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The big question: is too much care left undone by nurses?


A “staggering” amount of necessary care is left undone by nurses at the end of their shifts because of staffing pressures. Do you agree? Is this affecting you? Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine

A “staggering” amount of necessary care is left undone by nurses at the end of shifts because of staffing pressures, according to latest findings from a landmark nursing study.

The study authors said there was also a “clear relationship” between the number of tasks left incomplete and the number of registered nurses per patient.

What care is being left undone at your workplace? What do you think the consequences will be? Will patient care be influenced?

What do you think? Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine


Readers' comments (10)

  • I have seen this first hand. I spent 6 weeks with my mother in a North London Hospital. Half an hour before the ende of the shift patients were ignored, they didnt get drinks, taken to the toilet etc because nurses needed to srt out the paper work for the shift change. Roma Felstein SafeandSound Training.

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  • maybe there is not enough time as too much of it is spent on work which is demanded on nurses which is not necessary and on rituals, some of which could now be redundant.

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  • Perhaps, Roma Felstein, they could do the writing up at the start of the day ( forgetting about washes, drug rounds, ward rounds, handing over, taking people to scan, feeding, toiletting,ad nauseum ad infinitum) and use a crystal ball or tea leaves to divinate what was going to happen during the shift. Half an hour without a cup of tea will not kill anyone, no matter how precious they are. I'm sure that you are a dutiful daughter who goes around to your mothers house every night at half seven and make her a cup of tea and toast, and then go up and down her street asking all her neighbours if they want the same, all while doing your day to day job, which CANNOT be left until the morning because if you did you'd be castigated in the Daily Fail as a disgrace to all those involved in Training since the Crimean War? Thought not.

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  • unfortunately, due to the pressures of paper work, and remember if 'its not documented its not been done' care of the non urgent type - yes making a cup of tea- is left, hopefully for someone else to do. there are many many times, that nurses do not finish the shift on time due to the pressures of the work, then having to catch up on the paper work, it is not practicable to write it as you go along, as there is normally to many interruptions, as soon as anyone sees you with a pen in hand, guaranteed- someone whether patient or collegue will want help with something, so the last half hour of the shift, we try and 'hide' to do the paper work.

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  • The Daily Fail - I like that.

    We do our best, if that isn't good enough for you Roma please come and show us how it should be done.

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  • Roma Felstein. no mention, as far as I can see in the article. who, where or what is it? place, person, writer connected in some way with the article or those unwanted eastern European Roma who are causing trouble in the west? any ideas. it was mentioned by RedPads in a comment above.

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  • Anon 3.26 pm
    Roma Felstein- it's there right at the end of the paragraph of the first reply, indeed it is the final sentence, and I quote ' Roma Felstein SafeandSound (sic) Training'.
    Do pay attention at the back!

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  • Id just like to ask the author of the first post,Roma, what she did about what she states happened,or not,at the time?
    If my mother had been in such an awful place then I certainly wouldn't have allowed her to remain there for 6 weeks in such supposed suffering?.I sincerely doubt patients were ignored and in such a continued manner hence why I ask what you did about it at the time???????
    I think it has to be considered what exactly is within the remit of a Nurse to fulfill in one shift.With the best will in the world a Nurse can not do everything for everyone all of the time.That is why they,we, work in a Team of people with different roles and responsibilities who work together to fulfill the needs of our patients.It is about delegation of care and prioritising your workload with the support of your team in order to ensure a high level of care is given.The majority of paperwork is completed at the end of the shift in order to give an accurate account of the care of the patients but in my experience never at the expense of the patients and certainly never dine instead of answering the request for a cup of tea or the toilet.
    I find it interesting that you appear to be linked to some sort of Training company???? Lets hope what you are evidenced based and not at all idealistic in what you teach/preach.

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  • although care left undone is vitally important, people who are hasty to make judgements fail to see the larger picture of what goes on behind the scenes and the time consuming care, which cannot be neglected at any cost, which is being done!

    nurses are pragmatists who have to act in the here and now and often have to react very fast to stabilise the rapidly changing condition of some of their patients and unfortunately cannot be everywhere all the time for everybody. they are also subject to continuous, and sometimes distracting interruptions from all directions.

    their resources and work need to be carefully examined and equated with the demands on their time needed to provide adequate care and to see what there is of slightly lower priority in acute care situations which can be left out entirely or delegated to others where the expertise or attention of nurses is not immediately required.

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  • To answer all these comments. I know that nurses are very busy and my comment was that it is because of too much paper work that sometimes patients at the ed of shifts are ignored. It is not just cups of teas but far more important things. I decided to pay someone to sit with my mother because I couldn't be there all the time. This was after I came in to find food cold because she couldn't feed herself and soiled sheets because she had kept asking to go to the toilet but the nurses were too busy to take her. I fully understand the pressure on nurses but the system was not working with my mother who sadly is no longer here. I know the system wasn't working be ause I watched it not work for 6 weeks.

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