7 Signs The Joint Commission Is On Your Unit!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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Does your unit suddenly seem much cleaner than usual? Are all the med carts–gasp!–fully stocked for the first time in weeks? Right, the Joint Commission must be on its way!

Which of these signs submitted by our Facebook fans rings the most true to you?

7 signs the Joint Commission is on your unit

1. I hate when State comes in and people you didn’t even know existed start coming out of the woodwork, passing trays and acting like this is normal for them! The patients are looking like, “Who the heck are you?”
Roxanne

2. The supply rooms and med cart are overly stocked…when just a few days before you could not find a medication cup!
Kareen

3. “I don’t know the answer to that, but let me show you where to find the answer…”
Ava

4. I literally stay in my patient’s rooms the entire time JCAHO is in house. Hidden…safe…doing actual patient care…because they don’t go there. TRUTH.
— Melissa

5. The unit is so clean and organized for those days…and no one can ever find anything!

Linda

6. Put the date on the alcohol when you open it. You never know what could grow in there if it’s expired. Bahahahaha!
Karla

7. NO coffee on the med carts! HAHA!
Judy

Nurses…what would you add to the list?! Share in the comments section below.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.
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28 COMMENTS

  1. I was always shocked to find Medicine cabinets actually locked like they should during JHCO visits. Nursing administration will tell us to not act surprised in front of the surveyors if we find locked cabinets. Also saline bags will magically disappear from counter tops (for easy access) in the ED where I worked for 20 years.

  2. Hallways are free of beds. Beds are free of O2 tanks. There are no meds in the rooms, only in the patient specific drawers. No uncovered drinks on the unit. Name tags are not below the waist, but at eye level. And by two days after they are gone it is all back to “normal”.

  3. Even though you checked your supply carts for outdates yesterday, that’s what is laying right on the top of the first cart the surveyor sees when she enters the unit.

    • And way back in the 70’s, we didn’t even lock the med room, just the narcotics cabinet; & we tossed those keys back & forth all day to each other!

    • The instrument racks in the OR sterile core suddenly had the plastic “shower curtain” protective covers on them! You need 3 hands to get a big, heavy wrapped pan of instruments off the rack without dragging it along the shelf, risking a contaminating tear: 2 hands to safely pick up the pan, & 1 hand to hold the curtain up!

  4. Hiding in pt rooms does NOT work – surveyors waited for me to come get a med, then had me ask the pt if they could accompany me to observe the med pass…

  5. How about right before the JACHO visit, we FINALLY meet our VP of Nursing and the Chief Nursing Officer for the first time EVER!
    Also we get a big employee appreciation Pizza order sent to us about 2 weeks prior to the expected visit in order to answer the one question by JACHO: Do you feel supported by your Management?

  6. I like to steer JCHO to the real problems. I have been asked many times in my 30 + yrs in nursing to join the surveyors team. I agree it’s a joke to see the units/staffing so different. I was always taught to clean after company comes. Have your house presentable all the time, do the right things and no worries. Does the survey ever correct the real problems anyway?

  7. You get extra staff to make work easier. Four nurses on a floor seven cnas social workers acting as a Clark. It’s fun to see people coming to you when u don’t call them for help.

  8. I am a retired nurse manager. Thank you all for bringing back memories. I was blessed with knowing that we did not have the problems that seem to exist today, especially staffing…… it even on weekends. We did ‘spruce up a bit’ but there was never a shortage of supplies nor personnel.

  9. IT IS ALSO NOTEWORTHY THAT THE NURSING STAFF SHORTAGE DISAPPEARS AND THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF NURSES WHEN JOINT COMMISSION VISITS THE UNIT,BUT THE NURSING STAFF SHORTAGE REAPPEARS WHEN JOINT COMMISSION LEAVES. THIS IS DISHONEST BEHAVIOR ON THE PART OF NURSING ADMINISTRATION. I HAVE BEEN A NURSE FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS AND I HAVE SEEN THIS MANY TIMES.

  10. It’s appalling to me that in 30 yrs of nursing, the only time things on the unit are up to snuff is when JCHCAO is coming.. Such a bunch of crap!!!

      • 100000000% agree !!!!
        Can anyone tell me why JCHCAO doesn’t know these things or care about it. As far as I’m concerned JCHCAO is just a gimmick for hospitals to help improve their false, deceptive image. Makes me sick, but I must say it is kind of fun watching managers get out of their office and do something :))

  11. Who cares about Joint Commission!!! Your facility PAYS to have Joint Commission surveys for VOLUNTARY accreditation!!! It’s the CMS (aka State) surveyors who control your purse strings AND your tax dollars have already paid for their inspections!! Joint Commission has the authority to only ACCREDIT a facility, not federally CERTIFY it!! CMS surveyors can enter your facility at ANY time, even right after a Joint Commission accreditation survey!

    • My favorite gripe is when management starts quoting JC “regs”. JC has become a marketing thing. They’re initial goal was to get hospitals “up to code” back in the ’50’s.

  12. I also stay in the pt. rooms, they don’t go in there. Some nurses have been known to stay in the bathroom until they have left the floor. The computer systems are all different and the surveyors have no idea what they are looking at, especially if you click thru the screens so fast they have no idea of what they just saw. They don’t know enough to ask questions.

  13. I also stay with the patients. They would never suspect a nurse is really with patients. I have considered wearing an armband and sitting in the TV room. I work psych so we wear street clothes.

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