Tips for new nurses to protect license

  1. I am a new nurse and wanted to know what are some quick tips for new nurses to know that many make mistakes on, so that they can protect their license.
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    About willdgate

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 334; Likes: 4
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    22 Comments

  3. by   RNKay31
    OMG! I was wondering on this too, this is the very same thoughts that are pondering through my head, we work too hard for our license, and we have to work hard to keep it, good topic.
  4. by   LeesieBug
    Ummmm...
    1) Don't do anything stupid enough to kill/premanently disable someone
    2)Say a prayer everyday before you go to work asking God to help you make good choices.
    3) ASK QUESTIONS about EVERYTHING you are uncertain of, even if your fellow nurses start to hide in the dirty utility room when they see you coming.
    4) Actually READ the policy and procedure manuals/refer to them....know legal scope of practice.

    That's honestly my best advice as a fellow new grad, 4 months into the fire.

    Maybe experienced nurses can add something more specific/constructive.
    Last edit by LeesieBug on Oct 23, '06
  5. by   Darlene K.
    1. Check your patient(s) arm band everytime.

    2. When you take medication from the pixis - take the time to look at it, make sure it's the correct medication. Pharmacy isn't perfect, I have found many medications in the wrong bin of a pixis.

    3. Be extra careful when dealing with narcotics. Don't witness a waste, that you didn't witness.
  6. by   willdgate
    never change...I want to know what are some tips that many nurses mess up on that new nurses should learn not to do.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    1) Document.
    2) Document.
    3) DOCUMENT!!!

    None of us likes all the paperwork involved in nursing, but try thinking of your documentation as giving yourself credit for all the good work you're doing.

    Also, ALWAYS be objective---just the facts, Ma'am, as Sgt. Friday used to say. State that you "found Mrs. XX on the floor", not that "she fell" unless you personally witnessed her abrupt descent to the carpet. And whatever you do, avoid using negative terms to refer to the patient or anyone involved in his/her care; you don't want to be in a court of law five years from now with an overhead of your nurse's notes in letters six inches high: "Mr. Y was loud and obnoxious, yelling at the staff who was not responding to his complaints"

    Just a few words to the wise............ Documentation---or the lack thereof---is one of the most common areas where both new AND used nurses make mistakes. Good luck to you!
  8. by   Mudwoman
    Medication orders. Check it once, twice, three times. Med errors can kill people. Do you take a blood pressure on your patient before you give a blood pressure medication? Do you take a pulse before giving Digoxin? Do you check dosages? Do you check what other medications are contraindicated? Had an order for a patient that was Glucotrol XL 10 mg 2 tablets BID. Another nurse said that Glucotrol was the same as Glyburide which we had in stock as 2.5 mg tablets. Another nurse believed her and gave 8 tablets of the Glyburide for the Glucotrol. How stupid is that.

    The other thing is taking medication that is supposed to be for the patient. I have seen many a talented nurse loose a license for doing narcotic drugs.
  9. by   busyernurse
    Reply to willdgate -- hey, hope this helps some. I finished LPN school in 1991, and graduated RN in 1996. I worked as a medical records clerk, ward clerk, and CNA prior to graduation from nsg school, and some of these included I wish someone would have enlightened us as we were finishing nsg school. Please take them with a grain of salt, but I hope some, or any of them may help spare you or another fresh nurses some of the same mistakes that others of us have made!!

    1. Remember every morning when getting ready for work, your reason for going to nsg school. As you may have noticed, some co-workers can be catty, and "difficult" at times to work with, or to go to for assistance. Please don't let that person get in your way of caring for your patients.

    2. Please don't let the person desrcibed in number 1 make you feel stupid for asking questions. The only stupid question is the one that you did not ask. Sometimes the question you are afraid to ask may be one that could save the patients life.

    3. Please always be careful with narcotics, if your facility uses pyxis or something similar, make sure your wastage and documentation is correct. Watch the other nurse waste her med, and make sure she/he watches you also.

    4. Try not to procrastinate if possible. I have been working after report more times than I want to count due to the fact I put off wound care, or restarting an iv access and a new admit came, or someone crashed.

    5. I know it's hard a lot of the time to just drop what you are doing to eat, or even pee. You need to be able to at least eat something if you cant take a "lunch break". I try to keep in my locker or in my tote bag some halfway nutritional snacks, finger food, or just something you can grab on the run. I'm still bad about this at times. My husband who is one of the day nsg. sipervisors has to remind me when I get too strung out.

    6. If you have a really bad day, or trauma, code, ect, is good to try to have a kind of debriefing afterwards. Verbalizing questions, feelings, or fears will always help when you have an emotional day or hour. It may sound silly, but after I transferred to the ER, I saw how beneficial they were.

    7. Relax and remember to keep posting on the site -- it helps to get opinions from an impartial source.

    Good luck to you! Anne
  10. by   am17sg05
    1.before coming in,say a little prayer.2.good,accurate,comprehensive documentation.3.remember to do all the rights in giving meds.4.try the best way you can to be cool even if the environment is stressful because the more you commit an error.
  11. by   am17sg05
    i think it is the medication.always remember to do all the rights in giving meds.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    After 10 years in a busy ER and having to go to court several times, it has been my experience that being handed a chart that you have written and being asked to read it verbatim in court can be brutal!

    Documentation will save you every single time or crucify you too.

    Even now, as an APN I chart and document as much as I absolutely can. You have no idea how stressful it is to give verbal orders over the phone when you are relying on someone else's assessment of the patient.

    Again...documentation will save you!
  13. by   RNinSoCal
    Know the Policy and Procedures for your facility and document. If your policy on restraints is check pt and chart Q2 then do it. If your policy for PCA pumps is chart Q4 and vitals Q4, do it. I can't believe how many nurses ignore the fact that there is protection in following policy and procedure. And always chart MD interactions whether in person or by phone.
    Basically as the above posters said Document everything, be objective, KNOW your policy and procedures manual and follow it!!!!
  14. by   RNKay31
    Quote from LeesieBug
    Ummmm...
    1) Don't do anything stupid enough to kill/premanently disable someone
    2)Say a prayer everyday before you go to work asking God to help you make good choices.
    3) ASK QUESTIONS about EVERYTHING you are uncertain of, even if your fellow nurses start to hide in the dirty utility room when they see you coming.
    4) Actually READ the policy and procedure manuals/refer to them....know legal scope of practice.

    That's honestly my best advice as a fellow new grad, 4 months into the fire.

    Maybe experienced nurses can add something more specific/constructive.
    That is true, always say a prayer before you start, I always say a prayer every morning before I start, good post.

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