It’s 6:45 AM. You’re rushing towards your ward, wondering what to expect for the day. Perhaps a fully staffed ward, with adorable patients and a full stock of supplies. A quick nursing checklist and your day is done? But who are you kidding?? The day that happens is the day that pigs fly.
Your daydreaming is quickly cut short once you realise that you’re only 3 nurses in the ward. You walk towards the coffee machine and do the math in your head. 3 nurses = 8 patients each. And as you sit down to listen to the handover, you take the time to rest your legs and get some caffeine in you. Because you are fully aware that for the next 12hrs you will not sit, eat, drink, or pee.
Despite all your best effort, to keep up with all the daily tasks, beeping IV pumps, patient calls, admissions, a near CPR, and the endless charting, you are bound to forget something.
At the end of the day, we are all human, and so we are prone to errors, especially when having such a heavy workload.
That’s why I created this 5-Step Nursing Checklist that all new nurses should be carrying out at the end of their day. Whether you’re working in a ward or a clinic, this nursing checklist will guarantee that you don’t forget anything. So here we go:
The 5-Step Nursing Checklist
1. Fill out all the Nursing Charts:
Chart the parameters (aka. vitals) and check the frequency too
Write down the nursing fluid intake and output
Go through the file and look out for any additional charts:
Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA Chart)
Central Venous Catheter Chart
2. Complete the Nursing Report:
Take a good look at the patient report and make sure to fill out every little detail, because if you didn’t chart it, it didn’t happen! So make sure that you include all of the following:
Date & Time
Patient’s Name, ID and personal details
Level of dependency and assistance required
Respiration details (whether the patient requires oxygen supplementation)
Skin Integrity, note down any wounds or bruises
Document the cannula’s site and insertion date
Specify the required frequency to check vital signs
Write down the doctor’s medical/surgical plan and whether it has been completed
Describe any relevant events in your patient’s day
Markdown any pending tasks, blood tests, imaging or upcoming tests results that need a follow-up
3. Give out all the Prescribed Treatment:
Take a look at your patient’s treatment, go over the time of administration and make sure that you’ve given all the treatment that falls within your time-frame. Also make sure that all the medications are signed and recorded accordingly.
If you missed a dose, or the patient wasn’t in a position to take the medication, discuss it with your superior nurses. They will guide you to slightly alter the administration times, or advise you on when you should administer it next.
Make sure that you’ve signed the Dangerous Drug Administration (DDA) Book.
If any of the medication that you administered runs out, order a new supply for the next shift.
And for the love of all that is holy I can NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH: LEAVE THE TREATMENT ROOM CLEAN AND ORGANISED
4. Give a detailed handover to the next nursing shift
Some wards or clinics might have a continuation of care sheet or handover sheet that they use to make change of shifts easier. Look out for these sheets and fill them out accordingly. If there are no sheets, then go over each patient’s file and tell the next nurse your patient’s diagnosis, current management, and pending tasks.
5. Sign your Attendance Sheet or make sure to Clock out!
Otherwise you don’t get paid 🙂
Did you find the 5-Step Nursing Checklist helpful? Or do you have your own approach that you’d like to share with us?
Send me a message on my Instagram Nurse.Miriana
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