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Accuracy in work, a primary essential to the nurse, can become automatic
if she will demand of herself accuracy of perception, and concentrate on
learning and doing until details almost take care of themselves; if she
will correct her own work by the standards taught her, and recognize
just why and wherein she falls short. Not that she can always do things
with the nicety in which they were taught. She cannot give eighteen ward
patients in eight hours the same detailed care her private patients
would receive if she had only two of them for the same length of time.
In such a case she must often sacrifice refinements of detail in
service; but there is no excuse for sacrificing accuracy in the
necessary treatments of her charges. The nurse merely chooses between
the multitude of things which can be done for her ward, the important
ones which must be done. Because she is rushed is no excuse for giving a
poor hypodermic injection or a careless bed-bath. Accuracy in doing the
essential things should be so automatic that it takes not a whit more
time than inaccurate doing; and such accuracy is chiefly dependent on
constant self-correction when the task is still new, and on never
letting up in practice until the details of the doing become practically

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