Six tricks of the trade from a seasoned nurse
1. Always look up medications or diseases that you don’t know. This will probably happen to you at least once a week. None of us knows everything. Be wary of people who do — they’re probably full of you-know-what.
2. Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to say, “Hold on, let me think about this.” Don’t let yourself be bullied.
3. When in doubt, smile and take a deep breath. I have saved myself from “Dansko in mouth” syndrome many times by waiting to reply to an unusual situation.
4. If you can’t find a vein to start an IV, try putting warm packs on the entire extremities for a few minutes. It works wonders.
5. Always carry a marker, a pen, a watch and a stethoscope. Anything else you can borrow. And don’t let anyone borrow yours.
6. In your locker (or trunk of your car if you don’t have a locker), carry a spare set of scrubs, an energy bar, a bottle of water and an emergency $20. You never know when you’re going to need these things and when you do, you need them super fast!