Grad LPN, starting my first job - What skills/meds should I brush up?


I recently got my license and first job. I'll be starting work in a small-ish LTC/rehab facility.

It's been a couple months since school, and I feel like I forgot a ton of things. In the meantime, should I refamiliarize myself with common skills and meds, or would it not help much at this point?


30 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Congrats on your new job. Every facility is going to have different policies and different populations (i.e. more dementia, more rehab pts, etc). I would try to find out what types of patients you will be dealing with and try to focus your review in those specific issues.

Of course a general review of anything you had issues with in school would be beneficial. But to be fair, I don't feel like nursing programs fully prepare anyone for the reality of dealing with their first job. You will have more patients and most likely will have to supervise CNAs.

A few tips: trust your instincts. I had issues with that as a new nurse. Just because a nurse has more experience than you doesn't mean they're always right. If you think something is wrong with a patient, do what your instincts tell you, regardless of whether a more experienced nurse says they're fine.

Take advantage of your orientation. If you see a med or treatment you're not familiar with, research it so you won't be flying blind once you're on your own.

Get to know your staff. Who are the people who have been there a long time? Who is reliable to help you with tasks? Who is willing to answer any question you might have?

Mostly, know you will be slower when you first start. Your meds may be a little late. You may see nurses running circles around you. That's ok because when you're first beginning, you need to take your time so you don't make mistakes. It will take time to get up to speed. Don't get discouraged that you can't keep up. You will catch up in time. Just concentrate on the fact that you are still learning and you are making sure you do your job correctly.


11 Posts

I'm late--but thank you SO MUCH for the thoughtful comment! I really appreciate the advice, and it really helps ease my nerves.


6 Posts

Im a new grad also and have been working in LTC/Rehab for about 4 months. First month of working I felt like almost everything I learned from school went out the roof. It was like hell in the first 2 months and I wanted to quit every day. I was still passing meds when next shift showed up. I cried on the first day after orientation ended. Use your orientation time wisely! When doing med pass on orientation make sure you know where all the medication are located in the med cart. I made the mistake of having my preceptor pulling out all the meds then hand over meds over for me to go give it to the resident. She pulled out meds by memory. Then once I'm done with orientation, I had no idea where some of the med are at. I spent a lot of time trying to look for certain med.

Know your labs and how they effect our body because you'll be reporting labs every week to the doctor. Labs number is always in the report so you wont need to memories them. Also learn your facility policy, paper work and computer system. Always ask other nurses or your supervisor aka RN if you have any concern.

My normal routine: for 3-11 shift.

clock in. Look at my rooms to see if I have any new patient. Make schedule for CNA assign to which room. Read communication book. look for any labs that need to be report. Count narcotic and Get endorsement from previous shift. Call MD for lab results. Stock my med cart. Pass first med pass. After first med pass, charting. Take my 30min dinner. Get back start my second med pass. Chart after med pass. Restock, count and report to next shift. Clock out on time if everything goes smoothly. If there are change of condition or pt constantly getting up, it will eat up your time especially when youre new.


11 Posts

Thank you!! I start tomorrow, so I'll remember your advice!