Easy, dumb, common new grad mistakes

  1. I'm about to start my first real nursing job, and I know that I will forget things, and make some mistakes. I was hoping to start a thread where people could share some common mistakes they've noticed that new grads make. Or just things to remember, personal stores, etc.

    I'd start, but I don't have a clue!
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    About SubSippi

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 937; Likes: 3,349
    from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Quit Floating Me
    Just remember... everyone makes mistakes. When you make a silly mistake do not lie and try to cover it up.
    Nurse on!
  4. by   Esme12
    CONGRATULATIONS! We all make foolish mistakes....orgainzation is key....you need a good brain sheet.......here are a few.

    1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc
  5. by   julz68
    When you hang a piggy back, remember to open the roller clamp!
    That was my first dumb mistake.
  6. by   RN&mom
    If you don't document it, it didn't happen! I know we all learn this but it is sooo true... If someone is shipped to the ER (I work LTC/SNF), & you forget to write a note that they left I'm probably going to come looking for you But documenting has saved my butt with my DON more than once when she said, "where's the proof" and I was able to grab the chart and show her my nursing notes she was thrilled that it was so well documented. Always document what you do. It's your license.
  7. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    1. NEVER doubt your own assessment, even if you were told in report everything was fine

    2. Protect your IV lines! Flush them at the start of each shift. Check them AT LEAST every four hours, AT LEAST hourly if a vesicant is infusing.

    3. Admit you don't know before you try to wing it

    4. Do NOT apologize for calling a physician

    5. Learn the signs of delirium. When those signs definitively appear, check vitals, a blood sugar and bladder scan the patient. Also check if a recent UA & culture, or blood cultures have been sent. You could save a life!

    6. Remember that tech and clerk duties are your responsibility even if they are not your JOB

    7. When you have to pee and do a million other things at work, pee first. Unless you're in a code.

    8. Learn which of your fellow nurses are more helpful and knowledgeable, and make sure to repay them with your assistance.

    9. WRITE IT DOWN, even if you are certain you'll remember

    10. It's okay to laugh and cry with your patients. Really.
  8. by   nurseprnRN
    ^^^^ THIS ^^^^

    Never ascribe to malice what could be accounted for by stupidity.
    Corollary: If you're tough no one will want to chew on you.

    Never go to work in new shoes. Break them in first, or they will break your feet in.

    Remember that even the chief of surgery looks dumb with spinach in his teeth and puts on his socks one at a time. Don't be afraid of him. The days of surgeons rising to positions of leadership by being unremitting jerks are passing.
  9. by   Stcroix
    #1 biggest mistake: NOT asking questions, proceeding without knowing exactly what you are doing!
  10. by   Sun0408
    SBAR before calling the Doc.. Give them the situation and the background. Many times you will get a MD that is not familiar with the pt and they need the back ground info..

    I know it is hard at first calling the MD, I see many new nurses so scared they forgot to get latest vitals, admitting Dx, etc and go straight to the situation.. So try to have all the information in from of you before calling and have the MAR ready..

    If you are ever unsure, get your charge nurse to help you or another experienced staff member.
  11. by   Sun0408
    Quote from julz68
    When you hang a piggy back, remember to open the roller clamp!
    That was my first dumb mistake.
    Experienced staff still make this mistake from time to time
  12. by   not.done.yet
    My biggest two bits of advice having just gotten past the "new grad" stage (19 months in now):

    1. Load your pockets before you hit the floor. Alcohol swabs, blunt tips, a couple of flushes in the cargo pocket, pens, maybe a pill splitter and a white board marker. I wasted a LOT of time as a new grad (and a lot of energy) having to run back and forth to get basic supplies because I didn't have them on my person when I needed them. Once I solved this little personal problem my shifts started to get easier on me.

    2. Delegate any time you are able to. You are going to fear doing it. You may even feel like it is just easier to do it yourself. But once I learned to respectfully and appropriately delegate things REALLY started to fall into place.

    In summary - time management is key.
  13. by   Dodongo
    You are definitely going to make mistakes. Even seasoned nurses make mistakes. It's inevitable. We're all people. However, a new grad should, theoretically, make a few more. Haha. I think it was my second week as a working RN and I was changing my patient's lines - he had a CVC with pressors and sedation and antiarrhythmics infusing through it. What did I do? I flushed the CVC without pulling back waste to clear the lines. I KNOW I KNOW! Yeah.... so the patient went SUPER hypertensive and brady'ed down into the 20s. Almost had to code the poor guy. That was a hard lesson to learn. But, after that, you can bet your arse I was the most careful and questioning new grad there ever was. Haha. Take it easy, ask questions and admit your mistakes. You'll be fine.
  14. by   chatty-cathy
    Mistakes are going to happen, so go easy on yourself when it happens. As a new grad myself I would suggest to ask questions! There is never a dumb question, especially when it comes to patient safety! Things may seem to be overwhelming at times so ask several nurses on your unit for tips on how they are able to handle different situations and how they are able manage their time. You can incorporate their different styles into your own as you start to get your groove and with time things flow a lot smoother. Hang in there!