I was just fixing my cabinet a while ago when I saw my grandmother’s prescription with a Doctor’s note. I was having difficulty comprehending it because it’s soooo freakin’ scribbled. All I see was like my niece’s handwriting. I mean why do doctors write like that? It meant to be read so it has to be clear. Right?
When I was having my duty in the hospital, a nurse’s responsibility is to carry out doctor’s order. When you are a novice, your number one problem is the doctor’s handwriting. I’m not generalizing but most of them really write like they are in a race with all the freakin’ time. Is there an amazing race for doctors too? Come on!!!. Okay! Going back, if that will be the problem, the nurse must be beside the doctor during doctor’s rounds. In this case, you will have an idea what will he write on doctor’s order sheet. What I do is that I will be the one to write on the sheet while the doctor is dictating. This is still legal because the doctor will sign it after.
It is not a crime to clarify the doctor’s order. Remember, it is better to ask than to be negligent; we should never assume because this will allure disaster. This is like the number 1 mistake of most nurses. Apply what you have learned. For example, CBC and CBG are similar when it is written. Assess the history of the patient if he needs to have CBC or CBG. If the order followed a routine analysis like urinalysis then, it must be CBC. It is as simple as that. Always use your common sense.
Some doctors also appreciate when you ask. They also don’t mind if you say to them that you cannot understand their handwriting. If you were not able to accompany them during their rounds, (because in the Philippine setting, 1 nurse is to a minimum of 10 patients), then, CLARIFY. Don’t get frustrated just because of a scribble, you are not working alone, that’s why there is team nursing. Hello!!!
I think in Pharmacy, they have a class for comprehending handwritings. Don’t you think nurses deserve to have a class too? Nurses are flexible and fast learners. It is your problem if you cannot understand it. In the end, our number one priority is the patient’s safety and recovery.
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