7 Things You Must Need as a New Nurse : As the health-care field continues to expand and evolve, so too does a nurse’s duties and responsibilities. Whether you’re just thinking about taking a chance on this promising career or if you’re already a graduate student and starting your first day, here are seven things you must need as a new nurse.
This is by far the most essential tool of your trade. You’ll use this to listen to a patient’s heart, lungs, arteries or intestines, ensuring they are functioning correctly. A good stethoscope can make all the difference in whether or not these tasks will be difficult, so you’re going to want a good one throughout your career.
Here are some things to consider when buying your stethoscope: high-density materials like stainless steel or titanium should be prioritized, as they are the best for conducting sounds; durable tubing to isolate external sounds but insulate internal acoustics; and the ear-tips should fit comfortably inside your ear, forming a seal.
2. Proper Attire
As a nurse, you’re going to be required to work long shifts. Whether it’s eight or twelve hours, spending that time in uncomfortable clothes and footwear can make things tough.
You’re going to want scrubs that fit you and provide both breathability and maneuverability. Your job will require you to do a lot of moving, and a hospital or doctor’s office can be a high-traffic place so invest in a good pair of nursing shoes is a good decision.
Equally as important as the clothes you’ll be wearing all day are the shoes. Being on your feet for extended periods of time, the proper footwear is a necessity that you can’t ignore. Not only can having the right shoes reduce pains in your legs and back, but also limit your chances of developing bunions or ingrown toenails.
3. Proper Etiquette
As a nurse, you’re going to be one of the frontline staffers, interacting with a lot of people for a variety of reasons. Patients will often see you before they even see the doctor Having proper etiquette will set the tone of the visit, hopefully allowing for a smoother visit.
Remember, while you always want to be polite and understanding to your patients, you should not do so at the cost of your professionalism. There are plenty of articles online about things you should or shouldn’t do regarding etiquette, written by nurses that have logged years of experience in the field. Be sure to do some research.
As a nurse, you will often be required to deliver vaccines or draw blood from patients. That can be difficult on occasion; especially if the patient has shy veins that don’t want to show themselves. Having your own tourniquet will be a useful tool, helping speed that process along.
5. Sanitary Items
No matter what type of facility you’re working in, as a nurse, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of conditions, sicknesses, and bodily fluids. Being sanitary isn’t just a good practice for you as a nurse, it’s a safety measure.
Having gauze, sterilized masks and gloves, cotton balls, and hand sanitizer are just a few items you should have! Depending on the niche of your field, you may need more or less. The most important thing is to ensure you are safe.
6. Click Pens/Penlight
You’re going to be doing a lot of writing as a nurse. A good pen is one of the unsung heroes of the nursing world, and ‘dicky pens’ are king. Their built-in clip means they will stay with you, attaching to pockets, boards, or anywhere else you might want to store them.
The penlight will help you assess a patient’s pupils. At night, it can help you see in a darkened room, which might help you avoid turning on the room’s leading light and possibly disturbing the patient.
7. Appropriate Apps
Don’t be surprised to see other nurses pull out their smart phones and dig into an app while getting information from a patient. The medical field is rapidly evolving, and more information is being made available with just on the tap of a thumb.
There are a lot of useful nursing apps on the web now (Triage, Epocrates, Good RX, etc.) that help nurses better assist and tend to patients. Be sure to grab the ones you need.
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