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Top 5 Safety Tips in Handling Medication

If you are watching the news or browsing the Internet, you’ll be able to see that some nurses are being sued by their patients due to wrong drug administration that results to more medical complication on the patient’s part.

Why do you think nurses are being sued when it comes to these matters?

When it comes to administering medicines, nurses are responsible for that. But, let’s face it! Nurses are humans and they are not perfect. They can make mistakes too and even the most professional nurses commit errors too when it comes to drug doses and administration.

The problem is, their mistakes have huge consequences especially if their medication worsens their patients’ condition. In this case, they will not only lose their patients trust but their license as well.

If they do not want that to happen to them, they should take note of the following tips in giving medication the safe way without harming their patients.

Always check the doctor’s order not once but twice

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In checking the physicians’ order, make sure that it’s complete. A complete order contains the drug name, the dosage, frequency and the route of administration. If the physician’s order given is incomplete, they should never accept the information. Instead, check the order once again with the ordering physician.

Never fail to check the patient’s medication

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They can do that by simply looking at the medicines expiry date, compare its labels to the order, and always look at the characteristics of medication. If the medication is physically outdated, they must discard the drug and get a new one.

Look for the drug interaction.

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Most patients have to take 2-3 kinds of drugs on a daily basis. Nurses should check the drug interaction for each medication and ensure that they do not have to make any precaution by looking at their patient’s chart.

Proper computation of doses

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The most common mistake committed by nurses always comes from the wrong computation of dosage. Prevent problems from acquiring by ensuring that the dosage is computed correctly. If they are still in doubt with their computation, they can always seek help from their co-workers.

Set aside conversation

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Drug administration is a hard thing to do, to prevent making any mistakes; they should concentrate on their tasks and limit the conversation to ensure that they are preparing the right medication.

As they read the tips above, many nurses can surely save themselves from the humiliation of providing wrong medications.

Challenges Encountered by Pediatric Nurses

Pediatric nurse, from the word “pedia” these nurses, work with young patients. They care for infant to young adults. Part of their care is by providing immunizations, giving developmental screenings and treating the common illness like tonsillitis.

Aside from being a caregiver, pediatric nurses also teach families preventive measures against childhood diseases and children’s nutrition for proper growth and development.  In general, pediatric nurses are loved by their patients but similar with the other nurses; they also face challenges at work.

What are the challenges faced by pediatric nurses?

Death of a Child

Pediatric nurses also care for patients with a more difficult medical situation such as the pediatric oncology which is the care given to children with cancer. This is the area wherein pediatric nurses are forced to deal with the death of the children on a regular basis. A certain article was released stating that oncology nurses suffer from stress and can suffer from compassion fatigue.

Stressed out parents

Whenever a child is ill, parents are always in a state of stress and the person who deals with the stressful parents are pediatric nurses. The situation can even heighten if the child is very sick and needs to be transferred in an intensive care unit, in that instance, parents stress can reach unimaginable level. Pediatric nurses can either add to the stress or reduce the parent’s stress by interacting with them calmly and by showing empathy.

Giving pain to children

One of the most difficult tasks pediatric nurses have to do deal with is inflicting pain on a child. The sad part is, they cannot avoid doing it because it is part of their duty as a nurse and that is to implement medical procedures. Although the procedures can be really frightening for the kids and for the parents, they are instances that they have to restrain a child from moving for the procedure.

Even in outpatient settings, pediatric nurses are causing pain to children during immunizations which are very traumatic for the kids. But, as a nurse, they have to be strong and deal with the situation calmly in order to help the child get better.

The challenges faced by pediatric nurses are really hard but still, they are seen laughing with kids and playing with them in their free time. Despite their huge responsibilities, they still see to it that they have time for their patients because that is who pediatric nurses really are. They are nurses who love kids.

Surviving the Night as a Nurse

If you’ll be asked, what do you prefer, working during the day or night? The majority will certainly answer that they want to work on day shift because they are used to that. But, these days, many professions are being required to work on night shifts schedules and nurses are included.

That’s not surprising because hospitals are open 24/7 and they need nurses to work during the night to watch over the patients. Have you ever experienced being a night nurse? If no, this article is perfect for you because sooner or later you’ll be assigned to work at night.

