As you progress in your career as nurse, you’ll likely discover a lot of “nursing hacks” that make your time on the job easier and more efficient. But why wait til you’ve been on the job for five years to make today’s job a little less challenging? Here are 10 nursing hacks you can use today!
The Double Foley Trick– If you’re placing a catheter in a female patient and aren’t getting any urine return, leave the original foley in and then try inserting another one. This way, you won’t keep placing it in the same incorrect spot.
Triple Glove- If you’re about to do something messy (code brown, anyone?) triple glove so you don’t have to stop and reglove.
Fake a Pulse- Patients will often change their breathing pattern if they know you’re watching them. Pretend you’re taking their pulse and count their respirations instead.
Chill an NG Tube- Placing a nasogastric tube is never pleasant, but putting it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before insertion can make it hurt less and slide in easier.
Give the Family a Job- Many family members want to be helpful, but aren’t sure what to do. Ask them to take on a small role (such as holding a hand during a painful procedure) to make them feel like they are contributing.
Warm up a Patient’s Veins- For difficult IV starts, warm up the site with a warm washcloth or towel to make the veins dilate and pop.
Be Prepared for Smells- As a nurse, you’re going to encounter some pretty horrible smells. Be prepared! Keep scented chapstick, a small Vicks Vaporub, or scented oil (peppermint works great) handy so you can dab it under your nose in times of need.
Make the Room Smell Nice- Patient’s room smelling a little… rough? Soak some washcloths in minty mouthwash and place them in the room to freshen things up.
Use Alcohol Pads- They remove the leftover skin stickiness from ECG leads and tape.
Give Confused Patients a Job- If a patient is confused and restless, try to engage them in a simple job, such as folding towels.