A Queensland RN has urged fellow nurses to not let respiratory rate checks fall by the wayside.
CQUniversity doctoral researcher Tracy Flenady said that while abnormal respiratory rates are accurate, early indicators of clinical decline, previous studies indicate that this vital sign is often missing from emergency department observation charts.
Flenady said there are a range of reasons why nurses, who are busy with other tasks in the emergency department, can be known to skip the respiratory rate check or give it only a cursory glance.
To unpack the ways these omissions are rationalised, Flenady spoke with emergency department RNs to find out what goes through their mind when skipping respiratory rate checks.
She said: “Sometimes nurses believe they are compensating for errant behaviour by adding value to the patient’s outcome with other tasks.
“In some cases, they think their lack of respiratory checks will have minimal effects and in other situations, nurses trivialise the importance of the respiratory rate and cut corners to get their job done.”
In an interview with Nursing Review, Flenady discussed what else goes through nurses’ minds when skipping these checks and why it’s important to remember to do them, and shared her advice for keeping on top of them in busy environments.Want to share your thoughts on this topic? Do you have an idea for a story?
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