The first thing you need to know about working at night is that you’ll not get used to it that fast. Learning to adapt to a different sleep schedule is one of the hardest things you’ll have to face because you have to be awake when everybody is sleeping.

Don’t fret, will provide you with tips that can help you survive the night as a nurse.

Tip#1 Sleep, Sleep and Sleep

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Once you started your night shift schedule, make sure that you can get an adequate amount of sleep once you get home. To do so, you must ensure that you have an environment conducive enough for sleeping. If your room has too much sunlight, make use of curtains or blinds to darken the room. Aside from that, disconnect your things that can easily interrupt your rest like the doorbell, your phone, and other electronic devices.

Remember that it is essential for you to get some sleep, so teach your body to fall asleep during the day and for longer periods of time even with distractions.

Tip #2 Consider taking caffeinated products

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The majority of nurses working in the night are taking coffee, tea, and cola. These drinks can help them stay alert during their shift. If you are planning to drink caffeine as you head to work, take it about 20 to 35 minutes in order to improve your alert level. But, it does not mean that you should rely on caffeinated drinks and overdo it, caffeine products like coffee when consumed frequently has its own negative effects on your body.

Tip #3 Observe your health condition

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Working on night shift schedule could have a great effect on you mentally and physically if you don’t properly observe your health. According to research, shift workers in all forms of industry are at greater risk of having high blood pressure, experiencing insomnia, diabetes, menstrual irregularities, colds, and weight gain.

Tip #4 Socialize with your co-workers

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Unlike working as a nurse during the day, night nurses are more resourceful as they have lesser directors and managers on duty. Aside from that, night nurses rely upon each other so much that they end up with a special bond. Bonding with your co-workers is also beneficial on your part because your job will be a lot lighter.

As you follow these tips, you can surely survive your time as a night shift nurse. Aside from the tips stated above, you can think of other ways on how you can stay awake during the night.

Outstanding Qualities of a Great Nurse Now Revealed!

Are you still studying to be a great nurse someday? If you are at the peak of finishing nursing and entering the real world of working in hospitals. Let me tell you now that your chosen career is very challenging and fulfilling at the same time.

As a nurse, your responsibility is to take care of your patients while they are inside or confined in the hospital which can be very challenging on your part as a health care provider.  Because you’ll be dealing with different people every day, the satisfying of being a nurse is seeing them leave the hospital healthy and strong, nothing can beat that feeling.

But, do you know that for you to become a successful nurse, you should have the certain traits only found on great nurses? Before we identify the qualities of a great nurse, you should know that some of the traits come naturally but the others are only attained through proper education.

Great nurse have empathy towards their patients

As a good and caring nurse, you should have empathy for what your patients are going through. Give ease to your patient’s burden by showing compassion. This is essential, your patients see you as their own personal supporter which is the softer side of hospitals. Do not worry because your empathy has a long way to go and can surely enhance your patient’s situation.

Being calm even under great pressure

As a nurse, you’ll experience making sudden decisions on medical circumstances and being cool in these situations is important. In general, great nurses are level headed and education has something to do with that. In your profession, your confidence is heightened by your knowledge. If you know to yourself that you are aware of the technical aspect of your job, being calm even on tough times is possible for you.

Great nurses are focus when it comes to details

In the field of medicine, patients and doctors rely on nurses when it comes to medication and administering proper care. The best nurses on the field are very meticulous when it comes to details. They play very close attention to details because they are aware of how important details are on providing medication.

Superb Communication Skills

Being a nurse, you are assigned to work with a patient one on one. In this case, proper communication is a must not only for providing medicines. As a nurse, part of your responsibility is to talk to your patients and help them understand their situation. Because they are instances that patients cannot accept their condition.

If you possess these qualities, you can ensure that you can be a great nurse but, if you only possess one or two of the following, you must double your efforts and prove to yourself and to others that you are capable of being one.

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Infographic by: onlinenursing.duq.edu

How do Nurses Handle an Irate Patient?

When it comes to careers, I personally salute the people working within the medical industry. Nurses and Doctors are someone I look up to because their job is not a joke. They are basically saving people’s lives daily! If you are a nurse or a doctor, applaud yourself as you are doing a great and inspiring job.

