New nurse- things you wish you knew when you started.

  1. 0
    Please share something you wish you had known when you started or something you learned really quick afterwards that would have been helpful in the beginning. Thank you! Ps. I start my first job Monday-extremely nervous.
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 5
    Put the bed up. It doesn't hurt now but it will soon enough! Know where emergency equipment is now. Intubation kit, emergency trach kit, central line imsertion supplies , chest tubes etc. People always say " you won't be alone " etc but I have had many shifts where most of the nurses were brand new so you weren't alone but no one knew much more than you either.
    maydaysvp, amoLucia, SillyStudent, and 2 others like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from anotherone
    Put the bed up. It doesn't hurt now but it will soon enough! Know where emergency equipment is now. Intubation kit, emergency trach kit, central line imsertion supplies , chest tubes etc. People always say " you won't be alone " etc but I have had many shifts where most of the nurses were brand new so you weren't alone but no one knew much more than you either.
    this is very helpful. take note of this..
    anotherone likes this.
  6. 4
    It's not nursing school. They will not expel you for being 5 minutes off on a finger stick, med, or VS. you are allowed to ask for help, and no one will think less of you or fire you for it (again, not nursing school). Also, don't be afraid to call the doc and say "I accidentally gave ___ instead of ___ ." 99% of the time the answer is "ok just keep an eye on them and call if they have problems." Because... Not Nursing School.
    lovedijah, WeepingAngel, anotherone, and 1 other like this.
  7. 7
    I remember that the best lesson I learned my first year was that I really did NOT have to know everything. Knowing how to keep my patient safe was the most important thing and still is. The rest - know whom to ask or where to find references.
  8. 1
    I learned very quickly how to go about contacting doctors about a change in patient condition.
    After a few rambling, barely coherent calls lacking the data I need, I soon learned how to summarize exactly what is wrong, have updated vital signs and most recent meds given available.
    These days for new grads, there is more actual teaching on how to communicate.
    nrsang97 likes this.
  9. 3
    I wish I'd been able to tell early on what and what does not constitute an emergency. Patient not breathing? Run. O2 sat in 50s? Run. Patient wanted their Percocet 20 minutes ago? NOT an emergency.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions. It doesn't make you look stupid.
    lovedijah, anotherone, and nrsang97 like this.
  10. 0
    It seems the simple things trip us up as new grads.. If you put the bed up so you don't have to bend Please put in back in low position and make sure it is locked.. I can not tell you the number of times I have seen the bed left high up.. Wheelchairs have locks on both sides, use them. If you can, avoid an IV in the AC, cool in the ED, not cool on the floor and it beeps all night long.. If the pt has high BP check the MAR for covered meds before calling the doc.. No, you can't give a 1000ml bolus to a pt with fluids that have K added because that's what the pt had hanging..

    All true stories from either myself or my co-workers
  11. 5
    Oh, and learn how to give a good report. I hate covering banalities ad nauseum and then discovering Major Issues later.

    Don't be shy about taking breaks. You need to eat and be hydrated.
    nrsang97, RNperdiem, noyesno, and 2 others like this.
  12. 2
    Learn to listen to that little voice inside you - it's trying to tell you something important.
    nrsang97 and Mandychelle79 like this.


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