I'm writing about "Nursing Shortcuts Can Shortcut Safety" (Patient Safety, December 2009),* which addresses the so-called normalization of deviance from standards of care. Nurses who have bypassed safety measures in the past without patient harm assume that it's safe to continue breaking the rules. As a nurse educator, I face situations in which my students are expected to follow certain shortcuts that staff nurses consider "normal," even though I've taught them to follow the rules.
The nurse managers at my institution support the deviance and have actually taken me to task for "reminding" my student in front of the staff not to break those rules. Some nurse managers have even declared they choose not to follow certain standards because they're inconvenient.
Now that it's getting increasingly difficult to find clinical placements, I can't afford to pull the student from this site, which puts me in a quandary.
-NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST
* Individual subscribers can also access these articles free online at http://www.nursing2010.com. [Context Link]