You’ve heard of the “never” events where the government will not pay for certain things that happen in a hospital that shouldn’t have happened. This list includes things such as decubitus ulcers (stage III and IV), vascular catheter associated infection, catheter associated urinary tract infections, administration of incompatible blood, falls, air embolism and foreign object intentionally retained after surgery.
I decided to come up with my own NEVER-DO list in nursing.
- NEVER pre-chart anything in the medical records. You can never know what will happen. I’ve seen so many nurses get in trouble with the Board because they pre-charted and then something different happened to the patient.
- NEVER prearrange medications and take them out of the packaging if you are not going to administer them right away.
- NEVER remove medications from the Pyxis early and carry them around with you. While it’s great to think ahead, the delay in administration is a red flag.
- NEVER keep medications in your pocket if you find the patient is asleep or if they refuse to take the medication. Always make sure you return it.
- NEVER sign that you witnessed a waste of narcotics if you actually did not do so.
- NEVER document anything that you did not do.
- NEVER omit any of the jobs you’ve held when applying for a job on an employment application.
- NEVER forget to document the name of anyone else who provides care to a patient, such as starting an IV, inserting a catheter or calling a physician.
- NEVER act outside the scope of your practice. If the policies and procedures does not support your actions, then don’t do it. For example, nurses in one hospital may be allowed to draw blood from the Quinton catheter but those in a separate hospital may not be allowed to do that same task. A hospital may allow a nurse to remove a central line but denied doing that at another facility.
- NEVER forget to renew your license. Practicing nursing without a license is a criminal event.
This is not meant to be a complete list but only as a starting point.
What other things can you think of that nurses should never do? I would love to read your list in the comments below.