In the clinical setting, nurses come across all manner of sights, sounds, and yes…smells. But beyond the obvious ones that people complain about (which I never understand…you DID know what you were getting into, right?), certain smells can tell you a thing or two about your patient’s health. In this post we’ve compiled a list of a few disease states that come with a special odor all their own. So, while bad smells in the hospital probably aren’t your favorite part of your job, there are times when they can come in handy. Don’t worry…we’ll get to how to handle them in a minute!
In this podcast we talk about one of the MOST useful and EASIEST, QUICKEST calculations you can do to determine just how sick your respiratory-compromised patient is…the PF ratio! Check out some of the amazing things you’ll learn:
- What the P and F stand for; what is PaO2 and what is FiO2?
- Difference between PaO2 and SaO2
- Optimal PaO2 ranges and levels of hypoxemia
- How to calculate the PF ratio and what the heck it means
- What the numbers tell us and how it applies to the overall clinical picture
For more information on ARDS, check out this post, this awesome podcast episode or this SUPER awesome reference sheet. (if your podcast platform does not support links, please visit the website for total linkage at www.straightanursingstudent.com)
The last time I gave Haldol I was in a room with five other nurses trying to get an extremely agitated patient to calm down before he became a serious danger to himself and my colleagues. This particular patient had come up from the emergency room in full drug-induced psychosis related to methamphetamine use. He was in four-point restraints and STILL required an entire gaggle of RNs to keep him (and ourselves) safe.
In this episode of the Straight A Nursing podcast, we talk about ventilator weaning, which is actually a process that starts the moment the patient is intubated. If you are entering your advanced Med/Surg clinical rotation or are new to the ICU, this podcast will provide you with the basic knowledge you need to advocate for your patient and help guide them toward extubation.
As I’ve said many times before, nursing is all about solving problems. You SEE something, you DO something…it’s so simple. But, at the same time, putting it into practice can be quite complex. The patient problems you start out with at the beginning of your shift, are not always going to be the same problems you’re dealing with a few hours in. As a nurse, your ability to adapt, reprioritize and reevaluate is the MOST ESSENTIAL thing you can do.
Nursing is all about SEEING something and then DOING something. We see problems, we fix ’em. We see potential problems and we try like heck to avoid ’em. That’s it.
Sounds so simple right?
And it all starts right here. With the head-to-toe assessment. It’s your first Big Mega Skill to learn in first semester and is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you will ever ever learn. Ever.
When it comes to learning electrolytes in nursing school, sodium is one you’ll probably talk about a lot and phosphorus is one you might not talk about much at all. But once you start working, especially if you’re in critical care, you’ll be talking sodium AND phos all the live-long day. Well maybe not ALL day, but probably MOST days 🙂