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Reader's view: Nursing directives diminish quality of care

What are we doing to health care? Administrative directives for bedside care change daily and distract nurses from performing the most direct, basic and important of patient-care needs. We are an old profession, and the most human element of our direct contact with patients is being lost to charts and graphs and sign-offs. Dictating how to dot an “I” will never replace the importance of holding a hand or administering pain and nausea meds or preventing a fall. Only hands-on, direct human contact (patient-to-nurse and vice versa) will provide high-quality, safe patient care.

Yes, we should always strive for excellence and improvement in our quality of care, but the latest sign-off requirement or graph of nursing compliance is not the right vehicle. We need to engage and challenge our nurses with the highest-quality continuing education and encourage and support bedside connections with patients. We invest so heavily administratively and are often bedside poor.

Why must nurses always be challenged to do more with less? Bombarding nurses with a new initiative every day only aggravates, alienates and distracts us from our most important focus — the patient!

Penny Derauf


The writer is a registered nurse.