I’ve seen post op delirium in so many of my patients – especially hip surgeries, and of those, especially after a fracture. It’s distressing to me, as a nurse, but even more distressing to my patients’ families. We tell them it’s temporary. We tell them it’s common. We tell them we know exactly what we’re doing. But the truth is, delirium is scary.
When I first mentioned to my aunt, a nurse with over 20 years at the bedside, that I was thinking about a nursing career, this is the book she placed in my hands. It was probably at the most Continue reading
I spent my first few months on the ortho floor feeling like I was trudging through muck. I knew what assessments to do. I knew how to chart them. But I didn’t know what to watch out for. I didn’t know what variations Continue reading
After surgery most patients are content to lie in bed, depend on others for everything, and pop pain pills (or push their pain button). But for ortho surgeries, early mobility is key. Here’s why Continue reading
Yesterday. Arrived to the floor, received patient assignment. Logged in to the EMR and saw a new order for patient #2: Code Status – DNR. On rounds mentioned the change to the patient and family, and was met with confused stares, head tilts, and the non-verbal equivalent of “huh?” Continue reading
Do you use a nursing brain? I’ve always used a 5-patient brain and it’s worked really well for me. Specifically, it works really well when I have a constant patient load during the shift. But on the ortho floor I have a lot of days when I start out with 5 patients, discharge 4-5 of them, then get new patients throughout the shift. I was never able to reorganize my day once I started getting new admits. Hmph. Continue reading
Too often, on my ortho floor with post surgical patients, nursing is mostly passing meds, recording PCA settings, and checking off boxes in the electronic medical record. Yesterday I got back to the heart of why I do what I do. Continue reading
There are few things harder than submitting a resume when you have no clue what the employer is looking for. Add to that problem, the person who screens resumes (or the computer program) is not necessarily looking for the same things as the person making the interviewing/hiring decisions. It starts to get complicated. Continue reading
Dementia is a decrease from baseline cognition. Disobedience is willful rule-breaking. Dementia is unintentional and tragic. Disobedience rails against authority. And yet there are people in the healthcare profession who treat dementia just as they would Continue reading
When my kid was in the hospital over the weekend one of the diagnoses was hypokalemia. 2.8, yikes. Of course, I know a bit about potassium, but as the weekend went on I spent hours pouring over any information I could find on hypokalemia. I wanted to know everything there was to know. After all, fluids and electrolytes were my nemesis in nursing school. I understand it much better after all that research. And so, for the pleasure of my readers (all 4 of you), here’s the nitty gritty.
Normal range for K+: 3.5-5.0 Continue reading