Inaccurate readings and the misinterpretation of vital signs, as discussed in "Vital Signs" (Viewpoint, May), points out one more thing the profession has given over to others. All too often, unlicensed and untrained personnel are responsible for taking and recording these measures, and their actions may not be adequately monitored, due to the heavy workload of nurses. Vital signs may thus be overlooked, or there may be a delay in the timely interpretation of abnormal readings.
Perhaps a graduate student will conduct a study that examines who's responsible for taking, recording, and monitoring vital signs in light of current patient-to-nurse ratios.
Dolores A. Windham, MSN, RN