What skills do you use/not use?

  1. I was wondering what skills you use most in LTC, hospital, or office?
    What about the things you didn't know you would be doing?

    I just took my NCLEX today and am ready to find a place I will enjoy working but I am worried about loosing skills or taking a job I end up hating.
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    About natrgrrl

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 412; Likes: 108
    from US
    Specialty: LTC


  3. by   bluegeegoo2
    In LTC I give a lot of injections, like insulin, B12, Procrit, sometimes antibiotics (which usually require reconstituting). There are also the need for straight caths, Foley caths, flushing the caths, wound care of various degrees of involvement, impaction removal, (rather rare), we have a trach pt that requires suctioning, suture/staple removal, all kinds of stuff. Don't worry though, most seasoned nurses are very willing to help you along when you start. I've heard "I remember being a new nurse" more than once. Good luck with the job search.
  4. by   liriel
    What skills you use most will depend on where you work. I have worked on an oncology unit at the hospital for the past 3 years ( since graduation). I give lots of injections, start IVs, insert foleys, do neuro checks, wound care, work with peg tubes, insert NG tubes, give a ton of meds via various routes, and utilize my therapeutic communications skills daily. I love what I do. Its very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally but I could not imagine doing anything else. In my humble opinion...your best bet would be to figure out what you love and go from there. The skills you need the most will be enhanced by your day to day practice....the skills you don't need as much you may loose a bit....but noone has to be great at everything and if your not needing them....does it matter?
  5. by   Fiona59
    NG's our hospital only permits RNs to insert. That's the only thing I'm not allowed to do that I trained to do.
  6. by   pagandeva2000
    Working in a clinic, I would say that there is much I have not been able to do. We vaccinate, give antibiotic injections for patients with STDs, clonidine for extreme HTN, nebulizer treatments, and a great deal of patient teaching.

    I started working med surg per diem to do the other stuff and retain (or rather re-learn) skills learned in school.
  7. by   kat7ap
    I have worked in LTC, subacute rehab, and acute care.

    In LTC your main skill is to pass PO meds, some residents are on a TON of meds, then comes checking blood sugars and then administering insulin, so you will be doing countless SQ injections, I however rarely did any other form of injection. Nebulizer treatments, some collecting of lab specimens. You may rarely do IV therapy. You will probably have to care for G tubes of some sort, possibly colostomy care, and trach care. Usually basic wound care at some point and making sure residents skin isn't breaking down (a real problem with elderly in NH). You won't be using acute assessment skills very often, usually if something is wrong you assess the resident and call the doc and they are sent off to the hospital.

    In subacute it's all of the above with more assessment skills, IV therapy much more often, staple/suture removal, pt teaching, catheterization, more complex wound care....

    In the hospital it's usually whatever your BON and hospital allow. I work in postpartum so we don't do most of the stuff a med/surg floor does. But I daily do IV therapy - fluids, piggybacks, IV push meds. I just don't start the IVs. I do my own pt assessments which are thorough head to toe.

    You have to discover what your passion is and what is available where you live. The great part of nursing is that if you don't like one thing you can try another - so don't be afraid to dive in and give something a chance :spin:
  8. by   midcom
    I work in a clinic & theres lots of skills I learned in school that I'll never use there. However, I'm not worrried as I don't expect to ever work in acute care or LTC ever again.
    I do a lot of assessments, vaccinations (didn't learn the names & when they needed to be given at school), nebulizer treatments, ear flushing, throat swabbing, assit with minor trauma, lots of inputing of data into the records, a bit of triage, and, my favorite, patient teaching.
    I almost had to straight cath an elderly woman who couldn't give us a urine sample. I'd only done one in school. I grabbed the other nurse (an RN) & she didn't feel comfortable doing it either. Fortunately, after a few drinks of water & listening to water run in the sink, she gave us a sample. Need to brush up on that skill, I guess.