How do experienced nurses do it to memorize everything? - page 3

by NursingBro

7,785 Views | 30 Comments

Tomorrow is my third day of orientation and I want to show them I can be a great nurse even though I am very new. How do you experienced nurses remember at what time all patients were sitting, out of bed, and all information... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from NursingBro
    I am learning so much on allnurses.com

    Can anyone fill this up with dummy info? I want to see what type of information experienced nurses would put.

    Room: 230
    Age: 57
    MD: Dr. Smith

    Dx: s/p open ex-lap

    V/S: q4
    Wgt: 10. k
    I&O: no
    Accu Check: no
    Lab: CBC q qm
    Xray: no
    Diet: Regular
    Activity: oob w assist
    Weight Bearing full:

    Precautions: confused after MN
    Thigh & Calf: ?
    CPM: n/a
    Bowel:Bladder: LBM yesterday, small formed
    voiding qs, offer urinal at nite r/t confusion
    Ortho floor, I gather!
  2. 0
    I write vitals, blood sugars, PRNs, dressing changes (as in): dsg 2000, adaptic, mepitel, Tyl ES X 2 1930. Short and sweet. I have many residents to remember, but I also don't want my "brain" cluttered.
  3. 0
    I take report on the census sheet listing my assignment - it already has name, DOB, MD, Dx and consults. I have a system for what info goes where in each section - diet, activity, code status, labs (abnormals only), assessment, etc.

    At the bottom (if there is at least an inch of blank space) I make 4 sections (or a however many patients I have, usu not more than 5)and label one with each bed. Here I note med and BS times, and can scratch charting reminders if I don't chart something in real time. I am trying VERY HARD to chart in real time - it slows me down in the morning, but I am always glad I did it by lunch time.

    My most important tool is my highlighter - I highlight things from report that I need to do or address during my shift (abnormal lab follow up, new IV, coumadin order, dressing change, which MD I need to chase down for another MD because-apparently-they-can't-call-each-other, etc)
  4. 2
    I always find it most helpful to chart as I go, that way I don't have to worry about what I did 12 hrs ago, however, I only ever worked ICU with 2 pt max, so have never taken care of 6-8 pts in a single shift
    SoldierNurse22 and Aurora77 like this.
  5. 0
    It's about experience. In due time, a lot of it will become like second nature to you. There is NO rushing it. There is only learning well, one step at a time. What I liked was looking for information related to the kinds of patients I had had during a particular week. And this was in the days before Internet. I was in the hospital or university library learning what I could. I also had some good mentors. But there is just no replacement for experience + continued learning/(over) time. Rushing it is harmful. Start with the basics in terms of assessment and safety and the nursing process. It will come in time.
  6. 0
    Also, there is a moderator on this site that has some great report and organizational sheets for new nurses. She's really nice, but I'm fried and I can't rember her name right now. I'll think of it.
  7. 0
    Got it. Her name is Esme12 . She's a mod here, and I've seen her post some really sweet "helps" sheets more than a couple of times.


    Ooops! LOL

    I scrolled back and saw that she already beat me to it. Look at her Word file sheets. Good stuff!
  8. 1
    After you develop a routine, it gets a lot easier to remember the things you did.
    BrandonLPN likes this.
  9. 0
    I depend on my brain sheet too, but it helps to only concentrate on the abnormals. If a pt has a CBC and CMP, I don't waste brain cells worrying about a WNL CBC when I have a K+ of 2.9. The exception to this is lab values or VS that I need to know before medicating a pt. If I'm giving a pt dig or cardiac drugs, I make a mental note of their pulse and/or BP. If the pt gets warfarin, I make a mental note of their INR. I don't consciously remember or ignore any facts; my brain just seems to automatically weed out the information I don't need.

    It comes with practice. Don't sweat it; at first, just write down everything you think you'll need to remember. In time, you'll find that you remembered without looking at your brain. When I first started as an RN, I was amazed at how much information everybody could remember. My head spun even when writing everything down. Now it's just second nature. You'll get there too.
  10. 0
    once you get report from the prior nurse and go ahead and make your rounds and put a face to a name you will remember whats going on with that pt. just do what has been posted prior. like on my report sheet that I took from the other nurse I will write silly little reminders about what happened that day and what tests were done and vitals and so forth. majors I always write down because then at the end of the shift its easier to write my nurses note or pass on all necessary info to the nurse. You will get the hang of it. We all do. And when your getting report ask questions ?!!?!? It will help you.


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