Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

PodQuiz Fundamentals 2: Episode 10

Nursing Fundamentals

Think you know your nursing fundamentals? Listen to this PodQuiz and find out!  In this episode, we cover:

  • Bowel elimination
  • Ostomies
  • Enemas
  • Occult blood and pH testing
  • Urinalysis
  • Latex allergies
  • Sterile field

What’s a PodQuiz? It’s essentially flashcards for your ears! Nurse Mo asks a question, pauses while you answer, then states the answer…it’s a fantastic way to study while you’re on the go, exercising, commuting, folding laundry, making dinner, feeding the baby, getting your nails done….you get the idea.

read more

Clinical calculations

clinical calculations

As an RN, you’ll find that you need these four basic calculations almost every single shift you work. In this post we’ll cover what they are and why they matter.

Anion Gap

The anion gap will usually come into play when you are taking care of a patient in diabetic ketoacidosis. However, to be totally accurate, it is actually used to alert us that the patient is in ANY kind of metabolic acidosis and can even help us differentiate what caused it.

read more

NCLEX strategies that work

NCLEX strategies

Even though you graduate from nursing school, it doesn’t mean all your hard work is over. Nope. You still have countless hours of studying ahead of you…sorry to be the bearer of bad news! Of course, we’re talking about the NCLEX and if you’re a new graduate, then it’s on your mind…just like it is on this  new-grad’s mind as seen in this email:

read more

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?

read more

Nursing School Paperwork Hacks

nursing school paperwork

Even before your first semester of nursing school classes start,  you will be OVERWHELMED with the amount of paperwork. That’s why I quickly realized I needed to come up with a foolproof system for organizing all of it for easy reference and keeping my sanity intact. Turns out, I’m not the only one who realized this…here’s a note I received recently from a reader in St. Louis:

read more

Podcast Episode 7: Giving End-of-Shift Report

end of shift report

In this podcast we talk about giving a succinct, flawless and informative end-of-shift report. Sounds simple enough, right? It should be, but you’d be surprised how often a bad shift report can leave you with more questions than answers. But, if you follow these guidelines, you’ll be someone that all the other nurses LOVE getting report from…and yes, you will be giving report as students, too!

read more

Mailbag Monday: Skills Checkoffs!

skills checkoff

The one thing that is MOST dreaded in nursing school is the skills checkoff. Sure, the exams can be downright terrifying, but skills checkoffs are where you go one-on-one with your professor as they scrutinize your every move. Make too many mistakes (or even just one “fatal” mistake) and you fail…but the good news is, you get to re-take it! The bad news is, if you fail the checkoff a second time, you very well could  be out of the program. Here’s an email from a reader about this very topic:

read more

Mailbag Monday: admission requirements

admission nursing school

Nursing school admission requirements can be confusing, and it’s even worse when you can’t find the guidance you need.

I recently stumbled upon your website for my anatomy and physiology class and have told my classmates about it. I do have a question though in regards to getting into nursing school. I have tried to talk to my academic advisors about my concerns, but they haven’t been exactly helpful. I am finishing up my last 3 classes before I am able to apply for nursing school. Do you know if nursing schools look down upon students who have taken classes over for a better grade? Also, I should graduate with a 3.4 GPA (I also have been working almost full time and I’m a single mom). Do the schools take into account these things while going through applicants? Thanks so much for your time! -Heather

read more

Day shift vs night shift…which is for you?

night shift

As someone who’s about to finish up on night shift and start back on day shift , I thought it might be fun to compare the pros and cons of each shift. Each definitely has its merits, so if you’re not sure which shift is for you…read on! I’ve worked both days and nights, and I can definitely say each shift has its advantages AND disadvantages. The difference is….well…night and day!

read more

Dealing with difficult docs using SBAR

SBAR

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!

read more