What's your best 'Nurse Hack'? - page 9

I'm a soon-to-be new grad RN (only 29 days!! woo-hoo!) and I am curious to know from the seasoned working nurses: What is your best 'nursing hack' or advice for a baby nurses like me?... Read More

  1. by   wondern
    Hermione G, you sound nice and had good points at the end but who wants to play that 'baby' game?

    "Hi. I'm just a baby doctor. I'm a baby electrician. I'm a baby biochemical engineer. I'm a baby teacher. I'm a baby astronaut. I'm a baby car mechanic." Who does that???!!!

    Are you kidding me?! Ridunkulous!!! We work hard enough for respect without 'cutesie' little labels like that! You do us all an inservice when you call yourself a cutesie little 'baby nurse'!!! Grow up already!!! I'm not trying to be rude or hurt feelings but come on! It's insulting and not as cute as you think it is!
    Last edit by wondern on Dec 4, '17
  2. by   hppygr8ful
    My best hack is in psych where patients can't have belts or shoe laces - we ties their belt loops together with plastic ID writband to hold their pants up. We also wrap them around their shoe.

  3. by   tigerlogic
    Put a brief over the bedpan before putting it under your patient. Softer, no splashing, easier clean up. Less risk for skin breakdown on the little ones that take forever to go. (If you don't need to get a sample or accurate I/Os)

    The bead around gloves can be torn off and used as a hair tie or to bundle supplies together.

    Colace works well to get ear wax out. Skip trying to squeeze it out of the pills and just get the liquid (i.e. ask the doc if you can put in the order for him/her to get it right the first time)

    If you are using dark iodine to swab before inserting a foley, sometimes leaving the last swab in place before going for the urethra helps avoid missing and accidentally cathing the vag.

    Drunks tend to tolerate a pulse ox on their toe much easier than on their hands. Same for teenagers who can't stop texting for 15 sec.

    Depending on how loose your department is with their supplies, if you have cuts on your hands from the rest of your life or paper cuts, wrap a tegaderm around it. It'll stay clean for dozens of alcohol hand washes. Naturally, if this would be considered stealing in your department, don't do it! (It's fine where I work, but locations vary)

    Nasal cannulas hooked up to NS makes for a good continuous eye wash. However, be sure to account for the mess you are about to make.

    Mesh panties with the middle cut out sometimes make for a good way to hold an ABD on a large leg or a normal sized abdomen.

    Maxi pads are great for wounds in and out of the hospital. They are often cheap enough patients can afford them on their own.

    It is often better to acknowledge people's pain even if you aren't going to give them meds. "There's nothing wrong with you" is rarely a satisfying answer.
    "Your scans and blood tests are normal. We tested x/y/z. I'm sorry that you are still in pain but we don't see any reason to keep you in the hospital or send you to surgery. Nearly 100 people a day die because of opioid overdoses so we think it's safest for you to take care of yourself at home with heat/ice tylenol/ibuprofen and follow up with a specialist/primary care. I'm glad we didn't find something so serious that you needed surgery today and I hope you feel better."

    Understanding the Epidemic | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center
  4. by   tigerlogic
    Also, some people who have been a nurse 20 years will have 20 years of nursing experience. Some will have one year of experience repeated 20 times.
    Be the first one. Keep reading, studying, learning, improving your practice. It doesn't end with orientation. Be a learner and a self improver for good.

    -ICU/ED/former teacher/future flight nurse.
  5. by   tigerlogic
    I prefer to deescalate situations rather than press assault charges. (Not all of my coworkers agree)
    I believe that deescalation is a skill worth developing. Personally, I've benefits from classes based on CPI. Check out what's in your area.
    Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI Training) | CPI

    I also carry license insurance through NSO (though I've never needed to make a claim, so can't vouch for them one way or the other). Things can go wrong even if you have done everything right. www.nso.com
  6. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    Quote from tigerlogic
    Put a brief over the bedpan before putting it under your patient. Softer, no splashing, easier clean up. Less risk for skin breakdown on the little ones that take forever to go. (If you don't need to get a sample or accurate I/Os)
    Your other hacks were great, too, but THIS one is BRILLIANT! If I only knew this back then . . . WOW!

    Adding two of my own:

    Newborn-size disposable diapers are really good for draining heel wounds, because they are form-fitting and very absorbent.

    Superglue works well for keeping paper-cuts clean et al., per my dentist. "A little dab'll do ya!"
  7. by   billswife
    My best tip isn't a hack, just advice. If you are surrounded by ancillary staff that are spending most of their time on Face book or internet shopping, say something politely before you become so angry at their behavior that you snap, and say things you will regret as a professional later on.
  8. by   Insperation
    I'm always the dumbest person in the room. CNAs, patients, doctors, they are all smarter and more professional than I am. I am always there to learn from others. I let other people talk and I always defer to their opinions.

    This attitude does wonders for me.

    What do I actually have to prove anyway?