Become a Nurse >> Browse Articles >> Nursing School


4 Things I Wish I Knew as a Student Nurse

4 Things I Wish I Knew as a Student Nurse

Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine

3. NG tube flushing / feeding / medication technique.

NG tubes are used for a great many things. We flush them with fluids, feedings, saline, etc. We also administer meds through them. Ever notice how messy it gets when you ‘push meds’ or ‘flush’. There is always some residual amount of fluid in the piston plunger or at the tip of the NG tube entrance that gets everywhere. It dribbles onto the bed, the floor, the patient’s gown, etc.

The next time you go to used the piston pull back on the plunger and instill 5 or maybe 8 ml of air in the tip of your plunger. When you go the push the plunger, at the end will be that air to leave you no mess in the plunger or the NG tip.

It’s saved me so many clean-ups.

4. Beds are not made fairly. Gravity always wins.

How many times in a day do you have to ‘lift’ your patients. “Can I get help with a lift over here”. It’s the slang term we use for when our patient has fallen victim to that ‘black hole’ in their beds. The start the morning high up in bed with their head at the height of the top of the mattress, but somehow (due to gravity, or bed bugs, or ants in their pants, etc.) they end up with their feet hanging off the bottom of the bed.

We boost them up in bed, then raise up the head of the bed and watch them slide right back down those ‘in-expensive’ hospital beds.

The next time you ‘boost’ a patient be sure to lay the bed flat. Raise up the ‘knees’ on the bed first as high as they can tolerate, THEN raise up their head. It won’t prevent them from falling back into the ‘black hole’ but is sure does slow down the process!

Anyone else have any notes of clarity they’d like to share? Best of luck out there!

More on

In Healthy Eating: Holiday Meal Eating Survival Guide
In Career Advice: 6 Bathroom Etiquette Tips for the Hospital
In Career: Proper Workplace Bathroom Etiquette

Related Reads:

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.