First Day on the Job!

  1. I am starting my first day tomorrow on a Med/Surg floor as a LVN. Does anyone know what I should expect during my 12 hours. What should I bring with me? I would like to get an idea on what the day to day consist of. How hard is passing meds?...starting an IV for the first time?...putting a Foley in?..any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   wearyLPN
    I work long term care, I know Med/Surg is quite different but I would say for starters...

    I keep a small bag on my med cart with the following things:
    A black pen
    A red pen
    A green pen
    A yellow highlighter
    a small pad of post its
    hand cream (don't share)
    a small stapler
    a single hole punch
    my LPN notes reference guide
    gum
    I also have a small memo pad for generic notes; things I want to look up when I get home that I encountered during my shift that maybe I feel I need to know more about. (No names though, if you lose it that is some trouble.)

    I keep in my pocket:
    A black pen
    My own scissors (Watch it doesn't grow legs)
    Alcohol pads (you will use these ALL the time)
    My patient info sheet
    My stethescope (because most hospital steths are kind of generic) I like my good one.

    Anyway, Probably nothing there you hadn't already thought of. Take a deep breath and do NOT let things overwhelm you. If you do your day will fall apart. If you are not certain, ask. If you need help, ask.

    I did not think med pass was hard so to speak but more so nerve racking. LOL What I mean is the ID part. You need to make sure you have the right resident. Until I know a face, I am worried even after checking a band.

    When I first started I used to panic when I would see it was 6:30 and I still had several patients to see with meds yet. I'd go into a room and forget my thermometer or some such, gotta go get one that just takes more time. Keep your head and you will do well. Actually quite quickly you will get your own routine.

    Inserting a foley is something I only got to do once in school. I was so worried that I would not remember or that I would miss the 'entrance'. I can honestly say I have many under my belt now and its really pretty easy.

    I am IV certified but have yet to start an IV. Good luck with that, let me know how you do.
  4. by   Med/SurgLVN
    Thank you....this is a huge help...wish me luck! what is a LPN notes reference guide?
  5. by   Jules A
    Just wanted to wish you a great first day! Jules
  6. by   wearyLPN
    Its a little spiral bound booklet that contains things like...

    The normal limit of lab values
    Your options/locations for inserting an IV
    s/s of certain common illnesses
    Some medical definitions
    and SOOO much more.

    It's pocket size which is nice.

    Take a look here...

    http://www.fadavis.com/online_store/...cation_id=2095

    One last tip. Ok, two actually. :chuckle NEVER, EVER sign onto or off of a cart before counting your NARC's with the previous or oncoming nurse.

    Ok, secondly, Make sure you know where everything is that you need for med pass. Things that slowed me down in the beginning were...

    Where is the PRN tylenol? Some places have individual punch cards for the residents in the PRN drawer. Others have just a bottle of generic which can be anywhere from the side of the cart to behind all the med cards in ANY drawer. Do they keep the nebulizer treatments in the cart or in the med room OR in the med room refridgerator? I have seen it all three ways. Also, where is your insulin? In the med room refridgerator (where I was taught it should be) or in the cart, you would be surprised. I work in one place that keeps it in the cart. You actually have to DEFLATE the bottle of air before you can start your process for drawing up your insulin. These were the biggest time sucks for me when I first started. I hope this helps.
    Last edit by wearyLPN on Jan 26, '07
  7. by   Med/SurgLVN
    Thank you...I just ordered the book. First two days went great...stressful but exciting. The Nurse who is training me is wonderful, he is very patient...every pun indented! I have been a LVN for 9 years but this is my first Acute Care setting. Very different from a Doctor Office setting. We had one baby (18 days) not doing so hot so everyone was called. Very scary. The babies were I work have their own Nurses but we all help out if needed. She was transfered to a level 1 trauma center which was interesting...the first Paramedics wouldn't take her...said she needed a transport team...The baby's Nurse laughed and said around here that would be me praying in the back! The baby finally got where she needed to be...and I learned a lot. Passing Meds was a comedy routine...I've never passed meds in my life...took me an hour to do Accu checks and insulin injections for five people. Counting meds was also scary but thankfully come out fine. I worked two days, 12 hour shifts and felt like I never went home. I have no idea if I'll make the grade or not...but I am going to give it my best shot. I am very shy and that seems to be a big draw back which I will have to work on. PS...we do keep our Regular Insulin in the Med draw...it seem to draw up Ok...hummmm!!!
  8. by   CantWait2Nurse
    Hello
    I started LPN program about a month ago but our instructors are already talking about clinicals/externship. I thought that this was done strictly for experience but one of my classmates thought we got paid (a lot less but something) by the hospital while on externship. Someone else thought that only RN nursing students get paid. We are all confused can one of you shed some light on the situation please?
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from CantWait2Nurse
    Hello
    I started LPN program about a month ago but our instructors are already talking about clinicals/externship. I thought that this was done strictly for experience but one of my classmates thought we got paid (a lot less but something) by the hospital while on externship. Someone else thought that only RN nursing students get paid. We are all confused can one of you shed some light on the situation please?

    As far as I know, no nursing program will place their students on payroll. Clinical is strictly for the experience or corralation of the theory and lab practices you have done. NEVER do anything without prior knowledge and consent from your clinical instructor...not even give an aspirin. You will performing under the license of that instructor, so, if you make a mistake, she has to answer for it. Many schools mandate that their students purchase student malpractice insurance. STILL...keep in mind that the clinical nurse is liable for your mistake, so, do nothing without her permission. There is usually a pre-conference, where the instructor sets the focus of the day, and the post conference, where experiences are discussed. Nah....no pay, my friend...may be plenty of action, but no pay. Best wishes to you and your class!
  10. by   wearyLPN
    Correct! You are slave labor for 12-24 months depending on what school you are in. Get ready to be a GRUNT! umpiron:

    I am SO glad my 12 months are in!!
  11. by   wearyLPN
    Med/Surg Congratulations on your excellent first day!!
  12. by   Med/SurgLVN
    Thank you...feeling a little more relaxed now! Although I thought I had misplaced a pill and about needed the CPR....had my first code blue but everyone was wondeful...the code team got me through..and my patient got to ICU breathing on her own..which was awesome! Everyday I learn something new...it's been a balst...thanks again!
  13. by   luv2shop19mall
    well you do need to bring your own pen becuz they have no pens anywhere and highlighters pts info and my lvn thats triaining me has no patience. but the other nurse overwhelemed me in one day where i looked like i was going to pass out. i work for a alzheimers locked facility. the residents are nice and i try to be a good nurse. but i see others .. and they are not the type of nurse i would want when i get sick.

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