new ward nurse starting out

  1. i am making up some bound index cards to carry with me for when i start out on the ward at a new job.

    as a relatively new 'new grad' what are the types of information that would be useful for me to have close by?

    so far my index cards have all my norm values for basic blood and urine chemistry, haematology, blood glucose stuff for diabetic patients, norm ranges for vitals, some basic general abbreviations, and a list of some general medications alphabeticalized (sp?) so i can look at my list real quick and know right away what it's basically used for.

    i know i need to add in MD's short forms for things, and abbrev's for some surgical procedures, but that is specific to the floor... also i'll need extension numbers (ie., dietary, emerg codes, blah, blah)--again site-specific.

    could you guys pls. email me with any more info?? i'm excited about starting out as a new floor nurse and want to get off to a good start.

    thanks everyone!! you can pm me too!!

    healthyone
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   RNonsense
    ummmm...ok that is an awful lot to be dragging around with you...first of all, where will you be working? Like what area?
  4. by   healthyone
    Actually, no, RNonsense, it really isn't that much to carry around at all!!

    believe it or not but all of that info fits nicely on 4 or 5 index cards and is pretty neat and tidy. i plan to start in med-surg.

    if anyone has any info to share on what else might be a good idea to add to my list i'd really appreciate some positive feedback.

    thanks.
  5. by   Little One2
    I would suggest having your own drug book at hand. Once you find what the common drugs are on the floor, you can try to learn them, put them on index cards.

    Good luck!
  6. by   RNonsense
    Ok...I was going to mention that generally all phone extension no#s are kept at the station, so that's one less thing to carry. Also lab values can vary from hospital to hospital here so you'll need to know what your facililty states, again, they are usually easy to find at the station.
    If you will be on med-surg I would certainly suggest little trouble shooting cards on epidurals, chest-tubes, etc. Even the differences with central lines can be a bit overwhelming so that would be great to have on hand too.
    Good luck to you!
  7. by   healthyone
    thanks everyone...i will have round the drug book i got off ebay and i will add those other headings to my index card about chest tubes, epi's and stuff.

    thanx!
  8. by   Mito
    I have found a spiral laminated notebook called "RN notes" to very helpful and has alot of the information you mentioned and it might be easier to carry.

    Mito
  9. by   canoehead
    Photocopy policies that are used frequently in a smaller binder so you can just grab it.

    Make a list of supplies needed and location for frequent but complex procedures, like central line dressings, for your own quick reference.

    If you have a set of duties that can be completed anytime during the shift, (like nightime paperwork, or refilling glove boxes) make a list of what needs doing for each shift so you can do a little each time you get a minute.

    Find out where the stuff you might need in an emergency is right away, so you'll have no problem finding it ASAP. (code cart, suction, O2 supplies, sterile gloves) And know how to set it up from scratch.
  10. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    Are you not buddy with someone? Orientation to the ward with a buddy. You should be given an orientation checklist of some sort to start and paired with a nurse so that you can see how the dept. works. Routines, patient assignments, etc...Ask....don't be shy. Good luck in your new position
  11. by   Marijke
    How about using a PDA? I know you are just starting out , but there are some really good deals to be found. You can carry an incredible amount of info with you, in a relative small thing. It can hold all the phone numbers you could possibly need. You can make quick notes on things you need to chart. You can set alarms for things you need to remember. It can hold your schedule. You can download all kind of little programs that could serve as reference materials including ePocrates, a very good, free! drug reference program.
    Even if you don't have your own PC, I think you still might find it useful (minus the little programs).
    Good luck with your new job!!!!

    Marijke

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