Post op delirium

Post op delirium for nursesI’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.

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Disaster in the making

Dilbert DNRYesterday. 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

New nursing brain for high turnover areas

8 pt shift sheetDo 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

Hypokalemia for dummies

hypokalemia, potassium deficitWhen 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