Body Mass Index Definition, Formula, Equation and Range

Body Mass Index Definition, Formula, Equation and Range

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way to measure whether or not a person is underweight, overweight or normal weight. It is a calculation that evaluates body mass compared to height. It is widely used to determine if people fall within a weight range that is healthy.

We are living in a time when people are more obsessed than ever in being thin.

Body Mass Index
BMI = Weight (kg) divide by Height (m) divide again by Height.
BMI = 60kg/1.5m
=40 divide again by 1.5m

18.5 – 24.9 = Normal weight
25.0 – 29.9 =Overweight
30.0 – 34.9 =Obese
35.0 – 39.9 =Grossly Obese
40.0 – Above =Morbid Obese

Summary of the results as per the World Health Organization

body mass index chart

Nurse vs Doctor Pros and Cons: The Only Thing That Truly Separates Doctors From Nurses

Nurse vs Doctor Pros and Cons

Academic Medicine, journal of the American Association of Medical Colleges, has sent out a recent call for articles addressing the 2013 question of the year: “What is a doctor? What is a nurse?” Thirty years ago this would have been an absurd question. Not only would it have been absurd for doctors and nurses, but for patients too. Roles were clearly delineated within the disciplines, and the white coat indicated a doctor and the white uniform and cap identified the nurse.

There are several reasons why we have to ask the question posed by Academic Medicine. A big reason is the entry of women into the field of medicine. Another is the development of advanced degrees for nurses. The computerization of medical records has spurred increases the need for physician extenders to support practices. A huge reason recently has been cost-containment considerations. The erosion of the doctor as an ultimate authority figure and the rise of patient autonomy have leveled the field as well. To some extent access to education is in the mix also.

Educational level is usually part of the definition of a doctor or nurse. This is no longer a reliable indicator. A doctor has an undergraduate degree and an MD. But a doctor might be a DO also, a doctor of osteopathic medicine. A nurse has an undergraduate degree in nursing. Except that a nurse might have an undergraduate degree in something other than nursing, and get the nursing training later in a master’s degree program. Up until relatively recently you didn’t have to have a BSN to be a nurse, an associates degree was enough. Now a nurse might have a master’s degree or a PhD. A nurse practitioner has a master’s degree. A physicians assistant might also.

Authority used to be used to separate doctors from nurses. Doctors can prescribe medicines. But now so can many advanced-practice nurses. Doctors can write orders. So can nurse practitioners. Doctors can examine you and diagnose you. So does your NP.

Nurses and doctors used to look different. The physical appearance and dress of nurses and doctors in hospitals today is actually emblematic of the blurring of the lines of identity that have characterized medicine in recent years. A doctor might wear scrubs; a nurse practitioner might wear a white coat; in the operating room, everybody wears the same thing. Clothing has long been a tangible symbol of turbulent times. The casting off of corsets was a signal of relaxing social restrictions. The shock of a woman wearing pants coincided with women entering the workforce. Burning bras were a way of protesting gender inequality. It is no accident that the shedding of the nurses cap happened around the same time nurses became college educated.

Lifestyle and money? Nope. A primary care doctor makes less than a nurse anesthetist. Some doctors don’t take call anymore, and many nurses do, even those without advanced degrees.

Surely knowledge, skill, and ability separate nurses from doctors? Of course not. Your experienced floor nurse knows way more about medicine than your average intern. Physicians assistants can sew up wounds and assist in surgery. A person who becomes a nurse is just as smart as a person who becomes a doctor, which has always been true but not always acknowledged. An MD is just a piece of paper that gives a person permission to start learning how to be an actual doctor. An RN is much the same. Clinical experience and training are the only things that matter materially to patients. Some argue that training level is also part of the definitional differences between doctors and nurses. Doctor’s clinical training in a formal educational system is usually longer. So you could equivocally say that a doctor has longer training.

I would suggest to my readers that the only thing that truly separates doctors from nurses is ultimate responsibility. The editor of Academic Medicine says in his introductory remarks introducing the question that his daughter was trying to decide between medicine and nursing. This is the decision she must make. Does she want to live with the ultimate responsibility for every patient under her care? Because of our investment of time and money, and presumably because of the economic and social standing granted to us, we doctors bear this ultimate burden. This is not to say that nurses don’t also have a responsibility to their patients and their field, or that they haven’t invested just as much time and money.

