What are the huge "DO NOT EVER DO" things that new nurses need to know about? calling

  1. I am graduating in a few days, and off to be a new registered nurse. I would love to hear from experienced nurses about the "BIG" things that they need to remember or the things they try to avoid. Medication tips, or how to deal with patients...anything would be helpful, and thank you !!
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    About katiebugg

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 46; Likes: 3
    RN
    Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience

    157 Comments

  3. by   Imafloat
    Always check your meds, never pretend to know something you don't.
  4. by   Cattitude
    Do not ever act like any task is beneath you. But also do not let anyone take advantage of you either.
  5. by   RunnerRN
    Just remember that you're going to experience a certain level of discomfort (mental) as you learn how to do your new job. BUT there is a big difference from being uncomfortable with a patient because you are new, and having that gut reaction go off when a patient is not doing well. Trust your gut, and never be afraid to grab one of the more experienced nurses to double check your assessment. I still do it occasionally.
    Good luck and congrats!
  6. by   santhony44
    Don't ever blow off a patient when they ask about the meds you're about to give. If a patient says "I don't think I'm supposed to take that pink pill" then take the time to investigate. It could be a new med the doctor ordered, it could be a different color generic than the patient takes at home, and it just could be an error.

    I'll second WeeBaby, don't pretend to know something you don't. Remember that you can learn something from everyone, right down to housekeeping and dietary.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. You're not going to learn everything at once, and you're not going to be able to function like an experienced nurse until you are one!

    Don't tolerate a toxic environment. If you think you're in one, get some objective opinions and if they agree, get out before it beats you down.

    Remember to breathe. In any crisis situation, the first "ABC's" to check are your own. And remember that panic usually doesn't help anyone or anything.

    Good luck!
  7. by   cardsRN
    if you do not know a drug, look it up or consult with pharmacy before giving it.
    never be afraid to ask a question or get a more experienced person to eyeball something with you.
    and here's one i have heard: with meds, never give more than 2 of anything without double checking/checking with someone else. it's a good rule of thumb. there are plenty of exceptions, but in general if you are opening 5 or 6 vials of a drug to administer to one pt in one dose; red flags should be going up.
    it is better to ask a silly question and look the fool or spend more time than strictly necessary investigating a situation thoroughly than miss something with your patient.
    don't let other people's dissatisfaction get you down.

    that's all from me. good luck, and welcome.
  8. by   jmgrn65
    Don't be afraid to ask questions and seek second opinions. The most exp. nurses do this.
  9. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Don't ever be bullied into something that you know is outside your scope of practice or you know will put your license on the line.

    e.g. Witness a blank surgery consent. Our surgeons and residents try this all the time. They write orders to "witness consent" thinking we'll just do it because "a doctor ordered it." Sorry, buddy . . .not happening.
  10. by   Mommy TeleRN
    This is an interesting thread because I'm a new grad too. I won't be starting with my preceptor until June but I'll be doing training this month/hurst review etc.
    One thing I DO know: NEVER push K+! If I learned NOTHING else in nursing school ..... dangit I know that!
  11. by   gitterbug
    Always check the ID of a patient prior to giving meds or treatment.
    Always make sure to ID yourself to the patient.
  12. by   SK-222
    Quote from santhony44
    Don't ever blow off a patient when they ask about the meds you're about to give. If a patient says "I don't think I'm supposed to take that pink pill" then take the time to investigate. It could be a new med the doctor ordered, it could be a different color generic than the patient takes at home, and it just could be an error.
    This piece of advice is not only good, but in the position of a patient something similar had occurred. Several months ago, I had been transferred out of ICU to a different floor. Before transferring me I had been given a med. Upon arriving to the new floor, there was a nurse following orders from the chart, but not realizing I had been given a dose already. Luckily I was aware and let him know and he was able to double check the records and discovered indeed I already had my dose.

    Not sure how often scenario's like mine happen, but just wanted to add my $0.02 on that one.
  13. by   fultzymom
    Don't ever be afraid to ask for someone else's opinion. Even if they think you are dumb for doing it. Always question an order you are not sure is right. Never treat other staff as if they are beneath you. It takes every one working at the facility to provide care to the patients. Your aides are a tremendous help. Treat them with respect. They can make or break your day!! ALWAYS remember you were the new person at some point. And remember what it was like to be a student. Treat newbies et students like you wanted to be treated when you were in their shoes. Double check your meds. Remeber the five rights.

    Good luck as you start a new chapter in your life! Congratulations!
  14. by   adria37
    Don't ever give potassium IV push.

    Don't ever say "I don't do it for the money" if you don't need the money there is a big need for volunteers and you belittle the value of what nurses do when you say this.

    Always remember you are a patient advocate first and foremost.

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