It’s your first shift of four-in-a-row and little do you know that you are in for a tough stretch! Your shift starts out calmly enough, but at 0200 you take report on a 23-yr old post-surgical trauma patient who came in through the ED due to a pedestrian vs auto incident. The patient was crossing the road on a dark, rainy night when she was struck by a vehicle at approximately 30 mph. Her injuries are:
Before I start an “us” vs. “them” war, let me start off by saying that I cannot imagine the pressure that physicians are under these days. They go for long stretches with no days off, work very long hours, have tremendous responsibility and, basically, have a job that I would never ever ever want. So, with that said, it is understandable that you will, at times, deal with a difficult or demanding physician. These tips about SBAR and effective communication should help!
Taking care of patients with neurological injury means managing their intracranial pressure, or as it’s commonly called, ICP. And when we say neurological injury, keep in mind that we’re not just talking about people getting bonked on the head with a 2 x 4. We’re talking about space-occupying lesions, hydrocephalus, intracranial hemorrhage, subdural/epidural hematoma, even severe hyponatremia…basically anything that’s a key player in (drum roll please….) the Monro-Kellie doctrine.
I am SO EXCITED and wanted to share with you all something I’ve been working on tirelessly for months and months! I am in the process of upgrading ALL of the nursing school notes into works of art. No seriously…they are fabulous!
Though I totally dig my Erin Condren planner for life after nursing school, I just don’t think there’s anyway it would ever work well for a nursing student. The schedule is just too jam-packed! When I was a student, I used a full-sized (8.5×11) planner and was happily using up every square inch of the available space. While it was a really functional planner, it wasn’t quite perfect for nursing students (and the design left something to be desired). So, what’s a busy nursing student to do? How about use a specific nursing school planner? Sounds pretty good, right?
Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING gets a nursing student more worked up than NCLEX questions. I have very clear memories of sitting in the testing room making my best “WTF is this” face as I worked my way through the questions. And yes, that’s the exact same face I made the entire time I was taking the actual NCLEX and my CCRN exam…so if you think these style of questions are ever going to go away…you are sadly so very very wrong.
In your first semester of nursing school, the nursing diagnosis can seem like a really, really bizarre concept. I mean, why not just say “patient can’t breathe” instead of “impaired breathing pattern as evidenced by blah blah blah.” It can drive you bonkers if you don’t understand how to decipher them, so let’s get to it!
The phrase you will hear most often in your nursing school career isn’t, “This is on the test” or “Choose the members for your group project” or even “Get comfy for six hours of lecture.” Nope…the most common phrase (and probably the most important one) is “What are you going to do about it?” It’s also the most common thought running through your head once you’re out there doing your thang as an RN! Here’s what I mean by that…
Who doesn’t love a good set of accessories? No, I’m not talking about bracelets and hair ties…I’m talking school supplies! What do you need and what’s the best way to use them?
I don’t know what the official name for these are, but I call them tabbies. They’re the plastic page tabs/flags that you can write on with a Sharpie. They look like this and are easily the item I used the most in nursing school.
Mastering dosage calculations is absolutely necessary in nursing school. If you are just starting your program, you will most likely have a dosage calculations exam sometime in the first weeks of class…if your program was like mine, you had three attempts to get 100% on this exam or you were out of the program. And since your ability to accurately give your patient the ordered dose of any medication could mean the difference between life or death, you can see why this is a pretty crucial skill. So, if you need to learn (or re-learn) how to do dosage calculations the 100% foolproof way, check out this post. Then come back here and take this quiz to put your skillz to the test. Ready?