Life hacks, we all can and do use them in every aspect of our life. They are the little tips that make your life run a little more smoothly. That's why it's no surprise that there are lots of life hacks in nursing too. They certainly make nursing life much easier and all nurses need as much help as they can get. Here are the top 16 life hacks for nurses and even if just one of them is help to you, be sure and share this post with your nurse friends to make their life easier too:
1. Contact lens solution
Did you forget your contact lens solution? Use normal saline. It's also great as an emergency eye drop when your eyes are tired or irritated.
2. Got a code brown?
Ah, the old poop exposure. We all want to avoid getting poop on our hands, and the way to do this is to triple glove. Once you've cleaned up the poopy mess, you can peel off the first layer of gloves. The next layer can be used to apply diapers or do general clean up. Remove these and change the bed sheets and apply a new chux.
2. Anyone for coffee?
G.I bleeds smell pretty darn bad, as does emesis, urine...and the list goes on. Grab a couple of coffee filters and fill them with coffee grinds. They will absorb the smell and get rid of those nasty odors. Place the coffee grind under the patient's bed. This hack is one all seasoned nurses usually know.
3. Soak your patient's nasogastric tube in ice
Inserting a nasogastric tube is no fun for your patient. Try soaking it in ice. Not only will this be more comfortable and tolerable for you patient, but it will also ease insertion. So this one's a win-win.
4. Problems with female Foley catheter insertion
This can be remedied by leaving the first one in and using the second one to aim higher. Using this trick helps you not make the same mistake twice. Once the second one is in place, then you can pull out the first one.
5. Put a warm washcloth over area of IV insertion
When you use this trick, it will help to dilate the blood vessels for easier selection and insertion.
6. Blood stains? Use hydrogen peroxide
Using hydrogen peroxide for blood stains works wonders. It works instantly and is very effective.
7. Sticky poop that's hard to remove
Feces can be rather stubborn at times, especially when a patient has C-diff. A great trick is to apply lotion to your wipes to aid you in removal. Shaving cream also works like a charm.
8. When priming a new tubing, do clamp, spike, and fill
Always clamp the tubing first, so the drip chamber fills first. This way air won't form in the tubing as you're priming it. Gotta love any tip that helps with these annoying air bubbles.
9. Put an examination glove over your stethoscope
Nurses don't always realize how filthy your stethoscope can get and wearing it around your neck with all those germs on it makes my skin crawl. To keep your stethoscope clean cover it with a glove before use. This will keep it clean, but will also allow you to still hear all the sounds through the diaphragm.
10. Peds patients and tourniquets
They're always too big. Cut the tourniquet in half so it's fits around their small limbs
11. Hairy patients.
The tourniquets are always more painful for these patients because of the friction between the hair and the tourniquet. You can fix this by applying a piece of gauze under the tourniquet to reduce the amount of friction. A nice little tip.
12. Mask that odor
There are some odors that seem to stalk you even when you've gotten rid of the source. I've had some that seemed to crawl up my nose and hide for several days. No matter how many showers I took, they refused to leave my sense of smell. For these types of odors try using wintergreen oil, Vicks or toothpaste. Just dab a little on the inside, top portion of your mask and voila you've masked the odor!
13. Put your sock on!
When doing a procedure on a foot when the patient is wearing socks, use the sock-on-sock method. When you take their sock off, put it on the patient's other socked foot. This saves you from spending ten minutes looking for the sock that got away.
14. Don't tell everything you know
When you're checking respirations on a patient, don't tell them what you're really doing. Instead, act like you're checking their pulse and count their respirations. The rationale behind this one is that if you tell them you're counting their respirations they will immediately begin to breath more or even hold their breath, which will give you an inaccurate reading.
15. Clamp it.
If you need to clamp a Foley, but you've run out of Kelly clamps, you can use the barrel of a syringe. Remove the plunger and insert the tubing into the barrel to clamp it.
16. Dried blood
Can be removed using K.Y Jelly. Coat the area with K.Y first. This will help you remove it easier with a wet wipe.
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