5 things they didn’t teach you in nursing school

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Nursing school prepares you for everything…right? (Insert sarcasm here) Of course, nursing school cannot prepare you for everything. But I’m not talking about the key principles that you find in your curriculum, or in the handbook or even in a job description.

Here are some key pieces of information they really should have warned about in nursing school:

Combat training 101

Ever taken care of a confused patient? Maybe a patient suffering from dementia? Ever taken care of a combative patient?

Yes, you WILL need to know how to dodge punches and avoid the death-grip extension reach. While there is no blame to be placed, it sure doesn’t feel good to get hit. Ask anyone.

Ballerina basics

Yes, 99.99% of the time there is the proper signage and safety cones in place. It’s that .01% that I’m talking about. You MUST learn how to pirouette with grace when slipping and sliding on a newly mopped floor. All while holding a patient’s food tray or a handful of medications or IV fluids. Sorry. It’s almost an unspoken rule these days.

Ambidexterity

The rooms in hospital facilities are not what you would call illustrious and ‘roomy’ (at least not in the ones I’ve worked). It usually resembles a walk-in closet where you shoved 2 beds, 2 bedside tables, 2 IV poles and usually at least 2 garbage cans (at a minimum). You HAVE to learn how to do the same tasks using either hand. Otherwise the task won’t get done sometimes.

Jerry-Rigging 101

While contour pillows, foam rolls and plush positional wedges are ideal, you WILL have to learn how to create your own ergonomic environment most of the time!! Budget cuts can make things interesting. Folded towels and rolled up linen works wonders!

Swap-Meet Racketeering

You need a recliner chair for your patient who is getting out of bed, but the nurse down the hall needs another pillow for their patient. Hmm? There WILL come a time when you will have to beg, barter and steal you’re way through a negotiation. Whether it be with a fellow staff member, supervisor, neighboring facility or your patient, you have to give a little to get a little.

Yes, once again I’m poking fun at the lives we lead, but there is a hint of truth to all the above? Care to add anything to the list of things they did not teach you?

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