I have been both a nurse and a doctor, and am a huge proponent of the expanded role of nurse practitioners. But the law and society have laid the ultimate privilege and burden on the person that people call “doctor.” That’s the difference.


Shirie Leng, a former nurse, is an anesthesiologist who blogs at medicine for real.

Nursing Uniforms and Infection Control: Nurses Uniform Habour Nasty Germs

Nursing Uniforms and Infection Control

The “scrubs” of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses often pick up disease-causing germs, including those resistant to antibiotics, a new study reports.

“We know there are bad germs in hospitals, but we’re just beginning to understand how they are spread,” said study lead author Dr. Deverick Anderson, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C.

These bad germs spread from patients to the nurses’ uniforms (usually the sleeves and pockets) and objects around the room, most often to bed railings, the researchers found.

“This study is a good wake-up call that health care personnel need to concentrate on the idea that the health care environment can be contaminated,” said Anderson.

“Any type of patient care, or even just entry into a room where care is provided, truly should be considered a chance for interacting with organisms that can cause disease,” he added in a university news release.

The study included 40 intensive care unit nurses at Duke University Hospital. Samples were collected from their scrubs before and after each 12-hour shift. Samples were also collected from all the patients the nurses cared for and items in the patients’ rooms.

The researchers focused on five pathogens known to cause hard-to-treat infections, including an antibiotic-resistant superbug called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The study found 22 instances when at least one of the five germs was transmitted from the patient or the room to a nurse’s scrubs. In six incidents, the germs spread from patient to nurse and room to nurse, and in 10 instances, bacteria was transmitted from the patient to the room.

There were no nurse-to-patient or nurse-to-room transmissions, according to the findings.

The study is scheduled for presentation in New Orleans Thursday at ID Week, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

“I think sometimes there’s the misconception that if, for instance, a nurse is just talking to patients and not actually touching them, that it might be OK to skip protocols that help reduce pathogen transmission, like washing hands or wearing gloves,” Anderson said.

“The study’s results demonstrate the need for caution whenever health care providers enter a patient room, regardless of the task they’re completing,” he added.

Anderson noted that previous studies focused mainly on the patient-nurse connection, while this one showed that a patient’s room also poses a threat.

“Our study shows following prevention strategies has to be a top priority, and that health care providers should be looking for ways to improve the likelihood that they are,” he concluded.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Soource HealthDay

Informed Consent in Nursing Practice: Nurses Responsibilities

Informed Consent in Nursing Practice: Nurses Responsibilities

Obtaining informed consent for specific medical and surgical treatment is the responsibility of a physician. This responsibility is delegated to nurses in some private hospital and no law prohibits the nurse from being part of the information – giving process.

The practice however is highly undesirable. This is so because it is not right for you to obtain consent
for a procedure that you are not in control of. The person who is going to carry out the procedure and who knows what is involved in the procedure is in the position to obtain the consent as he is expected to explain to the client what is intended before asking for consent to carry it out. Since you are not the one that will perform the surgery nor are you the one to administer the anesthesia, you might not be in a good position to explain to the client what is involved and therefore should not be the one to obtain the consent.

Often your responsibility is to witness the giving of the informed consent for medical procedures.

This involves the following:
– Witnessing the exchange between the client and the physician.
– Establishing that the client really did understand, that is, was really informed.
– That the client freely or voluntarily gives his/her consent
– Witness the client’s signature or thumb printing

If you witness only the client’s signature and not the exchange between the client and the physician, you should write “witnessed signature only’’ on the form. If you find that the client really does not understand the physician’s explanation, then the physician must be notified.

Obtaining informed consent for nursing procedures is the responsibility of the nurse. This applies in particular to nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners performing procedures in their advanced practices. However, it applies to other nurses, including you, who perform direct care such as insertion of nasogastric tubes or administration of medication.

Needle Stick Injury Protocol, Prevention and Management

Needle Stick Injury Protocol, Prevention and Management

Needle Stick Injury and Accidental Exposure to Blood

Needlestick Injury : the accidental puncture of the skin by a needle during a medical intervention
Accidental exposure to blood: the unintended contact with blood and or with body fluids mixed with blood during a medical intervention.

