Tag Archives: on the job

Blood thinners – what you need to know

blood thinners

Blood clots are a serious business. They can restrict or even completely block blood flow to organs and extremities, causing things like pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, ischemic bowel and even loss of limbs. So, it makes perfect sense that we want to prevent blood clots AND treat them when they occur. How do we do this?

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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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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.

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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!

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Podcast Episode 5: ICP Management

ICP MANAGEMENT

Managing ICP (intracranial pressure) is a complex balancing act. In this podcast you’ll learn the basics of ICP monitoring and management, what to watch for, when to intervene and HOW to intervene.

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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!

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Podcast: Diabetes

DKA

Hands-down, diabetes is probably THE most common comorbidity you’ll see in the hospital setting. Understanding the two “big daddy” diabetes complications should help you take care of these very sick patients. DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and HHS (hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome) are deadly serious conditions that require a diligent RN and a solid grasp of the pathophysiology and treatment plans.

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Emergency or Not?

emergency nursing

As a student nurse or even a brand new nurse, you may find that you are often perplexed if the situation your patient is facing is an actual emergency or not. In this episode we cover some basic scenarios that need to be evaluated quickly so that you can intervene appropriately and swiftly.

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ECMO: hardcore support for the lungs & heart

ECMO

ECMO (otherwise known as extracorporeal membraneous oxygenation) is essentially a life support measure used when the lungs or both heart and lungs cannot function adequately with traditional mechanical ventilation support.  In ECMO, blood is drained from the body, diverted to an oxygenator where gas exchange takes place, then returned to the patient. There! Now you know everything you need to know about ECMO. Just kidding! Let’s start at the very beginning.

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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!

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