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What's your best 'Nurse Hack'?

Nurses   (24,558 Views 112 Comments)
by KimasaurusRex KimasaurusRex (New Member) New Member

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My best nurse hack is to walk away from gossip. It doesn't matter if it's subtle or outright walk away. Also many things can be taught (multi-tasking, skills, etc.) but I can't teach you how to give grace and kindness to people who don't deserve it. Hopefully that's in you.

Best advice ever!

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2,267 Visitors; 111 Posts

Our hospital, every unit, not just mine, administers tube medications separately, 30 ml flush between. I can't imagine being in a place where you could just crush them up all together and pour them down :o It would be much faster though!

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1,362 Visitors; 47 Posts

When I started nursing, I was shown to empty Jackson-Pratt drains (AKA JP drains or bulb suction drains) by squeezing the contents out into a measuring cup/graduated cylinder. Its not perfectly accurate, especially for small amounts and I was always worried that I would knock over the container and make a mess. Instead, attach a syringe to the opening of the drain bulb, pinch the tubing closed between the patient and the bulb, and suck the drainage into the syringe.

You can also empty JP drains in to a urine specimen cup to easily determine small amounts.

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240 Visitors; 6 Posts

Congratulations!! You should be so proud of yourself! Remember, you got this far for a reason so own that and don't forget it! Your first year will be the hardest, but every new nurse pretty much hears that while still in nursing school. And I wouldn't be surprised if you have been referred to as a "baby" nurse, which is why you mention that term. Just don't let that term make you feel less than you are :). As a first year new grad, you will be working on time management the most, so a good hack to that would be finding different things that work best for you ie. Brain sheets, time management schedule you can plot out to stay on Track, etc. You will begin to find your own path that's best for you :). Always come prepared. Know that each day can be different which will make you adjust your shift- happens all of the time, be flexible! If you don't know something, look it up. Know why someone is getting the meds and treatment that they are. Double, triple check things if they don't seem right! Everyone makes mistakes that you may catch. Try to stay up to date on charting, at least getting in your assessment before 12. Make sure your room is prepared for anything that may happen- prepare for the worst, hope for the best ;) that includes getting cords out of the way and like what another poster said, clearing a direct pathway to the patient. The most important thing of all is to get help if your patient seems like they are taking a turn for the worse. Vitals are often the last thing that will tell you someone is tanking, assessing your patient and listening to your gut is critical. Never doubt yourself. Use your coworkers, charge, and docs with any concerns you have. Remember you're not alone in these situations, you are surrounded by back up :) and btw that 60cc syringe for turtle catheter placement is genius lol!

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10,341 Visitors; 1,381 Posts

If you have a chance to move visitor chairs, give yourself a clear path to the patient without having to squeeze by junk and people. If all the chairs are on one side, and the equipment you need is on the other side, life gets easier. Carry pens, tape, and saline flushes in your pocket. As a newbie, I'd get an index card for my pocket with phone numbers too, including the charge phone, so you have backup in arms reach.

Be very nice to housekeeping, lab, security, and secretaries, someday they will bail you out of a hell shift. They also have contacts throughout the hospital and know how to get things, or who to schmooze. Just say hello and remember their names.

If you patient is getting sicker, get an extra line in.

This. I would also add a scissors to your pocket and a sharpie.

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RNrhythm has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

4,157 Visitors; 241 Posts

Towels. I drape an area before I change a colostomy bag or access a PEG tube. I drape patients like a bib before they eat lunch. If I put someone on a bedside commode, I give them a warm, wet washcloth afterwards to freshen their hands.

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RNrhythm has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

4,157 Visitors; 241 Posts

Our hospital, every unit, not just mine, administers tube medications separately, 30 ml flush between. I can't imagine being in a place where you could just crush them up all together and pour them down :o It would be much faster though!

I crush separately but pour them down together. I see people crush together all the time.

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perfectbluebuildings specializes in Pediatrics.

12,946 Visitors; 1,016 Posts

My best nurse hack is to walk away from gossip. It doesn't matter if it's subtle or outright walk away. Also many things can be taught (multi-tasking, skills, etc.) but I can't teach you how to give grace and kindness to people who don't deserve it. Hopefully that's in you.

YES!!!! This is the best "nurse hack" I've read yet!!!!!

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Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

1 Follower; 18,440 Visitors; 871 Posts

This is probably more for home nursing. If your client has a Mic Key gastrostomy feeding tube, you'll see that the kit comes with 2 connecting tubes. The one we use the most has a right angle where it connects to the Mic Key button. This allows the tubing to lie flush with the tummy, and it's great for continuous feeds, or for any time you want to keep the tubing connected. (A sleeping baby with routine meds comes to mind.)

The second tubing is straight, and has a larger lumen. When connected, it sticks straight out from the tummy. (OK, 'straight out from the abdomen'. Remember, I'm a pediatric nurse. ;)) This straight tube is wonderful for giving medications that come as a suspension, or as a capsule that we empty into the syringe.

Suspensions, like crushed vitamins or TUMS, or a Nexium capsule that you empty into the syringe, tend to get stuck and clog up the tube at the right angle, but they flow easily through the straight tubing.

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65 Visitors; 3 Posts

When giving an injection, GENTLY apply presure to the skin with your nails. Just enough so the patient feels it. Then give the injection. It distracts from the shot and most patients will say they didn't feel the shot.

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65 Visitors; 3 Posts

I am an LPN and I own an Assisted Living. I employ 15 people. I have always said "You can teach almost anything, but you can't teach compassion."

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