Being a nurse is one of the most challenging yet rewarding professions out there. Nurses are responsible for tending to the sick and injured, administering medication and advocating for their patients. But with all the responsibilities that come with the job, the workload can be overwhelming.
That’s where nurse hacks come in. These tips and tricks can help make your job – and your life – easier and more efficient.
Please note: This is for informational purposes only. Always follow facility policies and procedures, as those supersede anything found here.
- Keep your supplies organized. As a nurse, you need to have your supplies accessible and organized. Use a fanny pack! This may not be the most stylish accessory, but it can do wonders. A fanny pack keeps your hands free and enables you to carry your essential items, such as scissors, pens and tape, in one place.
- Use hydrogen peroxide for blood stains. While nurses typically have no problem seeing blood, having it on your uniform or favorite scrubs is a different story. Instead of wearing blood stains for your entire shift, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide as a stain remover.
- Triple glove when handling code brown. This doesn’t only save time, but it also limits the chances of your bare hands getting in contact directly with the code brown. The first pair of gloves is for cleaning your patient’s, um, you know what. Strip the first pair and work with your second pair of gloves when putting on new clothing. Take the second pair off and use the last pair to put a fresh sheet on the bed and dispose of the waste.
- Use coffee grounds to help with smells. Coffee grounds can absorb even the stinkiest of odors. To do this trick, you can just put a small container filled with coffee grounds right at the center of the area. You can even be clever about it by using the emesis basin.
- Avoid getting hangry. Keep a protein bar in your pocket in case the day gets away from you, and you can’t step away for lunch. Your co-workers and patients will thank you.
- Use alcohol swabs to curb nausea. Simply swipe an alcohol swab under your nose for instant relief from nausea. You can also use this trick if you’re suffering from sinus pain.
- Release matted hair with alcohol. If you can’t get a hairbrush through your patient’s hair, use a bit of alcohol to remove tangles. A few drops of alcohol applied to the area works by breaking any substance that’s causing the tangles. Make sure to rub it gently but thoroughly on the hair.
- Moisturize those contacts. During long shifts, your contacts can dry out and start to hurt. Grab a flush and irrigate your eye. It’s the same as your contact solution at home, minus some of the extra ingredients to clean the contacts overnight.
- Find veins with a warm washcloth. Warm-up a moist washcloth and set it on the patient’s skin for a few minutes. This can make veins pop if you’re having trouble. It’s also soothing, which relaxes the patient who is probably dreading being stuck with a needle anyway.
- Use other appendages for O2 sat. Try the earlobes or toes if you can’t get the 02 sat to pick up from the finger. If that doesn’t work, try the neonatal O2 probes. They stick better and are less bulky. You can also wrap the patient’s hands in a warm blanket. Their extremities may be too cold to pick up a reading, especially if they already have known vascular issues.
- Take care of your feet. Obviously, wear comfortable shoes that offer support and cushioning. But you can take it a step further and consider wearing compression socks to prevent swelling and improve blood flow.
- Un-clump your mascara. Put 1-2 drops of normal saline (from one of the many flushes you accidentally bring home) in your mascara that’s starting to dry out. That’ll moisten it up and make it last longer.
- Keep your scrubs looking new. Pretreat scrubs before you wear them to avoid fading. Simply wash them in cold water and add a half cup of vinegar.
- Use technology and apps. There are a lot of apps out there that can help you with your job. For instance, you can use a medication reminder app to help you stay on top of your patients’ medications.
- Take a hot bath when you can’t sleep. By taking a hot bath, your body temperature rises then falls. This rapid temperature change relaxes your body and helps you feel sleepy.
Being a nurse is a tough job that demands a lot of time, effort and energy. But nurse hacks can help. By using them, you can improve your work-life balance and provide the best possible care to your patients. Remember, it’s important to take care of yourself to take care of others.
What hacks do you know?? We’d love to learn from you!