The nurse is working in a small hospital that still uses paper charting for client assessments. While writing the nurse’s note, the nurse makes an error. Which method does the nurse utilize to make the correction?

  • use Wite-Out® to cover the error, and proceed after it dries
  • throw away the nurse’s note and start over with a fresh note
  • mark through the error in red ink and place her initials afterward
  • mark a single line through the error in black ink and place her initials afterward
Number 4 is correct.
The nurse should mark a single line through the error in black ink and initial afterward. This alerts whoever reads the note that the nurse wrote information in error and has signed her initials acknowledging the correction. Some facilities may require the nurse to use m.e. with her initials to indicate medical error or a similar designation. Use the facility guidelines regarding corrections on paper charts. Wite-Out® is never used in the hospital setting. The note should not be thrown away, especially if it has charting by other nurses. Drawing a line through the error saves time in replicating a new form from scratch. Red ink should not be used to draw the line, as all paper charting should be in black, unless otherwise required by the facility.