Accidental exposure to blood caused by needle injuries or injuries following, cutting, biting or splashing incidents carries the risk of infection by blood-borne viruses such as the hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

HBV risk= 5 – 40% HCV risk= 3 – 10% HIV risk = 0.2 – 0.5%
HBV prevalence is higher than average in intravenous drug users, homosexual men and in people from developing countries.

HCV prevalence is higher in people who have had multiple blood
transfusions, in dialysis patients and intravenous drug users.
HIV prevalence is also higher in homosexual men, in intravenous drug users and in people from areas where the condition is endemic.

Accidental contact with blood occurs especially in the following situations:
1. During re-capping
2. During surgery, especially during wound closure
3. During biopsy
4. When an uncapped needle has ended up in bed linen, surgery clothing etc
5. When taking an unsheathed used needle to the waste container
6. During the cleaning up and transporting of waste material
7. When using more complex collection & injection techniques
8. In A&E (Accident and Emergency) departments
9. In high-stress interventions (diagnostic or therapeutic endoscopy in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding)

Although this does not occur very often, there are other blood-borne microorganisms which can be transmitted via blood exposure:
• Other hepatitis viruses
• Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
• Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
• Parvovirus
• Treponema pallidum (syphilis)
• Yersinia
• Plasmodium
Accidental exposure to blood following a needlestick injury is probably one of the most common occupational health accidents in medical care.

Avoiding needlestick injury and avoiding infection

The single most important measure to prevent needlestick injury is to not put the used needle back in its original cover; re-capping and re-sheathing must be avoided. Instead use a rigid puncture-proof container for used needles. It is important that the container is always close to hand to avoid the temptation of re-capping. It is equally important to use proper protective clothing such as gloves, mouth mask, and goggles which are appropriate during the performance of endoscopy.


The most important rule for preventing needlestick injury is not to put the needle back in its cover, instead, the needle should be put in a specially designed, rigid, puncture-proof needle container. Make sure the container is always at hand.

Every hospital employee or any healthcare personnel at risk from accidental exposure to blood should be vaccinated against HBV. There are no preventive vaccines available yet for HCV and HIV.

Prevention of accidental blood contact
Personal protective equipment and clothing is very important. Use mouthmasks, gloves and gowns. Double gloving is safer than single gloving. Each additional layer of protective barrier (such as one or two gloves) significantly reduces the threat of any infectious agent present on the outside of the needle. Research shows a decreased or absent needlestick injury risk when using prior skin puncture techniques, or when using a needle-free delivery mechanism such as jet-injection devices. Needle type and design is also important. For example needles with safeguard mechanisms (safety barrel) or blunt tipped needles, can reduce the frequency of needlestick injury. Adequate training in safety procedures and improved compliance with safe operating room behavior can significantly reduce injury and infection risks. The maintenance of a safe operating room atmosphere is totally dependent on the atmosphere set by the operator.

Disinfection of contaminated material

After spilling possibly contaminated materials the affected area should be cleaned immediately (wearing gloves!) and then disinfected. Nursing equipment and materials , tools and small surfaces are cleaned with 70% alcohol. Large surfaces such as floors are disinfected with a chlorine solution 1000 ppm.

Immediate action after injury

Taking care of the wound immediately after the accident
Let the wound bleed for a moment and then cleanse thoroughly with water or a saline solution. Disinfect the wound using an ample amount of soap and water followed by 70% alcohol. In case of contact with mucous membranes it is important to rinse immediately and thoroughly, using water or a saline solution only, not alcohol.

Reporting the incident

It is important to report the incident immediately to the department dealing with occupational accidents. This will allow proper registration and subsequent management of the event.

Immediate action (injured person)

A blood sample should be taken as soon as possible after the injury. This sample should be kept for at least one year. It can act as a baseline value in case infection takes place and it becomes necessary to determine whether infection by one of the three viruses occurred at work. The kept sample may only be analysed for this particular purpose. Further blood samples to test for HBV, HCV and HIV are collected after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months.
Immediate action (dealing with the potential source)
If the source of the blood is known the patient must be asked for permission to sample blood for a HCV and HIV test. If the patient refuses then it must be assumed the patient is a carrier of the virus. If the origin of the blood is unknown then any blood present on the needle can be used for a serological examination.

Treatment approaches

General Prophylaxis
Management is based on finding out whether there is a risk of HBV, HCV or HIV . Depending on the serological analysis of the sample, steps must be taken to limit infection risks from the identified virus.

