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How to be a Perfect Nurse

Nurses Article   (2,372 Views | 24 Replies | 1,069 Words)

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Is it possible to be a perfect nurse in an understaffed hospital?

I am truly interested in having a positive discussion that attempts to answer the questions I posed here. But I am also reacting to the long discussions among at least three threads regarding the nurse charged with homicide. I don't believe a perfect human exists. You are reading page 3 of How to be a Perfect Nurse. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

12 Followers; 54 Articles; 340 Posts; 17,871 Profile Views

You tagged me! I'm not worthy! (quoting from Wayne's World...hope that's okay here...) I SO appreciate the shout out from the OP (original poster). Made my day. You want to know your best strategies for staying safe in an insane work environment? As a patient safety specialist, I have a few suggestions:

1. if your employer isn't promoting a culture of safety, if you can, work somewhere else. I know this isn't an option for most of us, but if you can, place the highest value possible on the safety reputation and practices of your employer. When looking for a job ask about patient ratios, just culture, and how errors are handled. Employers should have a pro-active, anonymous error reporting tool and the results of error analysis should be regularly shared with staff by a patient safety officer.

2. volunteer to be the patient safety officer for your unit (collect and write up all the errors reported on your unit each month and report them back to your colleagues, look at trends, aggregate data...my dream job). I know, more work for you, but the more you know about what mistakes are happening around you, the less likely you will be to make those same mistakes.

3. Rely as little as possible on memory. Use any and all tools made available to you so that you don't have to rely on it. 

4. Pay attention to your instincts. If you have even the smallest feeling that something isn't right, stop what you're doing, find a trusted colleague and talk it out.

5. Use a checklist for everything possible. If there isn't a checklist, make one. Checklists save lives.

6. USE YOUR PHARMACIST. Call them, make friends with them, ask them lots of questions. Your pharmacist is your friend. Don't have one? CVS does, call them.

7. Take advantage of ANY and ALL training opportunities that involve simulation. Hi-quality, hi-fidelity simulation allows you to make mistakes without hurting anyone. 

That's just a few for now - I hope they inspire you. Would love to hear what others think. Thanks for keeping the conversation going!

-SafetyNurse

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