With your kind of job, I’m pretty sure that you are able to handle all kinds of people, with different behaviors and characteristics. But, amongst your patients handling the irate one can be your biggest challenge. Although nurses and doctors are known to be doing your best in helping your patients control their emotions, they are instances that you’ll be confronted by an angry patient.

Why do patients get angry?

It is part of our nature to be angry but if a person is feeling pain, experiencing stress, and anxiety. The result is, they will no longer have a control over their emotions. As a result, they will be made to everyone that surrounds them.

If you’re an experienced nurse, you know that these kinds of patients will be testing your patience, compassion, and skills as a nurse. How will you handle the situation?

Recognize the early signs

As a nurse, you have the ability to recognize the signs is one of your patients is becoming angry like clenched fists, tightened jaw, and sudden changes in your patience behavior.

Keep yourself calm

As you deal with an irate patient, the best and most effective approach you can do is to remain calm. You should always keep in mind that your patient is not doing it on purpose but, they are just releasing their anxiety for being hospitalized or just seeking attention. As you remain calm, you’ll have the situation under control and it would be easier for you to address your patient.

Start a friendly conversation

Help your patient release his emotions by engaging in a conversation because the majority of patients with an irate behavior just wants to be heard. As you start the conversation, always ensure that you’ll address the patient with his name, maintain an eye contact and speak with a soft voice. Aside from those, let your patient feel that you understand what he is going through and solve the problem by paraphrasing what your patient has told you and explain the whole situation in a very polite manner.

Understand where your patient is coming from

In these situations, you should show empathy, understanding and never get tired of apologizing to your patients. As you do so, your patients will feel your presence and support on what they are going through.

Always set boundaries

If your patient’s difficult attitude is endless, it would be best if you’ll set some limits. For instance, let them know that you will be checking on them after 15 minutes. For some situation, you have to keep some boundaries for your own protection.

As a nurse, you cannot really get away from these kinds of patients, but, by following these tips, you’ll be able to handle them properly.

Color Coding System for Nursing Students

Are you a little bit crazy about dealing with colors? If you want to be a professional nurse someday, you have to train yourself starting today on how to become organized. Being organized is a major requirement for nurses so be sure to embrace these color coding materials while you’re still a student.

Believe it or not, color coding helps a lot in the organization especially when it comes to understanding labels and tons of medical terms. Once you learned how to use the color coding system, you will realize how effective it is not only in your studies but also in your day to day life. You can always change the colors according to the meaning it represents for better memory retention and understanding. Below are the colors and meanings that you can partner up:

Blue

The color blue is great for marking important values over the texts. Keep track of the important numbers you have to retain in your head all the time.

Green

Color green works great to mark the given examples over the texts. You can also use it to mark the best explanations for complicated concepts.

Red

Color red adds emphasis and intensity to your deadlines and test dates. It works best for noting all your reports and requirements that are needed to be submitted.

Pink

Taking up nursing means you have to memorize tons of vocabulary together with its meanings. Highlight all the terms you have to memorize and understand in depth to spot them easier on your notes.

Yellow

Tests are given all the time so be sure to highlight those things that might be included in the test.

Orange

It’s normal to encounter terms and concepts that are mind numbing and hard to understand. If you think you need to do a research to understand it better, highlight it with orange. This means you have to go back to your notes from time to time to clear every orange-marked item.

What to Use for Highlighting

1. Highlighters

This might seem unnecessary but take time to consider the use of highlighters. Instead of wasting time to highlight anything with your pen, a highlighter will do better.  Not only because it can cover up the texts better, it is also easier to distinguish the meaning of each highlighted items from the others. So, pull out your Sharpies and start coloring your black and white life in school.

2. Sticky Arrows/Notes

Sticky notes and arrows are also a handy pack to carry during lectures. Use each color to mark the pages and parts that you needed to highlight. Using these sticky arrows on your books will make your life easier when it’s time to review for exams and quizzes. Once you’re done accomplishing the things that it indicates, you can remove it without ruining a page.

Take note that you can change the meaning of each color in this color coding system depending on your liking. You can create your own and go mark everything that needed to be marked! Good luck with your organization plan and share your positive experiences with this color coding system.

