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Understanding Nursing Procedure # 3: Controls & Checks

Hospitals should run like well-oiled machines. Good nursing procedures include controls and checks that keep everything in balance. Not only do these regular checks of nursing procedure keep the staff safe and the facility costs down, they also protect the patients in a wide range of ways.

Tips for Controls and Checks

One of the most important jobs in nursing is the certainty that everything is running smoothly. Here are a few tips and tricks to make certain that your ward is running at optimum efficiency:

  • Sign and date dressings. Every time a dressing is changed, the nurse should put his or her initials, the date, and the time. This prevents mix-ups and keeps everyone accountable.
  • Write everything down. Even the smallest detail that might not seem important at the time could mean the difference in patient care at some point in the future.
  • Check--and then check again. Look over your charts often and make certain you have covered everything for your shift.
  • Notepad and pen. Keep a small notepad and pen with you at all times, and use it.
  • Be accurate. When counting meds, being "close" is not good enough. It has to be entirely accurate, and if the numbers don't add up, follow the proper procedure for reporting it.
  • Use safety precautions. Make certain everyone uses the common safety precautions, including the use of gowns, masks, and gloves. Ensure there are more than enough supplies for everyone.
  • Understand procedures. Know the procedures to follow in the event of violence in the hospital and practice what you would do in that situation.
  • Five rights. When giving any kind of medication, remember the five rights, and double-check them: Do I have the right patient, right drug, right dose, right time, and right route?
  • Document. If a patient comes in with a wound or bedsore, document it with photographs. This protects you and the hospital from lawsuits that claim you didn't give the proper care.

Nursing Procedure Controls and Checks

These points are just the tip of the nursing iceberg. Each medical facility has its own guidelines for controls and checks, so make certain you always have the most updated information.

If you want to brush up further on general information you learned in nursing school, try visiting an online nursing degree program and search their message boards for tips from seasoned nurses. The more you know, the more accurate your controls and checks should be. As a result of your diligence, everyone around you--including doctors, patients, visitors, and fellow nurses--should be safer and more confident in their workplace procedures.

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