Tag Archives: on the job

The nose of a nurse: dealing with bad smells in the hospital

bad smells hospital

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!

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What the heck is the P/F Ratio: Episode 33

PF ratio

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)

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Ventilator weaning starts at intubation: Episode 32

ventilator weaning

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.

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Nursing shift routines: Podcast Episode 24

nursing shift routines

We get so many readers of the blog asking about nursing shift routines. How do you start your day? How do you stay organized? The key to getting and staying organized is having some consistent routines such as the ones outlined in this podcast:

  • Start of shift routine
  • First assessment routine
  • “Spot-check” routine
  • End of shift routine

Armed with a few nursing shift routines, you will immediately reap the benefits of having a more organized approach to time management and your ever-changing priorities as an RN or student nurse.

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How to know your patient need intubation: Podcast Episode 18

intubation

In this podcast, we talk about the very important skill of understanding when your patient is in respiratory distress and how to know if intubation is needed.

  • Normal respiratory parameters and assessment findings
  • Abnormal findings and what to do about them
  • The nurse’s role in the intubation process
  • Taking care of your patient post intubation

You can also read about this process here.

And something we don’t cover in the podcast, but that’s super helpful to understand is the P/F ratio, which you can check out here!

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Being a nurse with a chronic illness

chronic illness

Just a few months after starting my first nursing job in the ICU, I was diagnosed with a chronic form of blood cancer. To say I was stressed is putting it mildly. On top of that, in 2013 I began having issues with my joints. They were swollen, painful and made it impossible for me to do my job. I went out on medical leave numerous times, cut my hours and even quit nursing for about a year while I pondered what my future options were.

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The most common types of difficult patients and families…and how to deal

difficult patients

Are you heading into your 4th semester preceptorship, or perhaps you’re a new grad getting ready to start out on your own. By now you’ve seen a glimpse of some of the types of difficult patients/families that the RNs have had to deal with. Sometimes the challenge is subtle and easily handled…like the patient with 10 family members who all call for separate updates (that one’s easy…designate ONE spokespserson), or it could be more overt with hostile, aggressive behavior that makes you question the continuity of your own personal safety.

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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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