About the Job

Proper Charting Can Lead to a Reduced Number of Medical Errors

Keep handwriting tidy, even when rushing.

Not understanding illegible handwriting can also lead to a few mistakes. Despite the stereotype that all doctors have bad handwriting, doesn’t mean that the same should be said for all medical personnel. To make sure that any handwritten document is clear and easy to read, a few tips should be followed:

  • Try to use print instead of cursive writing
  • Slow down!  Take the time to concentrate on what is being written and to make it as clear as possible
  • Avoid the use of abbreviations and acronyms, not everyone understands or knows what they stand for
  • Record everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.  If for whatever reason an investigation is open, it’s better to have clear records to go back to.

Mistakes do happen, and they will happen.  The important thing to realize is that when they do happen, it’s better to own up to them rather than to play the blame game.  Nurses and other medical staff should always be very proud of what they do. Helping others can be one of the most fulfilling jobs on the planet, but it's even more fulfilling when each task is done with care and attention.