What to do after a potential HBV infection

Management of the situation is based on whether or not the injured person is immune for HBV, either as a result of vaccination or otherwise. There are two possibilities:
1. Subject has full immunity, if:
a. the person has had at least three vaccinations against HBV plus a subsequent check for antibodies
b. the response after vaccination is more than 10 IU/l
c. the person has had hepatitis B in the past.
2. Subject has a partial (or no) immunity, if:
o there was only a limited vaccination against HBV or none at all. Should this be the case then 5 ml intramuscular hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) should be given within 48 hours of the injury.

What to do after a potential HCV infection

There is no effective drug prophylaxis for HCV. There are some experimental treatment possibilities provided the infection is diagnosed at an early stage. The case should be followed closely for 12 months and a serological examination for HCV should be done after 3, 6 and 9-12 months. If one of these follow up analyses finds HCV antibodies then a comparison with the baseline blood sample taken immediately after the accident will show whether or not this involves an occupational accident. In case of a positive HCV test, a combination treatment of interferon and ribavirin is the treatment of choice. A liver specialist should be consulted.

Risks and what to do after a potential HIV infection
1. Risk of HIV Infection
The risk of a HIV infection following exposure to blood is very small (0.1-0.5%). The actual risk depends on type of contact and on the amount of virus in the contaminated material.

There are some factors which are associated with a higher risk
1. Deep wounds
2. Visible blood on the instrument
3. Needlestick injury by using hollow-bore needles containing blood
4. Intravenous or intramuscular injection of contaminated blood
5. Blood from a patient with a high virus level (for example untreated or terminal AIDS patients)

Immediate action after Needlestick Injury

After a review of the accident with the doctor responsible for occupational health and safety a recommendation is given whether or not to prescribe Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). If in doubt it is best to contact an AIDS expert. If PEP is advisable then it is important to discuss :
1. the advantages and disadvantages of PEP
2. the necessary follow-up examinations (of liver and kidneys) after 2 weeks, 1, 3 and 6 months)
3. follow up examination for HIV infection (after 1, 3 and 6 months)
4. the importance of avoiding transmission to sexual partner(s) (use of condoms)

Start PEP as soon as possible after this.

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for high HIV infection risk cases

PEP is the treatment of choice. Recommended is a 3-drug combination consisting of 2 RT (reverse transcriptase) inhibitors and 1 protease inhibitor. If the source patient is infected with a resistent virus it may be advisable to discuss a modified regimen with an internist-AIDS specialist.

The standard PEP consists of :
Indinavir Lamivudine Zidovudine
Early monotherapy with zidovudine reduces the likelihood of HIV infection by as much as 80%. The main disadvantages of PEP concern the potentially harmful side-effects and the fact that its longterm drug toxicity is unknown.

Commence treatment early

Considering the speed with which the virus multiplies and the results of animal experiments it is recommended to start PEP within 6 hours of suspected exposure. Do not wait for laboratory results , start PEP at once. In most cases it is possible to stop PEP immediately after the results prove negative and thus avoid potential adverse events.

Which drugs to use
A standard PEP set can be used. The total course should take 4 weeks (28 days). See tables 5 and 6 for dosing information.
Potential side-effects
stones in kidneys and urinary tract if not drinking enough water
side effects are rare
headache and nausea (temporary) anemia liver function disorders

Follow-up examinations are important. Privacy should always be respected and laboratory results should be anonymous. Blood samples in connection with possible side effects (hematologic, hepatic,renal, etc) are taken at the start of treatment and after 2 and 4 weeks. Blood samples for HIV are taken at the start of the treatment and after 1, 3 , 6 and 12 months. If the results are still negative after 6 months, it is very unlikely that an HIV infection has taken place, but blood should be taken after 12 months to exclude rare delayed seroconversion. More than 95% of well-documented HIV seroconversions occur within the first 3-12 weeks.

Implementation and registration

Compliance and Training Issues
There is a clear relationship in the literature between risk, compliance and training. Good training will improve compliance with safe operating room behavior and reduce the risk of Needlestick Injury.
All healthcare staff should be vaccinated for HBV. All Needlestick Injury events should be registered and carefully documented.

Healthcare workers who suffer needlestick injuries require immediate identification and attention to avoid transmission of such infectious diseases as HIV, HBV, and HCV.

