Nurse or pencil pusher?

So when did nursing get to be a job where 90% of what you do everyday consists of filling out 20 different forms documenting the care you are supposed to provide? Of course that is if you have time after all that writing. Why is it that nursing is not nursing anymore? Why can’t we CARE for patients instead of just checking off checkboxes that say what we would do if we had time to get into our patients’ rooms? I understand documenting to a certain extent….but is it really necessary for us to say three different ways on three different sheets that yes  we did in fact brush our patients’ teeth that day? And why do we have to justify why and how we gave pain medication on numerous forms? As a nurse are we not capable of assessing a patient and determining what needs to be done? Why is the medication record not enough anymore?

There are so many more important skills a nurse has that could be put to use rather than spending most of the their day writing on useless papers that are put to them by people in offices far removed from patient care. These people do not understand what nursing consists of. I feel like a kindergartner sometimes as I make sure to fill in every box on my flowsheet…..leave one undone and you just might find yourself in timeout…

Anyway, just a few thoughts on the new direction of healthcare…where nurses work from the desk and only care for patients once all i’s have been dotted and every last t crossed! Then if your patient wishes to have a massive MI or bleed out from a ruptured ulcer….well you can see if you have time to provide nursing care.

  • 6 Comments...Your thoughts?


  1. Hell, you ought see the Medicaid forms the soca have to fill out EVERY 90 days for medical equipment & the xtra documumentation they have to restate 20x over. I’m with u Wendy, I 100% agree that documentation is a must, but documenting the same thing 3 different times on 3 different forms is an absolute take away from patient care! That pisses me off too!!. I wonder if my feathers will EVER DEPUFF lol

  2. Cindy says:

    Hospital nurses sit around on the computer charting most of the time. There is not any time spent with newly diagnosed diabetics, new mothers who need help with breastfeeding or education given to the new dialysis patient. Instead, nurses feverishly spend their time trying to make things look good on paper. As a discharge planner (case manager), I found out just how much patients did not know just prior to their discharge! Why can’t documentation be minimized so that the nurse can get back to the bedside? Note: even my old personal physician does not look at me anymore when I go in for a checkup or problem. Instead, he sits there with a laptop in front of him, typing away! This has got to stop!!! Any suggestions?

  3. Rachael says:

    I totally agree! The first time I had to do a chart review, I noticed just how many non-sensical (to me anyway) things had to be charted by the poor nurses every 12 hours – change in fall risk status, for example. It was literally over 100 questions that had to be addressed in the computer on each patient, each shift. No wonder it’s hard to for the poor nurses to form relationships with the patients!

  4. Sandra says:

    I tell my students that when you become an RN you don’t have to stop there. Get an advanced degree in an area of nursing specialty and you get treated with more respect and better job duties. Nurses deserve so much more respect then we are given.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jennifer smith. jennifer smith said: Another thing that PISSES THIS NURSE OFF!!! [...]

  2. [...] Wendy, at Nurse PTO, asks “When did nurses become pencil pushers?????” I could add Doc’s to the paper/pencil pushers [...]

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