Doing things for no reason in the hospitalBMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l841 (Published 26 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l841
- Abraar Karan, internal medicine resident
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA
“Anyone who tells you that you can get any rest in the hospital is full of sh*t.” Not the way I usually start my morning rounds, but the patient had a point. Between having his vital signs checked every four hours (the tight squeeze of the blood pressure cuff, the unapologetic beep of the thermometer), a tangle of wires restricting any reasonable movement (one was his oxygenation probe, the other his cardiac telemetry), and the incessant commotion of the night team admitting a new patient behind his curtains, I couldn’t blame him.
That day on rounds, our team discussed whether he needed to have his vital signs checked overnight—they had been relatively stable for a few days. Similarly, his oxygenation levels had never really been a concern. He did initially need telemetry, but his heart rate …