Published Aug 15, 2005
You are reading page 3 of **mentors needed**
Daytonite, BSN, RN
When I was a staff nurse in the hospital my daily activities pretty much went this way:
--get a report on the patients from the nurse going home
--review the Kardex (the organized list of doctor's and nurse's orders) for each patient
--make a note of which patients were going to be going for surgery, a special procedure or x-rays and check to see if there were any special orders that needed to be carried out prior to their leaving the unit
--note which patient were NPO (not allowed to take any oral food or fluids)
--have a brief meeting with the LPNs or aides who were going to be helping with the care of the patients assigned to me and make sure they knew about any special care that needed to be done
--check my medication sheets to see what had to be given to my patients and at what time
--double check the IV orders on my patients
--make patient rounds: see every one of my patients, introduce myself, briefly discuss what was going to be happening for the day, answer their questions. I often did my daily physical assessment of each patient at this time
--give meds, do treatments, chart, take off doctor's orders, read their progress notes (if I have time)
--stamp out little fires that come up throughout the shift
--give report to the nurse who will be following me when my shift is over
Easy as pie! Not! I was constantly on the run. There is always something to do. Somehow, you fit breaks and lunch into all that. Stamping out the little fires is a big part of the job.
A care plan is the written suggestions of the things you are going to do for each patient. It includes nursing strategies (things you want nurses to do for the patient) sometimes with very specific instructions as to how these strategies are to be performed. Each nursing strategy also has an accompanying reason to justify why that strategy is going to be done. For nursing school the care plan is greatly expanded to include very specific and detailed strategies and reasons. When I was in school we had to make reference with footnotes as to where we found these strategies. Care plans also include a nursing diagnosis that heads up each group of nursing strategies. Care planning is a focus throughout nursing school. In my BSN program they were the one most important piece of written work we had to turn in to our nursing professors. Some states mandate by law the inclusion of the nursing care plan in the patient's chart.
I never thought drug calculations were hard, but I liked math and always did well in it.
Yes, I remember the basic parts of human anatomy. Finer details may elude me for a bit, but you eventually remember. Physiology is a bit more complicated and difficult to remember.
Just about any stethoscope sold at a uniform store or through a uniform catalog will work well. The Cadillac of stethoscopes is probably the ones made by a company called Littman.
The hardest part of my nursing career was getting started after graduating.
I knew nursing was for me when I couldn't stand working in an accounting office everyday and spending hours panicking over 3 cents that got lost somewhere in the books. I also hated the backbiting gossip the office people got into. I kept thinking that there had to be something where I worked hard, made a difference and was important to other people. Nursing was it. You will make a difference in many people's lives as a nurse.
Yes, I did want to give up in my 5th year as a nurse. I was burning out. I realized that going back to school would probably help me out and I was right. That's when I went back and got my BSN.
I was a certified IV therapy nurse. It was a totally voluntary thing to do on my part, required a lot of extra study and cost over $300 to take the national certifying exam. It did not increase my wage. I dropped the certification because I couldn't keep up the requirements to maintain it (2000 hours yearly engaged in IV therapy).
O.K., from a "pre-nursing" student a lot of questions come to mind. Here are just a few that I have. Are nursing drug calculations hard?Do you always remember EVERY part of the anatomy?Do you have a "most embarrassing moment" to share?Do you ever just want to give up?What keeps you inspired to move on to the next level?Thanks,Cindy
Are nursing drug calculations hard?
Do you always remember EVERY part of the anatomy?
Do you have a "most embarrassing moment" to share?
Do you ever just want to give up?
What keeps you inspired to move on to the next level?
Well, I was out of school for about 5 minutes if you know what I mean. I was working in the county hospital which admitted anyone in need. We admitted a lot of characters to say the least as well as acutely ill prisoners from the county jail. I was beginning the admission process to the med-surg floor of a charming middle aged gent who was a good historian. I asked him his height and he said 4'6". He wasnt in any shape to be properly measured. I clarified the question and he answered the same way. I moved on with other questions because he would not let me touch him, move the sheet and blanket at that point. Long story short, he was indeed 4'6" as he was a bilateral AK amputee. He just loved the look on my face when he whipped off his covers.He told everyone he had been spoofing people for years with this and thought that was hilarious. I have to give him credit for having such a sense of humour under stressful circumstances.
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