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Three nursing skills that are best sharpened on the job

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Nursing school is notoriously tough, with strict professors, hours of studying and plenty of on-site training. Still, there are certain things that nursing school alone simply can’t prepare you for. Sure, you’ll learn the basics in class, but there are some nursing skills that are best mastered while on the job.

The Nerdy Nurse is sharing three skills she thinks new nurses nail down once they’ve become a bit more seasoned. Here are the first two:

  1. IV STICKS: Many hospitals have a policy that states that if the patient is admitted to an inpatient setting, then they are required to have IV access. Because of this, it is important that nurses who work the floor know how to perform a good IV stick. However, many nurses won’t learn how to properly insert an IV until well after they are out of nursing school. It’s not that nurses don’t study this skill, it’s just that you really have to practice IVs to become good at them. Even though labs offer simulation technologies and mannequins, it is no substitute for threading an IV catheter through the veins of a living and breathing person.
  2. MAKING AN OCCUPIED BED: Making an occupied bed is a challenge no matter how long you have been a nurse. Hospital beds are awkward to make without a patient in them; adding a person of any size just magnifies the challenge. If you couple this with the rising obesity epidemic, then you have a real pickle on your hands. You have to learn how to clean the patient and tuck the clean sheets in a way so that you are removing the dirty without soiling the clean. Sometimes this takes rolling the patient over more than once. If at all possible, you usually want to avoid rolling the patient multiple times because it can be very uncomfortable to them. There are few things more annoying than soiling your fresh linens while changing the bed…if you happen to be in an isolation room, it’s even worse!

Want to know the third? Head over to The Nerdy Nurse for the full list. What would you add? Let us know in the comments!

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The Nerdy Nurse

Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN, also known as The Nerdy Nurse, is a Clinical Informatics Specialist practicing in Georgia. In her day job she gets to do what she loves every day: Combine technology and healthcare to improve patient outcomes. She can best be described as a patient, nurse and technology advocate, and has a passion for using technology to innovate, improve and simplify lives, especially in healthcare. Brittney blogs about nursing issues, technology, healthcare, parenting and various lifestyle topics at thenerdynurse.com
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