How do Nurses Deal with Patients Death?

As a nurse how do you manage to handle your patient’s death? Before we tackle how nurse handles the death of their patient, let us first define the meaning of nurse. In general, a nurse is a person who is formally educated and to take good care of the sick and infirm.

In your profession as a healthcare worker, the term death is not surprising in our field. But, nurses like you find it really hard to cope with this kind of loss especially if the patient has been closed to their hearts. For many years, nurses have to deal with this kind of situations and if you failed to handle this properly, it can lead to chronic burnout.

I know that as a nurse, your patients are important for you and you are doing your best to save their lives but, you should learn to accept that when you chose “nursing” as your course, dealing with someone’s death is a huge part of the deal. To help you with the situation, here are some tips that come from professional nurses like you.

Accept the fact that death is unavoidable

All lives end in death if your patient condition starts to worsen, do not deny yourself the fact that his life might soon lead to an end. By acknowledging that fact can lead to a possible outcome and you can better prepare yourself for the worst scenario.

Allow yourself to grieve

You are not a robot, you have feelings and emotions. Instead of keeping it to yourself, you should be open about how you feel. If you deny yourself the chance to grieve it might affect that way you interact with your future patients.

Do not be afraid to communicate with the patient’s family member

Express your condolence to your patient’s family. Hug the relatives if you are comfortable with them. By doing so, it can help you remember the great effort you put in, it will also provide you with the closure that you badly need.

Converse with your co-workers

There is a great chance that your co-workers have experienced losing a patient as well and they understand the pain you are going through. They are the best people you can ask for advice and talking to them is very therapeutic in your situation.

By following these, healing from the unexpected death of your patient would not be that hard and you’ll be able to do your responsibilities as a nurse without questioning yourself if you have done enough.

How Can Nurses Imprint Great Memories with Patients

No one is really invincible. Why? Because even superheroes like Super Man need someone to tend to look after him after fighting Batman. Everyone needs someone to look after them in bad times and nurses are always on top of the list if you ever need extra attention.

Nurses are highly-trained and educated when it comes to taking care of patients, aside from administering the required medicine for their patients and assisting doctors in hospitals, clinics, and medical health missions. Moreover, real nurses are a full package of knowledge, experience, and tenderness.

As much as nurses are loyal to their technical duties, they should never forget how to show warmth and affection to patients. Patients become more comfortable to have nurses around and not tend to react violently if they sense compassion from the nurses that attend to them. Believe it or not, everyone can express love and compassion even to strangers and here’s how:

Be Approachable and Polite

Patients are always drawn to those approachable and polite nurses. It’s an A+ factor for nurses who know how to approach their patients by being well-mannered at all times. You could at least greet everyone you meet at the halfway most especially the patients and offer them a smile that will surely brighten up their day.

Talk with Sense

Some people like to talk, a lot without even thinking if it makes sense or not. In order words, they don’t really talk but make noise only so be different. Small talks with patients can also mean big if you talk with sense. Most patients need don’t need generic conversations; they need a genuine connection to make them feel more alive and eager to get well.

Make Eye Contact When Asking Questions

Always make eye contact with patients when you ask them questions. Show your interest in their answers even if it takes forever for them to respond. Sometimes, even the most ill-mannered patients can soften once they saw that you are there to listen and talk to them without fear.

Don’t Be Afraid to Do Small Things

Remember that small things count even if it’s non-verbal. You can never tell when a simple pat on the shoulder or hand can give so much hope to patients who feel so much pain inside. Never stop doing little things that show how much you care to them.

Being around with patients doesn’t have to make you feel like counting minutes till your break time. It can be fun too for you and your patient if you have the right attitude and passion to serve others. Always laugh with your patients and exchange wisdom with them.  But, don’t forget to maintain the professional space between you and your patients.

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Infographic by: leadingreach.com

5 Things to Prepare for Your First Day as a Nursing Student

Nurses are indeed an in-demand job in many countries which made it one of the most popular courses among undergraduate and graduate students. It is a very rewarding career which also opens more facets of a working environment for nursing graduates. Now that you’ve finally chosen a career path that you will surely love, congratulate yourself by patting your shoulder and get ready for school.

