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4 Things I Wish I Knew as a Student Nurse

4 Things I Wish I Knew as a Student Nurse

Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine

There is what they teach you in nursing school, and then there is what you learn in the ‘real world’ of nursing.

Sorry my fellow student nurses, there IS a difference. I used to chuckle when the ‘seasoned’ nurse would make a comment like that when we were at clinicals during nursing school. Now I chuckle because they were so right. It’s amazing what techniques you acquire during your first years as a nurse.

If I had only known then, what I know now:

1. That funny looking arm-like handle on the posterior part of the toilet (some refer to it as ‘the hopper’?) will not spray you with water.

This is the ‘arm’ you lower into the toilet when cleaning out a basin to rinse down the toilet. As you lower it down the water starts to spray out the ‘shower head’ of the arm.

The first time I saw and went to used this thing it was already lowered over top of the toilet. So when you flushed the toilet water poured out of the shower head into the toilet – fast. Well when I was done with my cleaning task I was afraid to raise up the arm! I didn’t want to get a shower! I was worried that if I raised the arm while the toilet was flushing the water would spray everywhere!

Little did I know that there was a safety shut-off when you raised the arm as the toilet was flushing?

2. Pre-filled syringes are weapons.

Yeah, the pre-packaged pre-filled saline flushes. You know what I’m talking about. They come pre-filled. The only problem is there is some pressurized air captured in each syringe. So when you took the cap off and pressed on the plunger of the syringe you would get a ‘surge’ of saline that was a knife-like jet-speed squirt of saline that would shoot out the tip. The first time you used them you learned quickly to point the tip away from anyone or anything that could be damaged.

I had an old nursing instructor who would put lil bullet holes in the ceiling tiles because they never thought to pull the plunger down first to release the captured pressure. If you pulled the plunger down first and then slowly advanced the plunger forward – you’d have no ‘shot’.

Those poor ceiling tiles.

Next: Two More Things I Wish I Knew >>


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