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What are you best work tips?

Posted

Specializes in Psych, OB-GYN. Has 3 years experience.

There are so many fabulous nurses around here and I'm sure that there is probably equally awesome advice that has never been shared... So, what is your tip? It can be ANYTHING related to your job... bringing meals, cluster care tips and tricks, laundering scrubs, etc.... I'll go first...

1) Cleaning my scope. Instead of using alcohol wipes between each patient, I just squirt extra hand gel into my palms, then reach up and rub around my bell and ear pieces. Then I proceed to wipe my hands until dry.

2) When I'm working 2 - 3 shifts in a row, I bring a gallon of ice tea to put in the fridge to refill my cup - get tired of water and plain decaf tea is healthier than sodas. I do the same for food, bring a meal, divided into threes, the first night of my series. That way if I sleep late or am running behind, I know I always have a meal already at work waiting on me!

Next :yeah:

dthfytr, ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

Document, document, document! If called on the carpet, never use memory. As soon as you say I remember you're set up for "how come you remember that but not this." I remember nothing! My documentation is there for us all to read, and has saved my asterisk several times.

Florence NightinFAIL

Specializes in Medical - Surgical. Has 10 years experience.

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When I have one room with 2-4 pts - I bring a save-a-day tray and put in some extra alcohol wipes, labels, gauze, tape, scissors, flushes, etc. and place it on the windowsill. That way I don't have to run to the med room each time I forgot one of those items. It saves me a lot of trips (when I remember to do that).

I also use it to place my labelled med cups so that I don't have to do multiple trips in my med pass!

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

I get to work thirty minutes early so I can organize my patients paperwork, say my hellos to night shift, and prepare my self for the day :)

msn10

Specializes in cardiac, ICU, education. Has 18 years experience.

Never, under any circumstances talk badly about anyone behind their back. This rule applies to more than just nursing, but I learned this in 5th grade and it is the best life lesson I ever learned.

Open, honest communication creates a wonderful culture and preserves your credibility - even if some of your co-workers don't behave in the same way.

Your coworkers are not your friends. Be careful what you say at work, who you say it to and who's around when you say it.

1. Make sure you have an extra pair of scrubs. You never know what may happen in the course of your shift.

2. I take personal hygiene items (tampons, tooth brush/paste, deodorant) because there is always a possibility I may get mandated.

3. Don't let you gas tank go below 1/2. I am horrible at NOT doing this and have learned my lesson.

4. Don't get caught up in the negativity. It does absolutely nothing good for you. Be your own person.

I like this thread!

Forever Sunshine, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 7 years experience.

1. Make sure you have an extra pair of scrubs. You never know what may happen in the course of your shift.

2. I take personal hygiene items (tampons, tooth brush/paste, deodorant) because there is always a possibility I may get mandated.

3. Don't let you gas tank go below 1/2. I am horrible at NOT doing this and have learned my lesson.

4. Don't get caught up in the negativity. It does absolutely nothing good for you. Be your own person.

I like this thread!

All of that and bring lots of snacks. I don't know about all of you but I'm a witch when I'm hungry.

I am a newer nurse with just one years experience, but the two most important things I have learned are get as much done as you can when you can. If you have a lull in your shift...chart, chart, chart, or get wound care done or something. Been a couple times I let myself get lazy thinking I had an easier assignment or was ahead of schedule, then next thing you know you get a really difficult admission or a patient goes bad and before you know it, you are way behind.

Secondly, whenever I go into a room, I try and anticipate anything that patient may need for the next couple hours and go ahead and grab it. Saves me a lot of trips back and forth.

Lastly, we do walking rounds at shift change, when I am in the room saying my hello, I take 30 seconds to check fluids, IV sites, line expiration dates, etc....with that snapshot of what is going on, you know if you should grab a bag of fluids when you pull 8/9 o'clock meds, maybe ask the charge nurse to start a new site for you....helps keep you on top of things and save some time.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

I wholeheartedly agree with your coworkers are not your friends. We have to be respectful and civil, but you're there for your patients, not friends. If you happen to make a friend, great. But that isn't a priority. Conversely, you don't have to like everyone to be able to get the job done.

Be an advocate for your patient. Even if the Dr. Is giving you a hard time, and you know you need a certain order, keep after him/her until it gets done. These patients are your responsibility, and they often cannot advocate for themselves. Learn to trust your instincts.

As far as supplies...when you do have "free" time, use this time to stock up and stay organized.

I cook a few healthy meals on the day before I return to work. That way, I'm not tempted to eat junk on my nights.

Learn to be flexible and go with the flow :) During very busy moments, I remind myself that I can only be going so fast.

It's 24 hour care. Do what you can, and don't worry about the rest. Unless its an emergency, I leave within 30 minutes of my shift ending. Someone else can worry about the rest. I leave knowing that I did the best I could.

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

I wake up at 0400 so that I can take my time getting ready in the morning. I have to be at work between 0620 and 0630, so I like to have this "centering time" to think about what I need to accomplish for the day, review a difficult case/notes for the case and have a few extra minutes to hug and kiss my puppy and my hubby (yes, in THAT order) before I start my day.

