14 pieces of advice for a new nurse

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1. Always have an extra pair of scrubs in your locker.

2. Rubbing alcohol will get almost any odor out of fabric. Shaving cream will get almost any odor off of skin.

3. There is no getting tincture of Benzoin off of anything.

4. If the post-op nurse turns a patient over to you with the assurance that he will be “easy-peasey,” disaster lurks around the corner.

5. The proper response to your digital thermometer reading “HI” is not “Heeeeeyyyy!”

6. Blood is not the worst thing that can get on your scrubs.

7. The amount of poop a patient produces is inversely proportional to her level of consciousness.

8. Fire, code or disaster drills will never happen in the middle of a calm day.

9. The number of obscure drug allergies a patient has is inversely proportional to his grasp on reality.

10. Little old ladies in no acute distress are much stronger than you imagine. Be careful.

11. If it can be torn off, braided into knots, knocked over, pulled out, wrapped around something vital or otherwise jacked up, a sedated patient with a severe head injury will do it.

12. If your lunch is particularly delicious, you will have no chance to eat it.

13. Caffeine is a food group of its own.

14. And finally, the number one rule of nursing that I want to share with every new nurse:

If you have to jack with it, it’s wrong. Anything that requires immense amounts of skull sweat to figure out is wrong somewhere. Back off, get a second opinion and for God’s sake stop messing with it. The longer you fool with it, whatever it is (drug calculation, foot pump or IV bolus), the more messed up it’ll get. Stop immediately and figure out where it’s wrong, then proceed.

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