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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Incidental evenings

Incident forms are the bane of my life. I have to fill one out for every accident or 'near miss' that happens to a patient during their admission in hospital. The nurses initiate them - my job is to check the patient over and see if they need any extra treatment or first aid, then complete the rest of the form and sign my name at the bottom.

After the forms are filled in, they are sent to a secret place where they are dealt with by unnamed persons. Judging from the number of forms I have to fill out every night and their content, I assume the forms are "dealt with" by dealing them into the nearest bin-lined receptacle.

Here are the top 5 incident forms from last night: -

IF#5: Here we have a prime example of nurses using their common sense.
Time: 0130h
Nurse: Patient fell from chair to bed. Doctor called.
TSCD: Patient got up from chair and sat heavily on bed. No injuries. No action needed.

IF#4: This is proof of the high standards of care provided by the night staff.
Time: 0030
Nurse: Patient found sitting on floor. Doctor called.
TSCD: Patient needed help walking from toilet to bed. Called for assistance. Decided to squat on floor whilst waiting. Could not squat any longer, so sat on floor instead. No injuries. No action needed.

IF#3: Submitted as evidence of well-honed obervational skills.
Time: 0335
Nurse: Patient has a bruise on his arm ?fall
TSCD: Patient sustained bruise on arm where had traumatic venflon insertion one week ago. No new injuries. No action needed.

IF#2: Ever wondered what insomniacs do?
Time: 0450
Nurse: Patient tripped.
TSCD: Patient tripped on own slippers whilst demonstrating salsa move to ward staff. No fall. No injuries. No action needed.

and the #1 incident form of the night is...

Nurse: Patient found in bed with face pressed against cotside ?head injury. Now agitated.
TSCD: Patient sleeping sitting up. Used cotside as headrest. Woken up by nursing staff, felt extremely annoyed. No injuries. No action needed.


Blogger Julie said...

These nurses need some training on what constitutes an incident / accident or whatever. I'd get in touch with someone in governance / risk / patient safety and get them to arrange something! What a waste of your time, or do they have it in for you?

5:07 am  
Blogger Judy said...

The first thing that popped into my head after reading your list was, "What has this person done to annoy the night nurses?"

Petty, I know, but either they are total dolts or there is some bad feeling and your bleeps are the result of that.

I don't know what the policy is regarding incident forms at your hospital but I cannot imagine filling one out because a patient voluntarily sat on the floor or had an old bruise from an IV site. It wouldn't be warranted. Besides, I don't have time to be bothered if it's not a real incident.

3:32 am  
Blogger Maggie said...

I'm ashamed to say that I laughed like a drain reading a couple of your incidents. I can just imagine - I'm the klutz who tripped over her pyjama bottoms and broke her foot. Admittedly it was at home rather than hospital, but the bloke with the slippers sounds a little similar, though he seems to have escaped injury. I wasn't trying to dance at the time though, just trying to walk round the bed on way to bathroom.

OMG I am having an extreme elderly moment here! Mind you, feel like that most of the time these days.

6:48 am  
Blogger tscd said...

julie: I think nurses already have training about incident forms and when these forms are required.

The thing is, I don't think the nurses should be bleeping me to do any non-urgent work at night - these forms ought to be left until the morning for doctors who are actually in charge of the patient in question. It's paperwork after all. Paperwork is not an emergency duty.

Unfortunately, I cannot refuse to fill in an incident form - although I would never put it on the top of my list of priorities for a night shift.

judy: yes, that was the first thing that popped in my head too. I asked around and found out that this happens only in certain wards that have nurses who don't care to do any nursing on a night time. This revelation actually came from some other nurses and allied-health I suppose it must be (unfortunately) true. Sad, though.

maggie: Yes, my patient was able to get up and walk himself to bed. I also found out that the accident had happened at dinner time - so I don't know why the nurse chose to bleep me in the early hours of the morning. The stupid thing was that he was actually sleeping when I came to assess him and I had to wake him up.

3:42 pm  

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