If the exposure is mucosal or the wound is large enough to irrigate, irrigate with copious amounts of saline or other clean fluid.

Irrigate and clean wound.

The need for tetanus and/or hepatitis B prophylaxis is based on medical history. Health care providers should have been immunized against hepatitis B. Hepatitis A prophylaxis may (rarely) need to be considered depending on the source-patient situation.

The need for HIV or chemoprophylaxis (antiretrovirals) is based on an assessment of the risk by using the 3-step process developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Relationship Between Shift Work And Obesity Among Canadian Nurses

The Relationship Between Shift Work and Obesity Among Canadian Nurses

Smith P, Fritschi L, Reid A, Mustard C

Shift Work and Obesity

Shift work is associated with many negative health effects, such as obesity. However, the mechanism that leads to the relationship between shift work and obesity and the direction of the relationship are unclear. Does shift work lead to increased body mass index (BMI) and, if so, why? Or are individuals with a higher BMI more likely to choose to work the night shift? Equally unclear is what can be done to mitigate this relationship. The purpose of this study was to examine the relative contribution of factors known to affect BMI, such as health behaviors and working conditions (employer-supported health clubs, healthy food options) in nurses working evening and night shifts. The second goal was to determine whether employer-supported facilities had an effect on BMI.

Methods. The researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from a random, national, cross-sectional survey of Canadian nurses conducted in 2005. Height, weight, shift typically worked (days, evenings, nights, or rotating), whether the respondent had a say in hours or days they worked, and tenure in current job were all reported. A job questionnaire assessed job strain and effort-reward imbalance, including measures such as job control, psychological demands, and respect and support. Two health behaviors, smoking and alcohol use, were assessed. Survey participants were asked about facilities for physical activity and places to purchase healthy food. Finally, potential confounders such as age, marital status, children, restrictions to physical activity, self-reported episodes of major depression, type of nurse, and type of workplace were included.

More than 18,000 nurses completed the telephone interview. Researchers eliminated nurses who were not working in direct care facilities, those who were pregnant, those working multiple jobs, and individuals with incomplete responses, leaving a final sample of approximately 8600 female nurses.

Findings. BMI levels were higher in nurses working night or rotating-shift schedules compared with day-shift nurses, even after adjusting for all potential confounders. That difference in BMI, although statistically significant, was within 1 point across all shift schedules. The difference in BMI level for nurses working the night shift was not attenuated by differences in working conditions, the presence of employer-supported facilities, or health behaviors that are thought to be associated with weight gain. After adjusting for confounders, nurses working the night shift, on average, had BMI scores that were 0.67 points higher than those working the day shift; the BMI scores of nurses working rotating-shift schedules were 0.44 points higher. Higher levels of job strain were also associated with higher BMI levels, although the actual differences in BMI were less than 1 point. An interesting ancillary finding was that nurses working rotating shifts had higher job strain scores, increased imbalance in efforts and rewards, and were more likely to smoke.

This study is limited by the lack of direct measures of physical activity and diet and the fact that height and weight data were obtained only by self-report. However, the large sample size and the inclusion of multiple variables that may affect BMI are strengths, and the conclusions are worth noting. Nurses working off shifts have higher BMIs — and hospital efforts such as providing fitness facilities and options for healthy food do not attenuate that relationship. It is encouraging, however, that the difference, although achieving statistical significance because of this large sample size, is not likely to be significant in terms of health.

There probably isn’t a nurse out there who can’t identify with how difficult it is to work nights or a rotating-shift schedule and still fit in exercise, preparing and eating healthy foods, family obligations, and the myriad tasks that many women juggle. It is no surprise that the researchers also found that rotating shifts was particularly stressful and led to more job strain. My take on this study is that nurses working these schedules are to be congratulated on maintaining a BMI that is more or less in line with their day-shift colleagues’ despite the obstacles to doing so.

Nursing Documentation: Nursing Documentation Examples

Nursing Documentation: Nursing Documentation Examples

It is a fact that accurate record keeping and careful documentation is an essential part of nursing practice and effective communication among nurses vital to the quality of client care. Generally nurses communicate with their
colleagues, clients and other healthcare professionals through discussion, reports and records.

A discussion is an informal oral discussion of subject by two or more nurses or other healthcare
personnel to identify a problem or establishes strategies to resolve a problem.

