Compliance to monitoring and documentation of vital signs by nurses in the postoperative unit of Arua Hospital
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Background: Compliance to vital signs monitoring and documentation ensured that Blood pressure, Temperature, Pulse, Respiration, Oxygen concentration and Urine output were monitored according to the recommended frequencies and put in writing as part of patient care. Abnormal body temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, level of consciousness and blood oxygen concentration are antecedents to death and other outcomes. Objective. This study assessed compliance to monitoring and documentation of vital signs by nurses in postoperative units of Arua Regional Referral Hospital as well as assessing factors affecting compliance to vital signs postoperatively within the first 72 hours postoperatively. Methods: Compliance to monitoring and documentation of vital signs was assessed through a participatory observation whereby nurses were observed for monitoring vital signs in the first 72 hours per patient with the use of a checklist. A researcher administered questionnaire was also used to assess for factors affecting compliance to vital signs monitoring and documentation postoperatively. A sample size of 17 participants was used. Results: Findings of this study show that majority of the respondents 64.7% were within the age range of 21-30 attracting a mean age of 30.05, 82.4% reported being married, most of the participants (88.2%) were females and (58.8%) hold diploma in nursing education. A large number of participants 88.2% had no refresher training on vital signs in the last two years and 100% reported lack of Standard Operating Procedures. No respiratory rate, oxygen concentration and urine output were monitored. Only 11.8%, 5.9% and 2.6 % of the nurses monitored and documented temperature, pulse and blood pressure respectively in the immediate postoperative phase with a further 5.9% reported to have monitored temperature and blood pressure every 15 minutes in the first one hour.