Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Shredder Diving

on April 3, 2016


It’s called shredder diving and I partook of the activity for the first time last week when I left a paper strip with vital signs carelessly tucked under the edge of a keyboard in front of Bay 5.

I thought I’d entered them from the monitor screen onto the computerized flow sheet before my patient was rolled out and around the corner to the OR, but nooooo…

Three hours later, when things slowed down, and I started to go back through my charting to fill in the gaps, there were four blank spots on the flow sheet page: O2 saturation, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.


I never wanted to join this club, or should I say I never wanted anyone to see me doing the “dive”, but the only thing between me and the time clock was those vital signs.

“Where are the keys to the shredder?” I said it in almost a whisper to the charge nurse.

“You have to get them from the OR desk drawer — the one on the right. Going diving huh?”

I didn’t say anything, only chewed on my lower lip.

Within five minutes I had the four foot tall shredder door opened and a big cardboard box at my feet. I picked at papers, one at a time. Leaning over this box for the next hour I’d surely look like a homeless nurse desperate for something to do.

I expected some laughs, gentle puns about being “buried in paperwork”, but none came.

I kept saying to myself If it’s not charted, it’s not done. If it’s not charted, it’s not done.

After about ten minutes of looking, I found it. Thank goodness the strips have the time recorded across the top.

Everyone has been through it, and now I could add myself to the list of “divers.

And chart my vital signs 🙂

4 responses to “Shredder Diving

  1. brooke says:

    Someone left our key in the lock and they guy from the shredder company took it because we’re not supposed to have one. 😐. There are some others around, but it’s a hassle to get to them.

  2. Haha, attention grabbing title and I the panic was conveyed well, nice writing 🙂

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