Tricks of the Trade for Nurses [from Twitter]

by | Aug 26, 2013 | Patient Care, New Nurse | 0 comments

I asked the awesome Twitter nurses I interact with to tell me some of their tricks of the trade for nurses.  Needless to say, I definitely learned a lot!  Check it out, new and not-so-new nurses alike!

Tricks Of The Trade From Twitter Nurses

Disclaimer: These tips are not to supersede your hospital’s policies/procedures or manufactuer recommendations regarding their products. Please click here for more information on disclaimers.

Tricks of the Trade for Nurses

While the textbooks in nursing school cover proper things like therapeutic communication, sterile procedure, and guidelines for removing a urinary catheter, they don’t discuss some of the more…. ummm…. shall we say, colorful things that help you through a shift. Let’s go through some patient care tricks of the trade for nurses from our fellow nurses on the front lines.


Nursing Procedures

@fewspokenwords  when giving a tube feed turn the patient on their right side to promote gastric emptying and avoid reflux and/or flatus.

@fewspokenwords  if you suspect a central line air embolis, turn the patient on their left side to trap the air in the right atria.

@Kati_Kleber Placing a central line and a feeding tube? Wait until both are done and get one stat cxr.

@FiddleNP  use the back of your glove as a work space and tape dispenser.
@fewspokenwords  use a clipboard as a backboard for infant chest compressions during a code.
@Kati_Kleber Male foley won’t advance? Tilt his thang back towards his head when you meet resistance to advance past the prostate.
@fewspokenwords  nasal trumpet + Foley setup = rectal tube with minimal leakage.
@Kati_Kleber  Put your feeding tube in ice water before insertion and it works better than lube!
@KatiKleber  Use those saline bullets to lavage your vent to also check corneal reflexes.
To learn more about central lines, check out this FreshRN® Podcast episode.


Patient Cleanliness

@rymitch18  foaming shaving cream will promptly remove a BM caked on pts hairy body (Like Tilex in a bathtub is tough on soap scum haha)

@rymitch18  surround pt’s scrotum w sheet, then dump a bag of sugar over it to cover as much as possible. Fluid shifts out into sugar.

@Kati_Kleber  Use that gross floor coffee to absorb stinkyness. Pour 2-3 bags into a trash can!

@Kati_Kleber Diarrhea on a total care? Someone hold legs in a frog position & clean the front & place a towel as a barrier. Roll side to side to clean.
@RNSassyPants  For especially stinky stuff, a tiny dab of vaporub covers almost anything. Also cleans out your sinuses… 😉

@FiddleNP  Running fluids by gravity? Make sure you get the extra air out if the bag so you can hang the next liter without repriming.

For more tips on cleaning a patient, check out this blog post: How to Clean a Poopy Patient





Medication Tips

@FiddleNP critically ill and getting blood products? Remember the K will rise and the iCal will drop, use this to your advantage.
@KaitlynKerrRN  Pt getting high dose or long term antibiotics? Ask for an order for a probiotic, stop the C. Diff before it starts!
@Kati_Kleber Pushing adenosine? 18 gauge in AC with two way stopcock. Med in one, flush in other. BOOM BOOM!
@FiddleNP  Afib with low K and Mag? Treat the mag first if you can or you’ll chase the K. You might even convert ’em
@Kati_Kleber  CHF exacerbation patient needs blood? Ask for IV lasix so you don’t have to deal with resp distress in a few hours…


@Kati_Kleber Proximal occlusion in your IV tubing? Pull back on port closest to bag with 10 ml syringe to get the air out without re-priming.
 For more medication tips, check out this blog post: How to Start a Medication Drip: Basics for Bedside Nurses 


Patient Comfort

@RNSassyPants  Simply Noise plays free white noise. Warm blanket, lights out, noise on. Knocks out even the sundowners.

@PaulMuzopappa  give sundowners a job to do. Have them fold towels. Innocuous and keeps them busy for 20 min while you wait for the meds…
@Txgrobie  for nausea…wave an alcohol pad under the patient’s nose while they breathe deeply.
@Kati_Kleber Call NICU for a head pillow as a make-shift scrotal pillow for scrotal edema
@Kati_Kleber More for scrotal edema: rolled up pillow case = make shift banana hammock

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Hi, I’m Kati.

Kati Kleber, MSN RN is a nurse educator, author, national speaker, host of the FreshRN® Podcast, and owner of FreshRN® – an online platform created to educate, encourage, and motivate newly licensed nurses in innovative ways.

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