So, how excited are you to meet your new classmates and professors in college? Have you prepared everything ahead of time? If you think something is still missing in your luggage, take a look at this list below and put and don’t forget to put a check mark on your own list.

1. Scrubs

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Now, not all schools require their nursing students to bring or prepare a scrub suit already especially for first-year students. So, don’t forget to inquire about it and bring the right scrubs when needed. Your nursing student life will not be complete without your scrubs! You won’t be allowed to enter some classes as well without wearing it as a proper uniform so be sure that it fits you nicely. Not too loose and not too tight and be sure that it has pockets to carry small necessary items.

2. Quality Shoes

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Nurses are always on the go so be prepared for a little adventure while still in school. Be sure to pack quality shoes especially a white one to accomplish your duties in record time. Picking the wrong shoes can affect your entire performance especially if you’ve got blisters on both feet. Always put your comfort on top and not the price alone.

3. A Backpack

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Who says only grade school and high school students use backpacks? A backpack is handy for college nursing students too! Though your school might have locker rooms, you still need to bring a lot of things in class that won’t fit in shoulder bags or small sling bags. Besides, using a backpack will help you ease your shoulder and back pains by carrying your things on both shoulders equally. If you want to enjoy more convenience, you can get a wheeled backpack that you can pull anytime.

4. Analog Watch

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Every second counts especially to busy nursing students. Though you can check the time on your cell phone, all nursing students are required to wear a medical or nursing watch. It will help you track or record your patient’s vitals, know exactly when to administer medication and accomplish documentation and lab chartings.

5. Student Planner

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If you want to keep on record and organized, carrying a student planner all the time will help a lot. This way, you won’t be able to miss anything especially a great opportunity to review for exams!

Did you miss anything on our checklist? Don’t beat yourself if you forget any of these items, just hurry up and get it. For more nursing bits, follow our next posts and don’t be shy to share your thoughts.

Affordable Student Loans for Aspiring Professional Nurses

Since there’s already a previous article about studying nursing with a minimal budget that shared the two major kinds of student loans, this article will help you identify the specific loans you can get. Entering into college can seem intimidating or even scary for some. Not because of the classes or the new environment, but because of the costs. There’s a lot to consider such as the tuition fee, miscellaneous fee, boarding, allowance, and more.

Hence, more and more student are dropping out of college or not enrolling at all after graduating in senior high. If you are really decided to finish college without stopping, check out these student loans you can get:

Stafford Loans

Stafford is a type of federal student loan where the finances come directly from the federal government’s program called FDSLP or Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Stafford Loans can be either subsidized or unsubsidized which vary in the amount of interest and maximum loan.

Perkins Loans

Perkins is another type of federal student loan which is very popular among students who seek need-based support. Though this program was put to a stop effectively last September 30, 2017, those students who were already provided with this loan for the academic year of 2017-2018 are still considered eligible.

This subsidized loan has a 5% fixed interest rate which is covered by the government. Students loved Perkins loans because it offers at least 9 months allowance before starting the repayment period.

Direct Consolidation Loans

It is common for most students to acquire loans every year or semester from different service providers. Thus, if you want to take the easier road, applying for a direct consolidation loan will allow you to pay only one servicer every month. The offered options in this loan are malleable depending on your capacity to repay but its interest is fixed. This alternative can help you a lot to lower your monthly expenses since it is also free from consolidation fees. However, you can only acquire this loan once.

PLUS Loans

This type of loan is also offered to parents who still have undergraduate students who are still dependent to them. Unlike other loans, this loan covers no maximum amount to be borrowed so it can cover all educational costs with a fixed 6.31% interest rate.

Private Education Loans

Also known as the alternative education loan, this loan is quite similar to the personal loan where a credit history is considered before being accepting an applicant. Its interest rate may be higher than other federal loans but it’s still lower compared with other loans like your credit cards.

Do you find this article helpful? In spite of the financial problems that you might be facing right now and the type of level you are in, there’s always a student loan that can suit your needs. It will not only help you but also your family to reduce your overall expenses.

Check out our other posts for more articles about nursing and medicine!

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Infographic by: visual.ly