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You have to admit, nurses do a lot of work around the hospital. Hell, they're even more active than the doctors themselves. From setting up the patient for surgery to caring for them until the patient is fully recovered, they're almost always on their feet. While the number of patients at a hospital outdoes the amount of nurses there are, all nurses have to be somewhere on command and give the best service. No matter who the patient is and whether they're rude, quiet, smelly, or wet, no one is there to care for the patient but the nurses.
So, you can just tell how much work nurses do during their shifts. While nurses are always on the go, it's important they know a few tricks up their sleeves to quicken the process and do their jobs properly. That's why we're listing a few of the most useful lifehacks for nurses on the go. And I guarantee any of these lifehacks will benefit any nurse caring for patients.
Warm up the stethoscope.
Have you ever had a nurse place a stethoscope against your chest to listen to your heart beating and it's colder than ice? So many patients jitter and flinch instantly when a nurse places a cold stethoscope on their skin. It's even worse when the patient is ill and their skin feels paper thin... the worst!
To avoid giving patients that pierce of coldness against their skin, warm up your stethoscope before placing it on their body! You don't have to place your stethoscope over an open fire, lay it out in the sun, or put it in the oven (don't do any of these), but simply rub your palms together and cup the stethoscope. Doing this a few times can warm it up and it won't feel cold against your patient's skin. Trust me, all of your patients will thank you for this.
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood stains.
Getting blood on your clothing is just as bad as getting paint... not entirely, but it's still a pretty difficult stain to remove. For nurses, suddenly getting blood stains on your scrubs is the worst. We all know how difficult it is to remove it, and water sure doesn't help but spread the blood out even more.
Among the lifehacks for nurses on the go, using hydrogen peroxide can help remove the stain much easier. If you have blood stains on your scrubs, simply place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on the stains, allow it to sit, then soak the garment, and wash it regularly. This way, the stains are sure to come off instantly after one wash!
Bring a bottle of water with you.
Even nurses tend to forget to stay hydrated while hydrating their patients! Since they're busy bees, it's so easy to forget yourself and not get in a single bottle of water all day. This can result to dehydration and it's possible for you to end up being the patient!
To prevent dehydration, drink water! Bring a bottle of water from home, grab one from the cafeteria, anywhere. It's crucial to drink water on the daily to stay hydrated and stay alert. If it helps you to remember to drink water, always keep a bottle in hand or in the pocket of your scrubs. This way you have no excuse not to drink. This is also one of the simple lifehacks to make you healthier.
Don't forget to ask if the patient needs anything before leaving the room.
I've experienced this myself, so many nurses sometimes forget to ask if the patient needs anything before leaving the room. The reason this is important is because many nurses don't return into the room until minutes and minutes and minutes pass by. Unless it's an emergency, the patient would have to press the request button for a nurse to show up.
Either way, from the lifehacks for nurses on the go, always ask if your patient needs anything before leaving the room. Some patients may be shy to ask out of the blue, and they find it easier to say something when asked.
Allow the patient's family members to do something.
Among the lifehacks for nurses on the go, give the family members the opportunity to do something. The majority of patient's family members are concerned and worried about the patient, which leads them to finding a way to make the patient's stay more comfortable. This will cause them to adjust the pillow, fix the blanket, adjust the bed's angle, and even offer water or food to the patient.
Don't stop them from doing so unless the patient isn't allowed to ingest certain foods or water or is bringing discomfort to the patient. Giving family members a task to do will give them a purpose while being around the patient. This can also make them less nervous and concerned.
Alcohol swabs help nausea.
Horrible smells like bodily fluids and other odors can really mess with nurses. No matter how many times they're around patients with terrible scents, the smell can sometimes never be familiar. And this leads to the worst case of nausea—the last thing a nurse needs to deal with while caring for a patient.
A great way to prevent getting sick in front of a patient is using alcohol swabs to conceal the bad smells. Try to keep a couple of alcohol swabs on you in case you're hit by a wave of nausea. Rip them open and take a big ol' whiff. The stinging smell should consume your sense of smell and guide you out of nausea.
Triple glove for code brown.
Uh-oh, code brown! One glove isn't fit for this job anymore, so start layering those gloves. From the lifehacks for nurses on the go, it's best if you triple-glove it before handling the mess. As a nurse, dealing with poop is pretty common, but this doesn't mean you're relying on the one pair of gloves.
The best way to handle these situations is by wearing three pairs of gloves. Once you've cleaned the mess and removed the diaper, strip one pair off. Then after applying a new diaper, strip off another pair. Finally, after replacing the bedsheets and getting rid of the waste, remove the last pair and your hands should be cleaner compared to having on one pair of gloves.
Powder the bedpans to prevent sticking.
One of the worst things patients hate dealing with is the bedpans getting stuck to them. Much larger patients can also find it troubling to remove the bedpan from under them, because it can get stuck to their skin. And vigorously trying to remove the bedpan can result in a messy incident.
So, to prevent that, a great way to stop the sticking is to powder the seat of the bedpan. Among the lifehacks for nurses on the go, powdering the seat can definitely prevent the bedpan from getting stuck under them. Therefore, when it is time to clean out the bedpan, you can easily remove it without struggling.
Always pause before leaving a room.
Like I've mentioned before, nurses are really, really busy. They hustle on the hospital grounds caring from one patient to the next, so it's easy for them to forget to do something in the room before leaving. Since they have many patients to tend to, it's possible to leave something behind or forget to give the patient something.
As one of the lifehacks for nurses on the go, stop and think before leaving a room. Once you've answered the patient's questions, gave them their medicine, or anything else, stop and look around the room. Check if you left something behind like your clipboard or if you forget to turn on one of the machines. It's always important to stop and think just in case you really did forget to do something!
Coffee grounds are great for absorbing odors.
Finally, using coffee grounds is definitely one of the best lifehacks for nurses on the go! If you didn't realize until now, coffee has a really strong smell. And it smells delicious. So what better way to use coffee grounds than having it absorb odors!
If a patient is dealing with really bad odors around the room, the perfect way to conceal those odors is by placing a small pot of coffee grounds right in the center of the room and allow it to conceal any bad odors roaming around the room. As a plus, the smell of coffee is heavenly, which makes this one of the best methods in eliminating lingering odors naturally.