Making Change as a Student Nurse

Helen Croft student nurse - first day uniformWhilst on placement as a student mental health nurse I made a small change to improve the recording of patient’s vital observations. Vital observations include taking Blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and temperature and oxygen saturations.

My placement works with people in a rehabilitation setting and as such, vital observations are taken on a monthly basis.  I found that vital observations were always recorded in the patient’s nursing notes, they were sometimes missed from the vital observations recording sheets.

I made a suggestion to my mentor that perhaps vital observations recording sheets could be taken out of the patients nursing notes and put in a file in the clinic instead (where observations are taken), so that they could be recorded at time of writing. My mentor agreed that this may improve the recording of vital observations and suggested that I speak to my manager.

As a student nurse, I felt uneasy about suggesting this change, but my support from my mentor encouraged me to do so. My manager also agreed with the change I suggested. I then collected all vital observations recording sheets and placed them in the clinic. I also completed two information sheets, one for the nursing office and one for the clinic to communicate this to all staff. As well as this, my manager communicated this change to all staff and recognized my input.

Although I consider this a small change I am very proud that my suggestion has been implemented in the clinical setting that I am learning in. It has been very important for me to be supported in this by both my Mentor and Manager who have allowed me to action this and shown support and encouragement but have also recognized my efforts.

(Above picture shows Helen's uniform at first day of placement)
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