We all have things that make us crazy; things that push our buttons and have us counting to ten. I have two major buttons. The first is NFL football. I think my least favorite part about the game (aside from the fact that the sport overtakes my home for about a third of the year) is the spectators and sports pundits who fancy themselves professional and believe they could have coached a better game, run a better play, or put a better block on a 300-pound lineman. It makes me crazy. I live with a “Monday Morning Quarterback”. In his mind he is a self-proclaimed offensive and defensive coordinator, head coach, and believes he has a better feel for the game than the most skilled of quarterbacks. Indeed, he had a number of observations during and after yesterday’s Super Bowl victory by Seattle Seahawks.
My other hot button is very similar. It is when a colleague criticizes another other about how she/he has cared for a patient. It is one thing to collaborate and offer constructive feedback, but quite another to play “Monday Morning Quarterback” to fellow nurses. I’d like to think that these “Monday Morning Nurses” have the best of intentions, but the worst of deliveries of their observations.
After years of working with a particular Monday Morning Nurse, I built a list of all the things she would criticize. Her biggest complaint was documentation; she would find the smallest of errors and confront us like a referee throwing a penalty flag. The reality is, most of the time she was right. There were many times I found myself in a tough situation with a patient and the only resources available to chart vitals were my arm, scrubs or a napkin. I have to be honest, my handwriting isn’t always the most legible and sometimes I didn’t document the exact time. I am sure I could give her a litany of excuses as to why, but the reality is I committed the foul.
A year after I transitioned out of bedside nursing, I had the opportunity in the same hospital to implement a MDI solution. What a difference it made at the bedside. Nurses had less vital sign temporary tattoos, paper towel costs were drastically reduced and nursing received an unplanned financial gain by not having to replace their scrubs all the time! Most important, though, was that accurate and reliable patient information was reaching the right place at the right time. What a great a concept! The added bonus was that MDI decreased the complaints of my Monday Morning Nurse. As difficult as it was for her to admit, she loved it. Her response was, and I am paraphrasing, “it’s about time that vitals are in the chart, where they are supposed to be, next to all the other documentation! Now at least everything is where it is supposed to be.” Sage wisdom from a well tenured nurse.
Electronic medical records are great; they put you in the red zone. But it is implementing an MDI solution that will push you into the end zone each time with or without a Monday Morning Nurse.
Have you worked with that Monday Morning Nurse? Have you found that after implementing an MDI solution, they are taking a quieter stance on the sidelines?
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