On Sunday nights, I boil 6-8 eggs and put two in little Glad containers so that I will have some protein for breakfast and a mid-day snack. I just grab and go in the morning on my way out the door.

I have a small notebook (a little bigger than my palm) that I have divided into sections for each doc I work with. I put their ID# along with glove size and pager number at the top of the page, then I make notes regarding their preferences for each case.

I typed out a tiny little cheat sheet of important numbers (that I don't already have memorized, like nighttime pharm# or pt equipment#) that I taped to the back of my badge so that I will always have those numbers with me.

I get my charting done as quickly as I can and have my report sheet ready to go at least 1 hour before my expected relief gets in the room. It seems to never fail-the crap hits the fan RIGHT at 1800. I would rather be as prepared as I can be for the oncoming nurse ahead of time so that I can put out the fires that inevitably spark that last witching hour before I leave for the day.

When my teammates see that I am in the weeds and help me without my asking them to, I bring in a candy bar or write them a brief note of thanks the next day.

I treat new staff and new interns the way I would want to be treated. If they ask where something is, I would rather take the time to walk them to the desired location rather than explain it-they are more comfortable and I get satisfaction of knowing that they won't get lost from my bungled directions!

Thanks for starting this thread!

Cat_RN, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatric, Hospice. Has 12 years experience.

One of the aides taught me this: When putting someone on a bed pan, especially if they're heavy or can only minimally help you, put some body lotion or peri-wash on the pan and it slides right under their bum without sticking!

Nursetastic

Has 4 years experience.

Keep a menthol chapstick in your pocket for those times when you need to "filter" the odor in a room. Just rub a bit under your nose or in a mask. Toothpaste works well, too.

Stock your rooms at the beginning of shift. I take flushes, 10 cc syringes, needles, oral care kits, bath wipes/peri spray, full set of linens, chux, etc. I work ICU and save a lot of time with this one.

I do my line reconciliation the first time I walk in a room. If tubing is not labeled, I grab new ones and change and label them; unless the patient is a fresh admit. It also affords me the advantage of catching any gtt or compatibility errors that may be going on and point them out/deal with them before the previous shift leaves. I've found some big no-no's this way. I've also ticked off a couple of nurses, but oh well. They created the problem, they get to fix it and admit to it.

Do as much as you can by yourself before asking for help. Don't drain your coworkers. If you have a vented/sedated pt, bathe as much as you can before dragging someone else in. The only time you REALLY need help is for the linen change and to turn the patient. Don't be helpless, be helpful!

Take high protein snacks. Peanut butter, boiled eggs, cheese, yogurt. Avoid candy, chips, cookies, etc.

Put your name on EVERYTHING! Food and equipment disappear constantly in my unit.

I like to arrive about 10 minutes before group report. I can decompress with my coworkers before the shift starts.

There is surely a lot more, but this is off the top of my head.

cherrybreeze, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg.

I have read some very good tips on this thread so far! Smart bunch of nurses here. :)

What I learned over the years was CHART AS YOU GO, as much as you can. The days that sucked the most were when I had everything to chart at the end of the day, it's a massive pile to get through. It's also much harder to remember to put down everything you'd like to.

I also am a stickler for writing times down. One of my pet peeves is looking at all of the charting from the nurse before me, and it would appear that EVERYONE was assessed at exactly 0030. I put down the time for everything, and cross things off as I chart them. I'll even make a little note to myself for what time I paged the doctor, since hours can run together in your head later on!

My shift sheet was downright anal, but I could see at a glance what I had done, what I had left to do, and what I had charted, etc. It would help me pinpoint what hours would be the busiest (that I had a lot of meds to give) so it helped me to plan around it. I could leave for the day KNOWING I didn't miss anything, as long as I stayed on top of keeping that sheet up to date.

All of that and bring lots of snacks. I don't know about all of you but I'm a witch when I'm hungry.

Me too. I turn into an ogre...:lol2:

Palliative Care, DNP

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Tips include

1) Organization: Do not be the nurse who appears clueless because you don't have everything together.

2) Show up to work on time! Your co workers do not appreciate having to wait on you after working 12 hours.

3) If you do not know ASK! Please do not wing it when it comes to patient care:uhoh3:

4) If you are having down time and see a co worker who is obviously drowning help them. You just may need their help one day.

5) If you ask me to switch a day with you for something don't have amnesia when I need you to switch I day with me...Plus I wrote it down date and time:D

Nascar nurse, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC & Hospice. Has 35 years experience.

God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly

Florence NightinFAIL

Specializes in Medical - Surgical. Has 10 years experience.

An hour or half an hour before your shift ends:

  • Let your pt know that you are leaving in X minutes and what you can do for them to hold them until the next shift comes in around X time.
  • Offer/give pain meds (most will say no and then ring right at change of shift when the new nurse is taking report, argh! I encourage it and this minimizes the interruptions).
  • Offer bedpan/change to those who can't go to BR
  • Change IV bags if near 100 cc or have an extra bag hanging on the pump