A report is an oral, written or computer-based communication intended to convey information to others. For instance, nurse report on client’s progress at the end of a work shift during handing over.

A record is a written or computer –based communication intended to convey information to others. The process of making an entry on a client record is called recording, charting or documenting.

A clinical record, also called a chart. Client record is a formal, legal document that provides evidence of client care.

The procedure for documentation may vary from institution to institution, but the principle involved are generally the same. The history of documentation and record keeping in nursing emanated from Florence Nightingale who, during her time, documented all she saw and did. Nurses are responsible for accurate, complete and timely documentation and reporting. As an instrument of continuous client care and as legal document, the client record should contain all pertinent assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation for the client. Documentation and reporting of the client’s condition require adherence to the highest standards of confidentiality. After actions have been performed on a client, they should be documented.

If a nurse performs her duty in error, and without documentation, she is accountable to the client who received the care; the doctor who prescribed the treatment, the nursing service that sets the standard of expected performance, the institution in which nursing services is practiced and the society that demands professional excellence. When nurses perform care, they must be accountable for their action as documentation connotes accountability.

All members of a healthcare team share information through documentation and reporting. Documenting client’s records is important for the following reasons:

1. Serves as a vehicle by which different health professionals who interact with a client communicate with each other. This prevents fragmentation, repetition, and delays in client care.

2. Ensure continuity of patient care for future management.

3. Provides evidence for evaluation purposes. For instance, nurse use baseline and ongoing data to evaluate the effectiveness of the nursing care plan. In addition, records and reports assist nurse managers to evaluate staff performance.

4. Serves as an audit tool. Client’s records may be reviewed to determine if a particular health institution is meeting its stated standards.

5. Serves as an educational tool for nursing students. The information contained in a record can be a valuable source of data nursing research.

6. Investigations into complaints about care will look at and use the patient/client documents and records as evidence, so high quality record keeping is essential. The hospital or care home, the NMC, a court of law or the Health Service Commissioner may investigate the complaint, so it makes sense to get the records right. A court of
law will tend to assume that if care has not been recorded then it has not been given.

7. A client’s record is a legal document and is admissible in court as evidence.

8. Aid hospital management in planning. Information from record may assist healthcare planner to identified institutional needs, such as over utilized and underutilized hospital services. They can often establish from record the cost benefit and cost effectiveness of various services and identify those services that cost the hospital money and those that generate revenue.

The basic guidelines for good practice in documentation and record keeping apply equally to written records and to computer- held records.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2002) has said that patient and client records should:
– Be based on fact, correct and consistent.
– Be written as soon as possible after an event has happened to provide current (up to date) information about the care and condition of the patient or client.
– Be written clearly and in such a way that the text cannot be erased’ (rubbed out or obliterated).
– Be written in such a way that any alterations or additions are dated, timed and signed, so that the original entry is still clear.
– Be accurately dated, timed and signed.
– Not include abbreviations, jargon, meaningless phrases, irrelevant speculation and offensive subjective statements’.
– Be readable on any photocopies’.
– Be written, wherever possible, with the involvement of the patient,.
– Be written in terms that the patient or client can understand’.
– Be consecutive’ (uninterrupted).
– Identify problems that have arisen and the action taken to rectify’ (correct or put right).
– Provide clear evidence of the care planned, the decisions made, the care delivered and the information shared’.

Documentation and record keeping are vital instruments in the management of nursing services, since the client record may be used to provide evidence in court. Nurses must not only maintain confidentiality of the client’s record but also meet legal standard in the process of documentation.

Aside from client’s record, ward, unit and departmental meetings should be documented as evidence for important decisions taken. The manager should equally keep records of ward rosters, protocol of care, policies and procedures
as they help to clarify actions. Inventory record of equipment, material supplies made to the ward should be kept and monitored. This enables the manager to keep track of supplies. In summary, documentation is a skill to be
acquired by all nurses. A ward manager should be highly educated, intelligent, competent, and assertive. For effective ward management, he/she should combine his/her professional as well as managerial roles in the performance of his/her duties.

By Ali Muhammad Goniri RN, RM, DNE, BNSC, PGDE

Importance of Nursing Documentation and Purpose

Importance of Nursing Documentation and Purpose

1. Serves as a vehicle by which different health professionals who interact with a client communicate with each other. This prevents fragmentation, repetition, and delays in client care.

