Two Maxims of Nursing

This is for all you student nurses out there. This is a lesson we all learn the hard way, and it’s a lesson you will learn one way or another.

If you can accept and embrace these to constants in the nursing world, you’ll have much less stress in your day and will not burn out of this career as fast as most do.

1. You start your day behind schedule.

: The moment you clock in, even before you get your assignment. Even before you grab your gear. Even if you’re one of the many nurses that come in early to get your lab work before report. You are already behind schedule. You will always be behind the 8-ball, and the minute you think you’re ahead of the game… something happens. Either a patient has an emesis, you have a difficult family member, or difficulty dealing with a physician…or a patient codes. The list goes on. Accept this and move on. Nursing is a 24hr job, you do the best you can, with what you have, in the allotted time you are given and hand-off to the next shift.

2. Charting is never done.

: There will come a time when you will be finishing your 12hr shift. You’ve giving report, and you are just now going to sit down to do your AM assessment note. For instance, in the ICU world, we do 3 full assessments every 4  hrs. Sometimes more depending on the acuity of the patient. I work a 7a-7p shift. I have had a handful of times where I sit down at 8pm to chart my 8am note. Yes, that means I have to chart 3 assessments, and all the happenings throughout my crazy day. And apparently, it was crazy for me to charting 12hrs later!! Accept this and move on. Charting comes last in the tangled web of nursing.  Yes, you are correct. If it’s not charted it did not happen, but your patients are your priority.

If you can accept and embrace these two maxims, your gonna be a much happier and much more pleasant individual. New nurses always get caught up in swimming upstream and not having any charting done.

Accept them and embrace them. You will have good days and bad days, but these two concepts will be with you every day of your nursing career.

Welcome to nursing. Enjoy the ride!!!

 

Blog reheated: I originally wrote this post in August 2008

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The secret to passing the NCLEX: Mental Aerobics

We hire a lot of new graduate nurses where I currently work. I actually help with the orientation and transition process of new grads transforming from Student Nurse (SN)to Graduate Nurse (GN), to the auspicious Registered Nurse (RN).

The biggest question on all GN’s minds is taking the NCLEX-RN.

“What’s the best way to study?”

“How did you study?”

“I don’t want to fail! I only want to take it once.”

Of course, we all want the above. The NCLEX-RN exam is simply a pressure cooker. It doesn’t really measure your knowledge or your total knowledge of nursing basics. What it measures is how you react under pressure. Do you crack, or do you rise to the occasion? Because the reality is, that’s exactly what an RN does every day.

“It doesn’t measure our knowledge?”~ It does, but not like you think. It wants to know how sound your nursing judgment is, and how developed are your critical thinking skills. Nothing more.

You’ll find that some of the most intelligent nurses you attended classes with will have difficulty passing their boards, due to this very simple fact. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have consumed, if you can’t apply the given lessons to everyday nursing responsibilities, it will only do one thing. Get a patient hurt. A good nurse has sound judgment and good critical thinking skills, not a know it all.

So here is the key to passing the NCLEX-RN: Mental Aerobics.

We have all heard and done our homework when it comes to the specifics of the exam. We all know that you will be asked a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 260-ish. It all depends on how well you answer your questions. Answer them correctly and you’ll have fewer questions.

So. 75 questions MINIMUM.

There is the key. You need to guarantee your mind will be sharp all the way up to that 75th question (or more). Because if not, you will be sitting in front of that computer to answer the 260!

Practice questions. Practice questions. Practice questions. Do them. And when you’re done doing them. Do some more.

You have to start small and work your way up. You’d be surprised at how fast your mind will wander and lose focus after just 20 questions. And remember… you have no idea if you’ve answered them correctly. So your anxiety is building with each additional question.

Practice daily. Start with 20. Once you can efficiently answer 20, move to 30. Then 40, 50, 60, etc. You get the idea. My suggestion is to be able to sit in front of that computer screen for 100 questions before you become mentally fatigued. That way you’ve factored in fatigue and anxiety. (Trust me, the pressure cooker is a quaint description of the exam environment)

Oh and one last thing. Do nothing 2 days before the exam. You’ll do nothing but drive yourself crazy if you study up to the night before. Give yourself the mental break to refresh and revitalize.

Best of luck!

Blog reheated: I originally wrote this post August 22, 2008


What are some tips for difficult IV starts?

There is no 100% guaranteed method to successful IV starts, but I share some things that might get you close to that.

This was a YouTube Live broadcast, so pull up a chair.

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The views and opinions expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.
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Every nurse feels overwhelmed

Do you feel overwhelmed? (Will it ever go away?)

Nobody said being a nurse would be easy.

There isn’t a nurse out there that hasn’t felt overwhelmed at some point in their career. I have felt it multiple times! This feeling is so common, it’s almost a requirement. Do you pedal back… or do you lean in?

Welcome to nursing.

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The views and opinions expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.

 

*may contain affiliate links*
Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent

What do you think about the NY state BSN mandate?

In mid-December 2017 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a requirement that nurses earn a BSN within 10 years of initial licensure. A decision that affects all nurses throughout the nation.

I offer my answer.

[Warning, this was a YouTube live broadcast. The video is almost an hour long, so have a seat.]

Other topics discussed in this live broadcast:

• When should nursing students apply for their first job

• NCLEX study tips

• Residency programs

 

Here are some links of interest:

https://www.nurse.com/blog/2017/12/20/new-york-governor-signs-bsn-in-10-into-law-for-nurses/

http://donnacardillo.com/higher-education-for-nurses/

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2017/12/new-york-raises-bar-for-nursing-students/

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/human-capital-and-risk/new-york-state-passes-bsn-in-10-nursing-education-legislation.html

The IOM Future of Nursing Report:

http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2010/the-future-of-nursing-leading-change-advancing-health.aspx

 

 

 


 

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If you enjoy my work and want to support me creating new and exciting content, I’m on Patreon! With your help, I can expand and create even cooler stuff. Check me out and donate: https://www.patreon.com/seanpdent
____________________________________________________
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____________________________________________________

 

The views and opinions expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.

 

*may contain affiliate links*
Find all of my recommended products and the gear I used in my videos at www.amazon.com/shop/seanpdent