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How to get the most out of this site!

WELCOME! Please read this post if it’s your first time here…there’s so much here and I want to make sure you get ALL of it!

At the top of the page, you see a menu bar with some headers…explore your heart out because this is where you’ll find notes related to nursing school, printable reference sheets, study aids, goodies to buy that will keep you organized and on top of your game, a link to my e-book and loads more.

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The mask all nurses wear

nurse mask

As nurses, we are incredible actors, and rarely do we allow our true emotions, thoughts and feelings to break through the masks that we wear to shield our patients from the knowledge that their caregivers are often working at a level of near and total depletion. We are dying of exhaustion on the inside, pleasant and alert on the outside. While my back is aching and my feet are screaming, my face is smiling and I am saying encouraging, empathetic and intelligent things. While my mind is racing through the fifty things I need to do in the next hour, I am comforting, advocating, educating and explaining without the tiniest bit of impatience or hurry in my voice. I am wearing a mask, and is as much a part of my uniform as my hospital-branded scrubs or the stethoscope emblazoned with my name.

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Enteral feeding and NG tubes: PodQuiz Episode 19

enteral feeding

It’s time for another PodQuiz! If you aren’t familiar with this form of podcast, you are in for a treat! This is THE BEST WAY to study while also getting your life back on track. It’s basically like doing flashcards, but instead of sitting and staring at your phone (or stack of index cards if you’re “old-school”) it’s an auditory quiz! I ask a question and then pause, giving you time to answer…then I tell you the answer (and sometimes with some little extra ‘real-world’ tidbits thrown in for good measure).

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The nursing student’s guide to electrolytes

If you’re a nursing student (or about to be) there’s one thing that comes up over and over and over…electrolytes. Having an understanding of how electrolytes work, why they’re important, and what to do when they’re off-kilter is a huge part of your job. In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at some electrolyte pearls of wisdom.

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How to know your patient need intubation: Podcast Episode 18

intubation

In this podcast, we talk about the very important skill of understanding when your patient is in respiratory distress and how to know if intubation is needed.

  • Normal respiratory parameters and assessment findings
  • Abnormal findings and what to do about them
  • The nurse’s role in the intubation process
  • Taking care of your patient post intubation

You can also read about this process here.

And something we don’t cover in the podcast, but that’s super helpful to understand is the P/F ratio, which you can check out here!

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Nursing school supplies you never knew you needed

nursing school supplies

If you’re a nursing student (or about to be), you already know that you need a stethoscope, tons of pens and highlighters and a reliable alarm clock. But here are a few nursing school supplies you may not even know you need (but you’ll absolutely LOVE life more if you have them!)

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Being a nurse with a chronic illness

chronic illness

Just a few months after starting my first nursing job in the ICU, I was diagnosed with a chronic form of blood cancer. To say I was stressed is putting it mildly. On top of that, in 2013 I began having issues with my joints. They were swollen, painful and made it impossible for me to do my job. I went out on medical leave numerous times, cut my hours and even quit nursing for about a year while I pondered what my future options were.

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Hyponatremia: Podcast Episode 17

Hyponatremia

In this podcast episode we talk about the basics of hyponatremia:

  • What is hyponatremia?
  • Common causes including neuro injury, psych disorder, even just plain ol’ poor judgment
  • The signs/symptoms of hyponatremia
  • How you treat it a

As usual, this podcast and blog are not intended to replace current evidence-based practice or your institutions policies and procedures. It is intended for educational purposes only.

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The most common types of difficult patients and families…and how to deal

difficult patients

Are you heading into your 4th semester preceptorship, or perhaps you’re a new grad getting ready to start out on your own. By now you’ve seen a glimpse of some of the types of difficult patients/families that the RNs have had to deal with. Sometimes the challenge is subtle and easily handled…like the patient with 10 family members who all call for separate updates (that one’s easy…designate ONE spokespserson), or it could be more overt with hostile, aggressive behavior that makes you question the continuity of your own personal safety.

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Developing your nursing intuition: Podcast Episode 16

nursing intuition

Developing your intuition as a nurse takes time, experience and exposure to LOTS of patients and LOTS of different situations. Learning which 5 assessments you’ll need to get you there is key! Over time (and after you’ve assessed a lot of patients and dealt with multiple scenarios) you’ll start to develop an intuition and be able to “sense” when your patients are in trouble. And it all starts right here with five basic (and easy) assessments.

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The basics of prone positioning for ARDS

prone positioning

Prone positioning is likely to be one of the most intimidating things you’ll encounter in the ICU…the beds are big, they don’t provide instant access to your patient and the risk for complications is higher than in a standard bed. But, with excellent nursing care you can keep your patient safe without biting your fingernails down to the quick!

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