Hospital facilities can be hectic – it’s no surprise some nurses forget to indicate am or pm in their records. So, do hospitals use military time?
The simple answer is Yes. This format shows the exact time for purposes of precision and simplification.
If some medication is due by 7:00 p.m., the records should read 1900 hours. This format promotes the safety and efficiency of operations.
Nurses can’t work the whole day. They need to keep clear medical records for those on the next shift.
More specifically, they must record the dosage times and patient behavior accurately.
With military time, it’s easier to figure out what happened during the day.
One of the reasons medical professionals choose military time is to avoid fatal mistakes. For instance, someone can change 3 pm to am.
But if the chart records 15:00, there’s little room for error.
If a patient has to be transferred to a hospital, accurate recording keeping avoids misunderstandings.
In military time, we use the `hundred’ multiplier for hours.
During emergencies, nurses must record accurate time before a patient goes to the nearest hospital.
If he’s severely hurt, military time will ensure a consistent flow of information.
Patients who need blood transfusions must have accurate record-keeping. And because transfusions can take hours, healthcare professionals must state when the process started.
There should also be a clear schedule for the next treatment.
If you want to write 1230 in military hours, it should be 0030.
Maybe you’re curious about how to read this. You say `zero thirty hours’.
Once you understand how to use military time, it will become second nature.
If you work in a medical facility, you may want to set the computer clock in the 24-hour format. This is what will guide your daily routines.
If you’re still curious about how the military time format works, stay `clocked’ in the entire article.
Table of Contents
Do Nurses Use Military Time?
When working as a nurse, military time is of the essence.
These professionals work around shifts, so one should choose a timepiece that works for them.
That way, you can pick up the job where the other nurse left.
Imagine you work in the ICU, and a patient needs to take medication at 6:00 p.m.
The other nurse comes in for the shift 15 minutes before time and must administer the medication.
The system of am/pm can bring confusion, so you must avoid it when giving medications.
Ambiguity can lead someone to the wrong path, so the 24-hour military system minimizes errors.
Have you ever heard of the military going to a morning battle during afternoon hours? The answer is a definite NO.
Military time prevents ambiguity in medical history.
Normally, the conversion of AM to military time involves removing a semi-colon and adding a zero.
To convert the PM time, you remove the semi-colon and add 1200 to the time.
The first 24 hours of the day are the same but written differently.
For instance, 7:00 a.m. is written as 0700 hours. At night, 7:00 p.m. is written as 1900 hours. I’m sure you can see the difference.
In the regular format, the digits start from 12- 24 hours.
Since military time doesn’t recognize this format, you’ll often hear `zeros’ and `hours’ in pronunciation. This is considered more diplomatic.
See also: Can You Be a Nurse in the Marines
Why Do Hospitals Use Military Time?
Hospitals use military time, as it eliminates the confusion in the morning and afternoon hours.
Think about it – have you ever been late for work for accidentally setting your alarm in pm rather than am hours?
With military time, such confusion can never repeat itself.
One of the benefits of military time is making things crystal clear. Plus, it won’t take much time to get accustomed to either.
Medical records in military time format are considered official in a court of law.
If you’re not used to this format, you should practice from noon to midnight until you get everything right. Ready to tell time like a soldier?
How To Use Military Time?
In military time, the day starts at 0000hrs(midnight). So, the last minute of a specific day is 11:59 p.m., denoted as 23:59.
That means midnight can also be written as 2400. If the doctor states a patient should take drugs at 5 p.m., he will indicate 1700 hours in the chart.
If you start your shift and you ought to give a patient some medicine at 8 am, the last nurse should record 0800 hrs.
Any time between 0001 and 1159 is am.
For instance, 1 am is written as 0100.
This is pronounced as zero one hundred. In contrast, anything between 1201 and 2359 is pm.
For example, 1 pm is written as 1300. This time is pronounced as `thirteen hundred’.
When writing in military time, there’s no minutes’ separator.
The leading zeros must be written out for the AM. This method prevents duplication of medications for those on the next shift.
You can also use military time from a different angle. The first two digits read the hours, while the remaining two are minutes.
All hours under ten must have a zero in front. But again, you read the minutes in standard time.
For example, if the last two digits are 00, you should add a hundred hours.
At 0700, you read as zero seven hundred hours. To put it succinctly, you read everything as it is.
If the time is 1805, you read `eighteen zero five’. If it’s 1845 hours, you read `eighteen four-five hours’.
Another tip to keep to your sleeves when converting the hours is that when an hour is above 1200, you subtract from 1200.
Let’s take, for example, 1300 hours. This is 1 p.m. in a 12-hour format (equating to standard time).
Conclusion: Do Nurses Use Military Time?
In a hospital setting, accuracy is non-negotiable. To ensure large groups work together, military time avoids the am/pm confusion.
This makes it easy to plan and coordinate shift changes. It also prevents errors, like the overlap of doses.
That said, converting military time to standard is easy- most watches can view both 12 and 24-hour formats.
Once you master military time, you’ll never look back.
Related articles of ours:
- Is Nursing a Public Service Job
- How Do You Handle Stress Nursing Interview Question
- Why Do Nurses Work 12 Hour Shifts?
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