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.
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!
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!
For those of you about to graduate (yay!!) you are undoubtedly already thinking about the dreaded job hunt and all the good times (and stress) that it entails. While you may not yet be able to apply for any positions until you pass NCLEX, you can start getting your nursing portfolio together…doesn’t that sound like THE perfect thing to work on over Thanksgiving break? Ok, maybe not, but it may be something you will want to create and have ready for that first interview a few months from now.
This last month or two has been insane!!! Between work, birthday month, my new gym routine and some new projects I have barely had time to stop and catch my breath!
So…what has Nurse Mo been up to? Probably the most time-consuming thing lately has been work. We are switching over to electronic charting (FINALLY!) and also moving into a new super swanky new building, so the amount of education that comes with this is astonishing. For those of you who don’t yet work in a hospital, be prepared to take lots and lots of classes (and you thought school was over….ha!). Our move into the new building and the new computer system have resulted in NUMEROUS classes…so far the list of classes includes:
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know I am a sucker for all things related to organizing (also a sucker for pens, post-it notes and all things laminated!). Depending on the type of unit you work in (or have your nursing school clinical) it may make sense for you to have your “stuff” organized and accessible in some way…but not necessarily on your person. This obviously isn’t for you if you work in a unit where you are never in the same spot for very long or are running hither and yon your entire shift (like in the ED). But if you work critical care,PACU, and even on the floor you may find that having your goodies in a storage tote works well, provided you have a place to actually put it. In the ICU where I work, we have WOWs (workstation on wheels) at every room and tables outside every two rooms or so. I typically put my goodie bag there and have easy access to all kinds of things I might need throughout my shift but don’t necessarily want to carry in my pockets.
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.