Jo’s laws of nursing: revised and updated!
First Law: If you have to jack with it, it’s wrong.
We’ve all heard stories about nurses who put oral contrast through central lines or flushed medication into drains. Thankfully, those sorts of mistakes are rare and becoming more so, for one simple reason: Most of what we do has been made foolproof.
That said, if you have to jack with it, it’s wrong. If your syringe doesn’t fit into a particular port or you have to go through myriad mathematical gymnastics to make a medication dosage work out, or if you’re having to reprogram a pump every 30 seconds, take a step back and look at what’s going on. Go through the problem step by step and get a second pair of eyes to look at it with you.
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Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Agatha Lellis