Use this foolproof way to avoid losing resources

Do you find that paper resources such as measurement tapes, dosage charts, and clinical pathways often are missing in your ED? If so, try enclosing these items in two panels of an 1/8-inch thick plastic, suggests Teri Howick, RN, nurse educator for the ED at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, UT.

At Howick’s ED, locating a pediatric measurement tape frequently was a problem, she explains. "We were always losing it because it got slipped into a pocket or was left on the sheets and went out with the dirty linen," she says. "The tapes are quite pricey."

To solve the problem, the facility’s engineering department obtained clear Lucite panels, cut two pieces the length and width of the extended measuring tape with a quarter-inch margin around the edges, glued the two pieces together at the bottom and both sides, and left the top off so the tape could slide in.

A hole was drilled in the top so the tape can be hung on the wall when it’s not in use. It also can be stood in the corner or laid on a stretcher by a child as needed, says Howick. "This makes it impossible to fold up and put into a pocket, so it is more like a giant yardstick," she says. "We haven’t lost a single one since."

[Editor’s note: For more information, contact Teri Howick, RN, Nurse Educator, Emergency Department, McKay Dee Hospital, 4401 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: (801) 387-2286. Fax: (801) 387-2244. E-mail:]