Nursing is a tough job and apparently, there are no shortcuts to providing good and quality care. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t make our lives easier while doing our job. Here’s list of nursing life hacks that can show you exactly how.
1. Go slow when you prime your IV. When you go full blast with the flow, there’s a good chance for tiny air bubbles to form within the tube. To avoid this, you can clamp the tube first, fill the drip chamber and let the fluid flow slowly. See also: 50 IV Therapy Tips and Tricks
2. Use gauze to prevent hair pulling when using a tourniquet. The friction a tourniquet creates against hair can be painful to patients. To address this, try placing a thin sheet of gauze in between the tourniquet and your patient’s skin.
3. Prevent pinching. Fold a washcloth and tuck it under the front of the bedside commode seat to prevent pinching.
4. Use hydrogen peroxide for blood stains. While we technically have no problem seeing blood, having them on our white uniform or your favorite scrub suit is a different story. Instead of wearing blood stains as your battle mark the entire shift, you can apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide as a stain remover.
5. Didn’t hit the mark? Try double insertion of foley catheters. Missing the mark isn’t only common to new nurses. The truth is, whether you’re a veteran or not, we’ve all had our fair share of the experience. When inserting a foley cath to a female patient and you fail to get a return, leave the first catheter in place and try the same procedure with another Foley catheter, aiming higher this time.
6. Powder a bedpan. Powder a bedpan before you put a patient on it for easier evacuation; especially useful for obese patients.
7. Patient have needle phobia? Have the patient take ten slow and deep breaths before sticking him for blood extraction. Breathing helps lessen fear and anxiety. If that doesn’t work:
8. Wiggle toes. As a form of distraction, let the patient wiggle his toes to divert his attention to it.
9. When the patient has a Foley and ambulates… Tie a clean glove or tourniquet to the bottom of the IV pull and hang the Foley there.
10. Try the triple gloving method when handling code brown. This trick doesn’t only save time, but it also limits the chances of your bare hands getting in contact directly with your client’s excretions. The first pair of gloves is meant for cleaning your patient’s poop. Strip the first pair and work with your second pair of gloves when putting on his new diaper. Take the second pair off and use the remaining pair of gloves on your hands in placing a fresh sheet on his bed and in disposing of waste.
11. Can’t stand the smell? Add grounded coffee beans in your station. Coffee powder is a good odor neutralizer, whether it’s coming from your emesis basin or a whole room. To do this trick, you can just put a small container filled with grounded coffee beans right at the center of the area.
12. Use alcohol swabs if you’re feeling nauseous. You can swipe an alcohol swab under your nose for instant relief from nausea. You can also use this trick if you’re suffering from sinus pain.
13. Put peppermint oil in your mask for stinky situations. Place a few drops of peppermint oil in your face mask and breathing through your mouth. Helpful for patients who feel like vomiting from the bad odors, too. Or you could…
14. Wear two masks. Grab two masks and smear toothpaste on the inside of the second mask. This helps you tolerate the smell and stops from getting toothpaste in your face or mustache.
15. You can also use alcohol on matted hair. “If a hair brush can’t get through my patient’s hair, I use a bit of alcohol to remove tangles. It works like a charm”, a veteran nurse shared. For this trick, you need to apply a few drops of alcohol on the area. The alcohol works by breaking any substance that’s causing the tangles. Make sure to gently but thoroughly rub it on the hair.