As a professional nurse, you probably come across a number of awkward situations and people in a full day’s work that sometimes a slip-of-the-tongue just happens. But that’s still no excuse because you pretty much knew what you were getting into before signing up for the job.
Nursing is a career that requires as much verbal control as a sound understanding of performing medical tasks without bringing about too much discomfort to a patent both on a physical and emotional level. Here are five don’ts that you as a professional nurse must not let slip out of your mouth to make the patient you’re looking after feel uncomfortable.
1. “I don’t know; that’s what the doctor said.”
This is the biggest and most annoying mistake of them all. Knowing what the physician has planned as a part of a treatment for a patient that you and the physician are collaborating on is actually part of a nurse’s job description–there’s no other way around that. And not knowing what the physician has planned not only brings your ignorance as a nurse out in the open, but it also diminishes your value within the health care system. So make sure that you fully understand what the physician has planned and try to have your queries answered before you face the patent when the physician isn’t around to avoid a rather awkward confrontation and being misjudged.
2. “I haven’t done this before, but don’t worry.”
And after hearing that, most probably every patient will respond with something in the likes of “Then maybe you shouldn’t” because you probably have given them every reason to be worried with just those few words. If you’ve been asked to perform a particular medical task for the first time, the last thing that you should be doing is making the patient feel insecure because that way he or she may just begin to doubt the quality of the service being provided within the health care system. Imagine a mom taking her kid for a flu vaccination and you utter those words. She’ll definitely not be risking her kid in your lap. Although providing better pediatric health care is not that difficult and bears the lowest risk, you should still get into the shoes of a mother. What you need to do is prepare yourself by reviewing guidelines and policies, and bringing in a more experienced nurse for assistance. And yes, don’t worry–there’s always a first time for everyone.
3. “They don’t treat nurses well here.”
Well, after taking into account the fact that nursing pays more than just well, that’s probably a lie. And even if it isn’t, it’s rather unprofessional on your part to rant about the shortcomings of the health care system you work in front of the patients you’re looking after. Patients generally look at the nurses attending to them as an extension of the quality and the services the entire health care system provides. Trashing the system pretty much equates to trashing the credibility of the entire system as well as your own; and this is something you wouldn’t want to do, would you?
4. “I don’t know why you’re on these meds.”
Much like being completely ignorant to what the physician has planned for the patient, not knowing why the patient is being given a particular medicine (or more) can actually turn out to become a matter of life and death; you wouldn’t want to give someone dehydrated due to food poisoning more diuretics to completely drain them out, or send the blood pressure of a patient who’s already experiencing high pressure off the charts also by giving them the wrong pills. To avoid unwarranted drama, know the medicines and know why the patient needs them; patients never stop asking questions and doing your job right never hurts.
5. “You don’t have much time left.”
Now why would you even do that? You’re not the bearer of bad news! Let’s just say that there are some things that physicians are simply better at conveying to the patient than a nurse. Physicians almost always have a scientifically logical explanation ready at the tip of their tongue to handle such a situation, so let them share that part of the really bad news.
In recent times, life has become so competitive that it’s essential for a nursing student to take advantage of all the available opportunities. It’s necessary to be multifunctional and diverse—without these things, you won’t be able to win the race for success. It is especially important for students to get some real life experience of what it takes to succeed in the practical life. What it takes to earn money and how hard parents have to work for earning extra few cents. Nowadays, there is an increasing trend towards gaining job experience during education. Some students do this out of necessity, while some do this in order to get some practical knowledge. Regardless of the reason, it is a proven fact that studying and working at the same time is gainful in every manner.
If you are studying abroad, then a part-time job can be a great opportunity for you to earn working experience. Not only will you earn some money, but also you will have the chance to observe the labor market of the country you are living in and save yourself from the burden of student loans. Through part-time working, you can alleviate some of the expenditure which you will have to bear while living abroad. If you are really keen on working part-time, the first thing you have to do is search the countries that allow students to work while studying as well as the conditions and criteria. Different countries have different legislation, so it’s important to get proper information about the country you are living in. For instance, in the U.S., if you are an F-1 visa holder, then you can work on-campus utmost 20 hours per week in the study period and 40 hours per week during vacations. The F-1 visa is given to international students who have enrolled under a full-time program in high school, a university, language school, or other higher studies institutions in the U.S.
