to mindless automatons.

I’m having nightmares prior to doing my shifts and I only have time for a 30 minute break in 13 hours. I’m just exhausted trying to get everything done on time because peg feeds and drug rounds can’t be delayed or postponed of course.

Is this normal in other places? My previous employer had a computerised notes system and it used to take minutes to input info.

I feel as though all this is designed to keep the lawyers and inspectors happy, but it is just pointless and a huge burden. There must be a better way.

Spongeface Tue 22-May-18 01:44:50

I could have written this except I have been nursing 3 years. I work in the same care setting as you it sounds like and had no idea nursing would involve so much paperwork.... And so little time with the people I'm looking after.
I sometimes feel like I'm only doing basic meds, dressings etc before I get back to the desk to make appointments, write assessments or update careplans... And the everyday paperwork.
Agree about the breaks too. I can't see another way right now... It's to protect vulnerable people at the end of the day... It feels very box ticking some days!

Spongeface Tue 22-May-18 01:45:52

(and in my limited experience it is normal... How sustainable it is is another question!)

drowninginpaperwork Tue 22-May-18 02:08:08

But surely once peak paperwork is reached you just lose hope and zone out? Most days I just manage to scrape the bare minimum. If I do try something more ambitious - like the wound assessment - I’m faced with a task which will take too long, so I put the forms back, record my care in the daily log and hope the wound heals without delay. A kind of ‘under the counter’ care if you like.

Nurses do end up in court for not documenting properly - if it’s flagged up following an untoward event - so I do understand the value of being accountable and being able to demonstrate it, this is why I’m living on my nerves tbh. The knowledge that I’m only one form away from disaster is constantly on my mind sad

I’ve just done a 13 hour shift and I can’t sleep.

Spongeface Tue 22-May-18 10:31:30

I understand. I hope that you have caught some sleep by now.
And yes I know why it's so important to document and I try my best but as you say it's not the time wound care's the paperwork.and we are covering ourselves legally which is important but the length of the charts and repitition... There must be a better way.
Totally agree with being scared of putting a foot wrong so paperwork takes priority to 'cover ourselves'
I heard some care homes use nice little iPads to dispense drugs with instead or MAR charts... And I don't like the sound of that at all! But some computer help on the care plans would be very welcome... I have a sore hand from writing!
Will be interested to see if anyone else has a different experience.

vintagenurse Thu 21-Jun-18 21:27:35

Ive recently returned to an acute ward after 6 years in community, and the paperwork is madness. All a tickbox exercise and definitely detracts from direct patient care. And thats on top of your twice in one 13 hoyr shift nursing notes. Its ridiculous.

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