Friday, April 25, 2014

Vital Signs

AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000372049.58200.da
In a short article in the American Journal of Nursing, Louise Rose, PhD, RN reminds us of the importance of monitoring vital signs.  "Abundant research," she says,  "indicates that vital signs aren't consistently assessed, recorded, or interpreted."  This is despite the fact that they are the best indicators of many complications or conditions, and offer clues to the reasons for deterioration of patients.  
Rose offers suggestions as to why vital signs may be pushed off as a menial task.  It is, after all, repetitive and time consuming.  In some cases, machines perform the task automatically; perhaps a nurse is not reviewing these reports.  On the other hand, less experienced medical professionals may deliver inaccurate results.  And, likely as any explanation (probably moreso) is that the nurse workload prevents them from taking and/or recording accurate vital signs.

So, how can and should this be addressed?  Isn't this fundamental?

I won't pretend to have the answer to this problem, but I do think it helps to be aware of the situation.  This is probably very indicative of the environment I will be entering.  If something this fundamental is being overlooked, what does that say about nurse morale and workload?  Or is it something else?

No comments:

Post a Comment