The development of the Northern Health “Paediatric Resuscitation Scribing Tool” to assist with scribing during resuscitation

Ms Pamela Perera1, Ms Adele Berry1,

1 Northern Health, Epping, Australia

Background: During resuscitation, the scribes` role is to document and provide a true and timely representation of the events in a chronological manner1. In a very challenging and stressful situation, the scribe nurse plays a key role in resuscitation. Junior staffing often results in less senior nurses being relied upon to document during a resuscitation.

Aim: In 2015, from quality performance indicators, a paediatric resuscitation scribing tool was developed to address the identified lack of detailed documentation during a paediatric arrest.

Method: The paediatric scribing tool was developed utilising Northern Health (NH) policy and procedures in accordance with the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines. It involved input from key stakeholders including medical and nursing workforce across quality and safety, paediatrics, critical care, emergency and education.

A pilot chart was developed which follows the A-E approach for the deteriorating patient, Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) algorithms for Northern Health. A tick box approach was utilised to prompt and lead documentation for the scribe.

The chart was trialled for a period of 6 months in the Emergency Department, paediatric ward and neonatal and paediatric nursing workshop.

Conclusion: Post the 6 month trial period, changes were made according to participant’s feedback. This included extra time slots, highlighting blood sugar level and tick boxes for administration of adrenaline and amiodarone. The chart was approved for use within Northern Health in October 2016.


  1. Molan E. (2013). Scribe during emergency department resuscitation: Registered Nurse domain or up for grabs? Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, 45-51.


Pamela Perera is the Paediatric Clinical Nurse Educator for The Northern Hospital. She has a total of 12 years of experience as a nurse, but 8 years of emergency nursing with a post graduate certificate in Critical Care.  She has held positions of a Clinical Nurse Specialist, an ANUM, and Clinical Support Nurse before becoming a Clinical Nurse Educator.