Being a nurse can be messy, stressful and exhausting sometimes. The hospital is filled with life hacks to make your life easier in messy moments! Check out these 10 life hacks that every nurse should know and use!
1. Isolation Gown
Having spaghetti for lunch and don’t want to get anything on your newly washed scrubs? Wear an isolation gown during lunch for extra protection!
2. Coffee Grounds
Sometimes hospitals can smell… BAD! Still smelling that bedpan change you just did? Put out some coffee grounds and it will absorb the unpleasant smell? Break room doesn’t smell appetizing? Put a bowl of ground coffee beans in the middle of the room!
3. Warm Washcloth
Nothing is more irritating and stressful than trying to put in an IV when you can’t see their veins. When starting an IV line on a tough patient, it helps to put a warm washcloth over the site of insertion! This helps dilate blood vessels so you can pick the best vein!
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
If you or someone gets a blood stain on your scrubs, try scrubbing it with a little hydrogen peroxide! This will act as an instant stain remover and is usually found very easily around the hospital or clinic you are working in.
5. Exam Glove
If you must be cautious of contact with a certain patient, put an examination glove over your stethoscope before use! Gloves are thin enough to be able to hear the heartbeat through the stethoscope’s diaphragm but thick enough to reduce the risk of transferring infection between patients!
6. Washcloth Folding
Some confused patients may try to keep getting out of bed. Since you cannot physically tie them to the bed, give them some washcloths to fold! This trick gives them a sense of purpose and will keep them occupied and safe in their hospital room.
7. Vicks / Toothpaste
Most nurses can handle any smell you throw at them, but sometimes it just gets too much! If you start to feel nauseous or cannot handle a certain smell, apply toothpaste or Vicks between two masks and it will mask the smell!
8. Rubbing Alcohol
Have a bed-ridden patient with sticky residue in their hair? Rubbing alcohol is effective in dissolving the stickiness! You can do this before or after a patient’s daily bed bath.
9. Respiratory Rate
When you tell a patient you will observe their respiratory rate, they have a tendency to be more conscious of their breathing which can give you inaccurate results. To avoid this completely, just pretend you are checking their pulse!
Nurses sometimes write notes on their hands / arms, especially when attending to an emergency. These notes can be erased easily when you are sweaty or doing your hand washing! Writing on a strip of micropore attached to your forearm will help you not lose your notes!
Do you have any life hacks to share with other nurses?