Tag Archives: clinicals

Dealing with difficult docs using 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!

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Managing intracranial pressure (ICP)


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.

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Surviving Night Shift

Night Shift

If you’re like me, your 4th semester preceptorship is on night shift and you have no idea how you are going to survive. Even if you snagged a fabulous day shift precept spot, chances are you’ll be a night shift nurse as a new-grad anyway….and knowing how to survive could mean the difference between loving your job and absolutely dreading it. With these tips, you’ll be rocking night shift like a pro!

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Taking care of patients in renal failure

renal failure

Ah, the kidneys…who doesn’t love ‘em? These two little bean-shaped organs will come into play with just about every single patient you deal with. In some cases it will be a chronic and devastating case of renal failure, (such as those patients requiring dialysis), but in most cases it will be moderate and more subtle. In all cases, renal function will tell you volumes about the patient’s fluid balance, electrolytes, blood pressure, infection and perfusion. Keeping an eye on renal function is a basic skill you’ll use every day as a beside RN…so let’s get to it!

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5 assessments every nursing student should master

Nursing School

Assessment is, hands-down, the MOST important skill a nurse has. Of course, you will do your head-to-toe assessments at scheduled intervals depending on the acuity of your patient…but assessment doesn’t stop there…It is something you do every single time you interact with your patient.

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The Nursing Process

nursing process

One of the very first things you’ll learn in nursing school is The Nursing Process. This is a key, fundamental concept that permeates every single thing you do and learn in nursing school. So, it’s important that you know what it is, how it works and why it matters.

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My practice notebook

As you embark on the journey of being a nurse, you will learn something each and every time you step foot in the hospital. Even if you’ve been a nurse for years, you still learn something every time you work. A great way to keep track of all these pearls of wisdom is to create a practice notebook.

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A puzzle for you.

For some reason I get super excited about IV compatibility problems, and I had a good one recently. Let’s assume this is your patient…she is on 8 continuous infusions and has IV piggyback meds to give at regular intervals.

The continuous infusions are: Epinephrine, Fentanyl, Insulin, Levophed, Nimbex, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vasopressin and Versed.

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