Category Archives: Diseases & Conditions

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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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 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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Arrhythmia Basics: Podcast Episode 15

arrhythmia basics

Let’s review basic arrhythmias, what causes them, how to identify them AND what you are going to do about them. Ready?

In this podcast, we cover loads of goodies:

  • PACs
  • Atrial Flutter
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • SVT
  • V-Tach
  • V-Fib
  • Idioventricular rhythms
  • Pulseless rhythms

This episode is a great review if you’re in Advanced Med/Surg, heading into your 4th semester preceptorship or starting out as a new nurse. For even more information about arrhythymias, check out this post or this one on heart blocks. 

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Beyond insulin in the treatment of diabetes

insulin

At the time of this writing there are a handful of new-fangled diabetes medications out there. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials showing impossibly happy people managing their blood sugar with complete and total ease (this is my favorite!) Or, perhaps you’re seeing these meds pop up in the hospital (or wherever it is that you care for patients). The fact is, there are a LOT of treatments for diabetes that go beyond insulin…but since that’s what we use the most in the clinical setting, let’s start there then we’ll branch out to the fancy stuff. Ready?

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Name the Diagnosis: Podquiz Episode 12

study ATI

In this PodQuiz, we have a LOAD of fun! You’ll listen to a list of signs/symptoms and then try to name which diagnosis/disease they refer to. How fun is that? It’s a great way to study for your comprehensive ATI or whatever exit exam you use at your school.

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Liver Failure Basics: Podcast Episode 11

liver failure

In this episode, we go through the basics of liver failure using my ingenious, wonderful, amazing LATTE method, which breaks down any patient condition into the “need to know” info.

  • L = How will the patient LOOK?
  • A = How will you ASSESS the patient?
  • T = What TESTS will be ordered?
  • T = What TREATMENTS will be provided?
  • E = How do you EDUCATE the patient/family?

Amazing, right? For more resources, visit www.straightanursingstudent.com. For LATTE resource sheets, look under “resources” in the top nav bar. Enjoy!

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Renal Failure Basics: Podcast Episode 9

renal failure basics

Renal function is one of the most important AND most common things you’ll keep an eye on as an RN…that’s because so many things can cause it to take a dive: the meds we give, hypotension, contrast dye, decreased volume states, hemorrhage, dehydration, infection, crush injuries and on and on and on.

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Why the QT interval matters

QT interval

When you begin taking care of patients who are on cardiac monitoring (AKA “tele monitoring”) you’ll need to chart a few key ECG measurements once per shift and any time there is a change in the rhythm. These are the PR interval, the QRS, the QT and the QTc. You probably are already very familiar with the PR interval and QRS measurements…but what is a QT and why do you need to measure it?

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Reasons for an elevated lactate

elevated lactate

If there’s one thing that will separate the rookie nurse from the seasoned pro is how an elevated lactate is interpreted. The gut reaction in many cases is to scream SEPSIS from the rooftops. After all, sepsis is very serious and catching it early plays an enormous role in reducing mortality. And yes, one of the signs of sepsis IS an elevated lactate. However, loads of other things can cause it to be high, and knowing what these are will not only make you come across as incredibly competent, you’ll be prepared to take even better care of your patients.

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