Cooperating for better care.

News & Views

‘Charting’ and comforting

Share this:


Melanie Kirkpatrick, writes in The Wall Street Journal about registered nurse Theresa Brown’s  new book about nursing called The Shift,  which  she calls  “an engrossing human drama composed of interlocking stories of patients and their families, doctors and nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers, and others who take care of sick people in a modern-day hospital.

Ms. Kirkpatrick writes: “A Manhattan doctor once told me that if she ever has a personal medical emergency that requires hospitalization, she will call a car service and ask the driver to take her to Boston. New York and Boston both have superb physicians as well as teaching hospitals that offer cutting-edge care, she said, but Boston has a leg up in one vital respect: nursing. Patient outcomes are closely tied to the quality of the nursing care they receive, and in this physician’s view, Boston nurses are the best.”

“Ms. Brown’s interactions with her patients are the central focus of  The Shift. But she also offers numerous observations about the myriad—sometimes overwhelming—bureaucratic challenges of the job. One is ‘charting,’ the time-consuming requirement to document electronically every detail of her patients’ care.

“A nurse can spend more time looking at the computer screen than into the eyes of her patients. ‘These days, charting pulls nurses away from the bedside more and more,’  {Ms. Brown] writes. Nurses can’t be in two places at once, and they sometimes find themselves in the no-win situation of having to choose between spending time with their patients and recording the required data at the specified intervals.”


Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass