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What is the most important nursing information or issues that nurses must know

What is the most important nursing information or issues that nurses must know when caring for patients?

I thought I would put this question up and see what the responses would be of those working as nurses and student nurses preparing for the nursing world what are the most important issues to know for patient care. :)

I'm big on infection control. I hate germs!!! I've seen people (nurses, doctors, RTs, CNA's) come out of a pt.'s room who has MRSA and not wash their hands. I think sanitation is a very important issue. If people would just wash their darn hands when after touching pts. I bet we could really cut down on the spreading of diseases. I even wipe down/wash the pulse oximeter before placing it on a pt.'s finger...think about it.

I'm not sure if that's what you were looking for...maybe I can think of something else!

I haven't even started nursing school yet, but I do volunteer in the ER and my cousin has been an ER nurse for years. She told me to really focus on disease process and knowing your symptoms/treaments, etc. But that's for the ER. She specifically said, "ER nurses treat the big stuff as quickly as possible. It's invaluable that you are able to recognize and diagnose the symptoms. Let the floor nurses worry about the long term care procedures."

I assume that she means skin breakdown from laying in bed for extended periods, fluids, and other associations with long term stay. By no means am I comparing ER nurses and floor nurses, I've just been told more about ER. However, you have to know pretty much all of the stuff to pass nursing school, right?! :)

I plan to go into emergency medicine, so I've been trying to pick up the most common and routine procedures that I've seen in the ER. Seems to be foley/caths and IVs. I'm going to really focus on my skills labs and make notecards for as many common (and notso common) diseases as possible!

Hope this helps a little!

ENP-wanna-be

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