Nurse Life Hacks You NEED Now

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Let’s face it; life isn’t all peaches and cream. So to make life just a wee bit easier, some genius out there introduced us to life hacks. Craving an ice cold drink? Wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage and about 15 minutes later… DONE! Need a simple and safe way to store cleaning supplies? A hanging shoe rack, anyone?? Lost an earring? A stocking over your vacuum hose will ensure it’s found without being sucked in. Sheer brilliance, huh?! What about the nurse life, though? 12 hour shifts…difficult patients… Nurses- have no fear! We got you covered with a list of life hacks tailored specifically to YOU!

1. Sure, nurses can handle the sight of blood. On their favorite pair of scrubs, though? Not so much! The best way to remove this all too common stain is with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Voila! Good as new:)

2. On a regular day, how many patients do you encounter that have a fear of…bam-ba-dam…THE NEEDLE??? Whether it’s one or fifteen, have them take ten slooooow and deeeeep breaths. Breathing helps diminish fear and anxiety, and if that doesn’t do the trick, have the patient wiggle his or her toes. Seriously! It serves as a distraction from the big, bad needle.

3. The non-nursing world is under the impression that nurses can stomach anything. I mean, why else would they choose a profession that is at times, downright G-R-O-S-S! Right? Wrong! Well, kinda! Nurses can handle a lot! Sometimes, though, they do fall prey to that thing we call nausea. The quick fix? Swipe an alcohol swab under your nose for instant relief.

4. I think I can correctly assume that ‘Code Brown’ is every nurse’s worst nightmare. And that is why we employ the triple glove method. Not only does this save time, but it also limits the chances that your bare hands make direct contact with ‘you know what.’

5. If the smell in a room is getting to you, fetch two masks and smear toothpaste on the inside of the second mask. Ahhh, the fresh smell of spearmint!

6. Nurse, hairdresser- it’s all one and the same! If you can’t seem to get a hair brush through your patient’s mass of tangled hair, gently but thoroughly rub a few drops of alcohol into the knotted area. The alcohol basically breaks down the substance which is causing the knot, leaving you free to continue with your hairdressing duties.

7. You know those people who seem to be missing veins?? Yeah, I’m one of them. Starting an IV line or drawing blood isn’t always the simplest of matters when it comes to these folks. A good start though, is to place a warm washcloth or compress over the preferred area of insertion/extraction. This helps dilate the blood vessels, allowing you to get a good vein.

8. Say the words ‘respiratory rate,’ and suddenly the patient is extra conscious of their breathing to the point where they either begin to breathe at a faster rate or hold their breath. No more observing respiratory rates. From now on, you’re simply checking their pulse. Wink, wink! By pretending to take their pulse they’ll breathe naturally, allowing you to accurately count their respirations.

9. This is a great two-in-one hack. Before sticking a pediatric patient, put a urine bag on. Kid sees needle. Kid kicks and screams. Kid automatically goes. And just like that, you’ve got yourself a urine sample.

10. Need a quick pick-me-up? There’s no jolt quite like the jolt induced from a cold, sterile stethoscope. Your patients, though, need warmth. Warm your stethoscope by rubbing your hands together to create heat and then cupping the stethoscope. No more squirmy patients, guaranteed!

Honestly, I could go on. For now, though, try these. Perhaps some time down the line we’ll do a part 2!! Happy hacking:)

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