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20 Nurse Hacks that will help you keep your sanity

If you’re a nurse, probably, the only life hacks you often get to hear are to get more sleep, eat healthily, stay fit and agile etc. However, these aren’t smart enough to save your day. Nurses undertake a lot of things during their time in the hospital that require more than just health and agility. Here are some smart ways which you can incorporate into your daily life that makes your job much easier. This article talks about some of the best nursing hacks, nurse hacks for health care, ICU nurse hacks, Bedpan hacks and hacks for floor nurses.

1. How to deal with the hospital odours?

Hospitals and any sort of health care centre can be a source of some not-so-pleasant odours and it can affect the caretakers and caregivers equally. Particularly blood, vomit, body odours and faeces are everyday things in the life of a nurse.

2. Hacks to avoid unpleasant odours at hospitals 

  • Carry fruity balms and dab a little bit of it under your nose.
  • Coffee grounds are known to absorb the stinkiest of odours. Place a bag filled with grounded coffee in the patient’s room.
  • Apply peppermint oil to your mask.
  • Chew on a strong flavoured gum.
  • Wearing two masks can help you with overpowering the bad odours.

3. Can’t find a tourniquet?

When you can’t find a vein, a tourniquet always comes to your rescue. However, if you don’t have a tourniquet readily available use a warm cloth instead. Warm up a moist cloth and place it on the patient’s skin for a few minutes and it makes the vein pop up. It is also comfortable and soothing for the patient and world better than a tourniquet.

4. Here is a hack for the O2 stats to pick up

Don’t panic when the oxygen levels of the patient don’t pick up. Some patients come with vascular issues and their extremities may be getting too cold. In that case, grab a warm blanket to warm them up by wrapping their hands in it.

5. Use saline flush as a lens cleaner.

Here is one of the best nursing hacks. Sometimes your contacts get dry and hurt when you’re at work. It’s okay if you’re not carrying the lens cleaning solution with you, you can use a saline flush which is pH- balanced and almost the same as your solution. However never use saline water to store your lens, it can only be used to rinse the lenses.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide to remove stains

Be it blood stains or anything else, you don’t look presentable with those stains on your uniform or your scrub. And being a nurse it’s highly likely you catch those stains. Hydrogen peroxide can be of great help in removing the bloodstains from your uniform and pillows, Bedsheets of the patient.

7. Alcohol to detangle hair

Sometimes nurses have to comb the hair of some older patients who can’t do it by themselves and if a hairbrush doesn’t get through their hair because of all the tangles use a few drops of alcohol to detangle. Make sure you don’t add too much alcohol and do it gently.

8. Bedpan hacks for nurses 

It feels quite annoying when you place a bedpan under a patient and can’t evacuate it. Before placing the Bedpan under a patient powder it for an easier evacuation.

9. Don’t use a stethoscope when it’s cold 

Remember the time when you placed the cold base of your metallic stethoscope on the patient’s skin and how it gave them a jolt passing through their body. Always warm your stethoscope by rubbing the palms of your hands and placing them on the base of the stethoscope to warm it up.

10. Wear more than one pair of gloves

Nurses ought to work in Code brown situations that include disasters and casualties. Therefore while heading into a code brown situation make sure you wear 2-3 pairs of gloves, one above the other, just in case if one gets blooded or soiled you can easily remove them and continue with the fresh ones below without any interruption. This is one of the best nurse hacks for health care. 

11. Lubricants work on dried blood as well

You heard it right, some lubricants like KY Jelly, which is a water-based lubricant can be used to remove the dried bloodstains on the patient’s skin. Nurses should make sure they wear gloves while doing this and an antiseptic should be used on the area subsequently.

12. Keep another pair of Scrubs ready

You never know what can happen in a hospital. Your patient might vomit on you or you might have to carry a victim who is drenched in blood. Nurses should better be carrying another pair of uniforms ready with them so that they can change if necessary and get back to work without having any need to wait till they get home.

13. Heated Blankets to calm the elderly

When you witness elder patients who are restless and stressed, offer them a heated blanket as the feeling of warmth can soothe them and relieve any kind of stress.

14. Have a problem with faeces stuck in the body hair?

Patients with a bad bowel movement often have faeces stuck in their body hair in intimate areas. Any shaving cream can be used in this situation to remove the stuck body hair by lathering the affected area and wiping it off with a wet tissue.

15. Easy way to check the respiration of the patient

The easy way to check the respiration of the patient is to pretend as if you’re checking his pulse. If not the patient gets conscious and that might lead to an inaccurate reading

16. Hacks for floor nurses to assess the wounds 

While doing the wound assessment of the patient, ask any of your colleagues to help and let them write down the measurements of the wound and what kind of dressings need to be done. This will help you from juggling between your pen, paper and the patient.

17. Place a urine bag before needling the kids

Place a urine bag on the kids before they come to the lab. This is because there is a high possibility that kids get scared at the sight of a needle and they pee on themselves.

18. Pee as and when you get a chance /ICU nurse hacks 

For those nurses who frequently work for long hours in the emergency wards and ICU, pee whenever you get a chance and even if you don’t feel like it as you may not get to use the washroom another time until your shift gets over.

19. Carry a Tegaderm

Tegaderm can not only be used for medical dressing but to take notes as well. If you’re a new nurse you probably have to take a lot of notes and you might not always have a pen and a book. So stick a Tegaderm and use it to take notes when in an emergency. They can be erased off with a swab of alcohol.

  • Removing a Tegaderm

Don’t pull it all at once, instead, stretch it and it gets released from the skin.

20. For the scared patients.

Patients who are scared of injections and needles should be advised to take deep and slow breaths as it can help them get relief from fear and anxiety.

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