- Important Tips for New Nurse Practitioners
- Useful tips for New Nurse Practitioners
- Valuable Tips for New Nurse Practitioners
Meta-description: If you’re a new nurse practitioner, then you may be wondering about the career path ahead of you. Here are important clinical tips to help you perform better at work.
A career path as a nurse practitioner can be an extremely lucrative one. However, when you’re starting out, you may have various questions in your mind. Having someone guide you through the early days of being a nurse can enable you to perform better at work and get ahead.
Here are useful tips that can help you perform well as a new nurse practitioner:
1. Metal speculums should be warmed for gynecologic examinations
In order to heat metal speculums, you’ll first need to later a heating pad that is dry on its low setting. Layer a blue pad on this, and then place the metal speculum on top. This helps to keep the metal speculum warm. As a result, female patients experience more comfort during their gynecologic exams.
Before you insert the metal speculum inside a patient, test the temperature of the speculum on the patient’s inner thigh. This helps ensure that the temperature isn’t too warm for them, causing discomfort. You can even keep some lubricant jelly in the same place you store the metal speculum, so it’s easily available when you need it. When the metal speculum is warm, the insertion process is more comfortable for patients. The bimanual part of the exam is tolerated better as well when the speculum is warm as opposed to cold.
2. Preparing patients for blood draws using fingersticks
With this tip, you’ll be able to make the process of drawing blood for blood glucose, cholesterol, and even mono fingersticks more comfortable. Begin by asking patients to wash their hands using warm water. Then, they should thoroughly dry their hands. Before the fingerstick procedure, ask them to run their hands together in a vigorous manner.
The combination of washing their hands in warm water, as well as running their hands together, improves circulation to the fingertips. As a result, fingersticks become easier. You will be able to obtain samples both faster as well as in a manner that is comfortable for patients.
3. Using alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
There are several uses of both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Take, for example, a situation where blood got on the blinds. You can use hydrogen peroxide on a ball of cotton to clean the blood. This tip is especially useful when you’re working with patients in the pediatric division. You can also get rid of crayon stains from wallpaper with the help of an alcohol wipe.
This way, it comes off more easily.
4. Labelled bandages
Consider writing the name of the vaccine or the immunization you’re applying on the bandage corresponding to it. This way, should a patient experience a localized reaction to any one of them, it’ll be easier to discern which one it was.
Take a situation where more than one kind of vaccine was given on one arm. The close proximity of the vaccines may appear to be a challenge, but labeling them can help improve safety practices.
5. Pocket references
A useful tip is to keep laminated cards in your pocket. These can serve to be useful resources that you may need at a moment’s notice. Say you were working in the family practice department. Having a reference card that contains the ranges of vital signs, such as blood pressure and respiratory rate, for different age groups can be helpful.
If you are a nurse practitioner with a particular specialty, then consider tailoring your references to meet the needs of that specialty. Not only are these references useful, but they help you save time as well.
6. Knowing OTC alternatives
There may be certain times when a patient asks you for alternatives to medications. Someone who has cardiac conditions, or experiences hypertension, may have been asked to avoid decongestants that are OTC. If they ask you for a recommendation on what to use instead, one useful tip is to recommend a nasal flush.
In this way, knowing what alternative medications and solutions are for medical problems can help you assist patients better.
7. Quantify information
You may need to use an electronic medical record to record various information about patients. Say a smoking assessment appeared in the medical record, then it would be a good idea to quantify how much the patient smokes. You can even make a note in the section of the comment box on how much the patient smoked and for how long they have been smoking.
This information can be important when it comes to the patient’s medical record.
8. Measuring cholesterol
The equation LDL is equal to the total cholesterol, subtracted by HDL subtracted by (triglycerides/5) to the power seven, can be useful. This especially applies to scenarios where cholesterol needs to be measured manually.
9. Patient education
This refers to giving patients all the information they need to take care of themselves. Take, for example, a situation where a patient has conjunctivitis that is viral. You should let the patient know that they are infectious and will need to protect others from contracting conjunctivitis from them. Should they be using contact lenses, ask them to use their glasses till their eyes get better. In this way, consider educating patients on their treatment, as well as what they can do to get better.
10. Cleaning specimen containers with urine
Consider keeping some kitty litter located under the sink where you dispose of urine specimens. After running a pregnancy test, for example, or testing for urinary tract infection, you can throw the sample away in the kitty litter box. This way, you won’t have to dispose of urine samples in the sink.
These tips can help you to perform well as a new nurse practitioner. As a nurse, or if you are planning to become a nurse in Pennsylvania, you should also consider nursing liability insurance PA. Throughout your career, you’re exposed to certain risks, such as getting sued by patients. With nursing liability insurance PA, you can protect your career, as well as your finances. To learn more about nursing liability insurance PA, please click here.