For covering IV sites when adults take a shower: Use glove or plastic bag with bottom cut open like a tube, depending on where the IV site is. Wrap/seal the ends of this stuff with foam micropore tape, the 2 inch wide stuff. It's a lot closer to waterproof than transpore and it doesn't yank all the hair off. Actually I think it absorbs the water and keeps it, so it comes off really easily after the shower, and you get dry IV sites! It is not insanely gummy so if you taped it over an IV line for a drip that you couldn't d/c for twenty minutes, you don't mess up your line or pull it out when untaping it.
If you have someone who happens to have long hair and hasn't washed in months, with umm, a giant mat of felt hanging off their head... oily products work as conditioner. Our facility stocks shampoo but not conditioner. Mayonnaise, baby oil... will work so they don't have to yank all their hair out after a wash.
Coca-Cola or grape juice take away the bad taste of mucomyst.
When we were in school most of the teachers wanted us to have things in our pockets, but there was one that made us go back to the store and buy a pair of hemostats. Never, EVER try to work without 'em. There's a million different ways things can get stuck so that you need a tiny little wrench or pliers to get 'em unstuck.
Check the wall suction before you turn it on with the NGT hooked up for the first time. Check to make sure it's not turned on as high as possible, and that it actually works. (Things we learn the hard way for $100, Alex...)
Don't assume your patient is fulla crap just because the things they tell you seem unbelievable and they happen to be in their eighties. Sometimes there's more truth than crap, and people can surprise you.
Involving the patient in their treatment and plan of care is a good idea except for when you're dealing with the manipulative psychotic. Of course, they don't all wear signs that say "Hi, anything you say will cause me to find a way to make you work harder for absolutely no reason other than my own pleasure!" but if you do see that happening, there are things you can do to regain your own sanity: Don't make the slightest suggestion that other people can do more for the patient, because you'll wind up having to call your supervisor. Don't make any reference to other things that may be wrong with the patient, because they'll suddenly be wrong. This only applies to very specific patients, and if you get one, you'll know what I mean. Also, if you get one, don't let it make you too upset; just because your communication skills may work against you with that patient doesn't mean you need to rethink everything.
Also, when dealing with people that easily lend themselves to being labeled, i.e., drug seeker, schizo, alcoholic, (insert label here), don't forget that even they have actual health problems and acute situations from time to time, and need actual drugs and/or TLC to get through the problem.
When giving tranxene protocol to a patient, remember to question not only the patient but also family if they are available, to find out how much they actually drink. The idea is not to give them all the tranxene we possibly can, and sometimes not all of the tranxene that is prescribed, either. I've had overmedicated alcoholics and that's not good.
When dealing with people who have terminal conditions, sweetness and light isn't always what the patient may want out of you. I once told a cancer patient some very morbid stories of some of my previous terminal patients, and I had no idea why I was even telling her those things... they certainly weren't "light conversation." She reached up and hugged me, and thanked me for sharing. It's certainly okay, sometimes, with adults, to be serious.
When someone hits a call light and says anything resembling "mess", "blood" or "whoa", grab the IV tray and some towels on the way to their room. Nine times out of ten you'll need it.
When a family member blurts out "mother has been in restraints before for psychotic episodes when she was in the hospital" just before running out of the room, take that as a prophetic warning.
Don't buy cheap shoes just because they are cute and on sale.