2. Ensure continuity of patient care for future management.

3. Provides evidence for evaluation purposes. For instance, nurse use baseline and ongoing data to evaluate the effectiveness of the nursing care plan. In addition, records and reports assist nurse managers to evaluate staff performance.

4. Serves as an audit tool. Client’s records may be reviewed to determine if a particular health institution is meeting its stated standards.

5. Serves as an educational tool for nursing students. The information contained in a record can be a valuable source of data nursing research.

6. Investigations into complaints about care will look at and use the patient/client documents and records as evidence, so high quality record keeping is essential. The hospital or care home, the NMC, a court of law or the Health Service Commissioner may investigate the complaint, so it makes sense to get the records right. A court of
law will tend to assume that if care has not been recorded then it has not been given.

7. A client’s record is a legal document and is admissible in court as evidence.

8. Aid hospital management in planning. Information from record may assist healthcare planner to identified institutional needs, such as over utilized and underutilized hospital services. They can often establish from record the cost benefit and cost effectiveness of various services and identify those services that cost the hospital money and those that generate revenue.

Nursing Handover: Nursing Handover Guidelines

Nursing Handover: Nursing Handover Guidelines

The handover is one of the most important parts of the nursing day. It doesn’t matter what setting you work in, the same rule applies – if the right-hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing then mayhem ensues. Probably the most important thing to remember about the handover is that if it’s done right, the incoming staff can pick up from where you left off, confident that they know what’s expected of them, and able to catch up any slack that was missed.

Never rush
The first rule of handover is never rush the handover – and never let it go over time either or there will be unhappy people waiting to get home. Allow enough time for your area of nursing to get all the information you need. This may be 10 minutes or 45 minutes – we all work in different environments.

Value questions
Create an atmosphere for handover where questions are encouraged, perhaps after each patient, before moving on to the next one.

Share team news
It’s a lovely opportunity to gel together as a team, and that includes ‘handing over’ that it’s Julie’s birthday and that Sarah is retiring, and so on.

Avoid jargon
It is the mother and father of all misunderstandings.

Add notes
Common terminology and abbreviations can be printed at the bottom of the handover sheet if they must be used. For example: CTTO = clips to take out.

Involve students
It’s a good opportunity to get students to practice being in charge by letting them lead the handover.

Handing over… to yourself
If you’re handing over to yourself, write clear notes as to what needs to be done the next day, just in case you forget/run away to Boko Haram/get a vendor supply.

Make your own documents
Create a handover document that suits your environment. It may include details about the patient and their family, relevant medical history, reason for admission or being under your care, long term plan, daily plan, booked procedures, appointments and so on. This should be updated throughout the day and not cobbled together five minutes before handover.

The Importance of Teamwork in Healthcare

The Importance of Teamwork in Healthcare

Have you ever worked with some nurses who cant and don’t lift a finger to help others?
This kind of nurses often are lazy and boring to work with.

Nursing is individual responsibility yes but collective efforts or TEAM work makes it much easier.
When you work with good and effective TEAM members you will feel like nursing is the best job on earth irrespective of the ver high level of stress in nursing.

TEAM means:

When assignments are shared in your group I want you to decide to be the one who upliftes team spirit.
Always ask others:
1. Are you ok?
2. Is there anything I can do for you?
Your willingness to help others rubs-off smoothly on everyone including you who is helping.
The help you give another today will come back to you someday in double fold.
You never know when it will be your turn to have a bad day.
Team work :
1. Helps reduce each team member’s stress and burden.
2. Builds friendship.
3. Improves communication among nurses.
4. Improves general patient care.
5. Helps develop each team member’s skills.
6. Improves knowledge as questions are asked and answers are shared.
7. Helps recognise and develop leadership qualities in each member.
8. Keeps each team members healthier.

When next you go to work, begin to develop team spirit in your unit.
As you offer to help others, eventually they will learn from you and offer to help you or someone else.

Recognise what you are very good at. Maybe it is setting an infusion line or calming an anxious patient. Whenever a situation arises for you to use the good skill you have be willing to offer assistance to do it or humbly teach the one who needs it how it is done.

From each nurse according to his/her skills and to each nurse according to his/her needs.

Make your unit a place of friendship and a place of fun.

Offer to help. ALWAYS.

Sussan Igwe