On-campus working means job must be done for the college or any educational institution where you are staying. F-1 visa holders can also work with the businesses that provide facilities to your educational institute, such as the cafeteria, library, and transport services. If you are a F-1 visa holder, you can’t work off-campus until you receive a permit from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Off-campus working permission is authorized on the basis of economic hardship. Off-campus working permission is only granted after spending at least 1 full academic year in your educational institution.
Moreover, there are certain conditions for this. Any other kind of off-campus employment may be found illegal. This will lead to deportation or difficulty in future immigration proceedings, like visa stamping and green card. So F-1 visa holders shouldn’t get involved in any illegal or risky activity.
In Canada, you can also work while studying. In order to work on-campus at a post-secondary educational institution in Canada, foreign students do not need a work permit, but a valid study permit is necessary. For off-campus working, the foreign students may apply for a work permit. In order to get an off-campus work permit, there are certain requirements. Students must be enrolled in a full-time program, either at a publicly funded educational institution or certain privately funded institutions. In order to continue working in Canada, students can also apply for a post-graduation work permit after graduation from an eligible institution.
It’s important for students to learn about the policies and requirements of their educational institutions. Off-campus work permits allow students to work, but they come with certain restrictions. To learn more about students and employment in the U.S., visit www.uscis.gov.
To a nurse, scrubs aren’t just a uniform that you have to change into to identify your position in a health care system. In fact, they’re an outfit that has been designed to ensure better patient safety and care through proper nurse hygiene within the system. After the hands, it’s the clothes that one wears that can carry an entire army of germs and pathogens leading to medical nuisance.
Here are four essentials to ensure that your scrubs are clean and properly disinfected.
1. The first wash is vital.
Nursing scrubs undergo a significant amount of physical and chemical wear and tear throughout their life. Though they are designed to be disposed and replaced frequently, a bit of pre-treatment to preserve their life wouldn’t hurt.You might want to wash your scrubs in a bucket of luke warm water with a cup vinegar mixed in it before wearing them for the first time. The vinegar acts a color fixative preventing them from fading too soon and also enhances their durability against common medical disinfectants that can damage your scrubs on repeated use.
2. Wear your scrubs only when on call.
Wear your scrubs when you get to work and while performing work related tasks only. Germs don’t take a break and can move from your home or the streets to your workplace as well. Having clean scrubs is thus of utmost importance to ensure a clean and healthy working environment for yourself and for patients receiving medical care at your facility. To avoid infecting your scrubs with germs from outside, don’t change into them until you get to work. And when you’re doing off-shift stuff like lunching, you might want to change out of them again. It’s a bit tiring, but most sauces are harder to remove than blood anyway, so save yourselves from a bit of the extra trouble by avoiding meal spills.
3. Follow the three-step cleaning process.
Washing scrubs employs three basic steps – stain removal, disinfection, and drying. To remove stains, first wash your scrubs in cold water with regular detergent. It’s best to set the load size to a maximum to allow your scrubs plenty of movement for a better wash. Once the cycle of regular washing is complete, remove them and check them for any remaining stains. If there is still some remaining, repeat the process; you would want to remove as many stains as possible before disinfecting as the hot water used while disinfecting will only make stains harder to remove.
After all stains have been successfully removed, begin disinfecting your scrubs by washing them in hot water with a hospital prescribed disinfecting agent or color-safe bleach. A good disinfectant should kill most if not all bacteria, viruses’ and pathogens that may have attached themselves to your scrubs while on duty. And if not, then drying your scrubs for half an hour on the highest heat setting would kill any left overs as most microorganisms responsible for contagious infections are sensitive to high temperatures.
4. Always have your scrubs looking good.
After the chemical wear and tear your scrubs receive during washing, it is very important to have them looking neat for a proper and professional appearance. Take out five minutes from your schedule to press them with a hot iron. Ironing your scrubs not only removes wrinkles, but also helps to kill even more pathogens that may have reappeared as a result of cross-contamination. It’s also best to pack them in an air-tight bag and keep them at your workplace till you need to wear them again.
You should ideally be alternating between two sets of scrubs, but having more than two just makes each last longer.
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