Everyday Cheat Sheet??

  1. Hi everyone!! I am a new nurse that just got hired to a med/surg floor. I wanted to make a "cheat sheet" for important information I should always have on hand such as important extensions, some labs, ect... Is there anything that the more seasoned nurses can advise for me to put on my cheat sheet that I may find handy?? Thanks everyone!!
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    About RoxyChic

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 23; Likes: 8
    from US


  3. by   Cuddleswithpuddles
    Hi Amanda_NJ_RN,

    Congratulations on landing the job!

    I love the Davis series of pocket reference books:


    Also have a drug book handy. My favorite also happens to be by Davis. I also use Epocrates app on my HTC Incredible phone. It is free, very reliable and easy to use. It does not go into nursing interventions specifically like the Davis Drug Guide does but you can do well enough with critical thinking.

    Good luck!
  4. by   nerdtonurse?
    On a 5x8 index card, I put important phone #s (ER, lab, blood bank, radiology, dietary, faxes, and the different extensions in the unit). Doc's pagers. Critical lab values per facility lab (some hospitals say you have to notify the MD if X>Y within 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc., know your facility's policies). What tests make a person NPO, NPO past midnight, early light tray, etc. Creatinine clearance needed for specific tests. I work nights, so I tried to put the data you needed when there was nobody around to ask. "laminated" it with wide clear tape, kept writing things I needed to add on the back.

    Over time, as the card got full, I went to a small 3x5 card spiral bound card pack, which had 5 different colors of 3x5 cards. I made Docs one color (page with phones/pagers, page with what which doc wants in the room for specific bedside procedures, things like their glove sizes, picky things they want for specific situations). Another color was for procedures -- what you had to be NPO for, specific dietary or medical requirements (hold that metformin!) and numbers to all the different areas (endoscopy, same day surg, radiology, etc.). What we did the consents/check sheets for, what was done by the specific area (cath lab wanted us to do it, endoscopy wanted to do their own). For the 3rd color, I put all the cardiac "stuff" -- 1st degree is PR interval > .20, what it can be caused by (hypokalemia, inferior MI, myocarditis, etc.), and I taped a sample of a telemetry strip (no name, of course). Specific stuff for specific meds -- Cardizem can go IV, hydralazine will decrease BP without increasing HR, just whatever.

    The trick is, start small, and add as you go; keeps you from getting a lot of data you don't actually use cluttering things up. By the time I left my first hospital, they took my little 3x5 card notebook and were making copies of it as a new hire handout.
  5. by   Good Morning, Gil
    I second that, and I'm not really that seasoned lol, just know it's annoying if you don't have phone numbers in a handy place. Definitely important phone numbers, most frequently used phone numbers. Actually, have you started yet? You may find your unit already has something in place for the RN's. My unit's nursing report sheet has important labs, and hemodynamic norms, CVP, etc all listed on the side. It's nice b/c as I get report, I can just write the pt's abnormals next to the normals, and have a quick glance at my pt's status. That way it keeps you from having a bunch of different sheets flying around. Important info and everything from previous report, and my assessment are all on one page! I definitely recommend a little pocket notebook to scribble things down that you might not get to chart right away (you may not always have your clipboard handy. I prefer my little notebook when assessing patients b/c I find that I leave my clipboard in the patients' room otherwise. I use my clipboard mainly at the beg. of the shift, and at the end of my shift to give report, and just to glance at whenever I need info (I leave it on my computer; that way it doesn't get lost. You'll find what works for you, though. Everybody has their own system.

    Congrats on landing a job, and good luck! You will learn so much!
  6. by   nursenotamaid
    Important extensions, codes to doors, etc... I have written on a piece of tape on the back of my badge.

    Labs levels, etc... - I keep google in my pocket.
  7. by   KneKno
    It's really just a fancy way to fold a sheet of paper to make a little 6 page book. I have the info I like in small font saved in my documents and just paste and copy what I want--Unit specific numbers (manager, charge, all the phones) are on the front, hospital numbers on the back (all units and the charge nurse, xray, lab, OR, PACU, phlebotomy, CRNA); my middle pages are ICU gtt and coronary artery info, and a blank page.
    I like that I can change things easily, and I keep a few extras in my locker for when the paper gets too shredded up.
  8. by   RoxyChic
    Thanks for all the advice everyone!! I'm going to have awesome cheat sheets now!!
  9. by   turnforthenurse
    As far as numbers, I just have a piece of tape on the back of my badge with numbers that I call the most often on it (hospitalist's pager number, a MD's number who frequently has patients on our unit, number to lab, nursing supervisor number, door codes to open all doors and the doors to the ICU, etc). On my clipboard I have a photocopy of all of our numbers for an additional reference. My clipboard is kind of messy because I am slowly starting accumulate papers to put on there, but I also have an insulin sheet (with onset/peak/duration, helpful for teaching, too!), our STEMI algorithm, a cheat sheet with all the lab tubes and which test goes with which tube (lab comes to draw our labs on my floor unless the patient has a central line or something), a sheet of common ICU drugs with concentrations and adult dosing guides by policy (found this in the ER one night and I made copies for my clipboard) and a sheet of vital signs by age group for pediatric patients (which I find I am taking care of when I get floated to the ER!) I also carry my iPod touch with me that has Micromedex, RN Nursing Essentials and Nurse Tabs (the latter two were not free, I think they were around $10 but I can't remember), DrugInfusion app, ABG analysis app and Lab Values app. I also carry a nursing drug book as an additional reference and some other reference guide as well.