10 things only ER Nurses Understand

By: Scrubs Editor


Coping with frequent fliers. Eating lunch right after cleaning up a messy trauma. Patients who are, well, impatient. ER nurses, we feel your pain!

We asked our Facebook fans for the little things about life on the job that only ER nurses would “get”–laugh (and nod your head in agreement!) at their responses below!

10 things only ER nurses understand

1. How to overcome the stares of hatred from patients waiting in the lobby who have no concept of the words “triage system.”
–Heather Shaw Holliday

2. Patients being allergic to all pain medications except Dilaudid. Or they are allergic to Tylenol, but Vicodin is fine…
–Jenny Bronkema 

3. When the EMS radio goes off with a critical patient and everyone runs to the bathroom because it might be a long time before we get another chance to pee!!
–Nicki Marquardt

4. Most patients: “I was minding my own business” and “I only had two drinks.” I have now decided that minding your own business and two drinks are the most dangerous activities.
–Nikki Anjere 

5. Being able to eat lunch right after cleaning up (insert body part/fluid here) from a particularly messy trauma.
–Aleece Joy Browdy Ellison 

6. How many nurses are required to “supervise” a procedure when the fire rescue hotties are called in to help!
–Elizabeth Gomez

7. Betting on a patient’s blood alcohol level.
–Janine Vose

8. Patients who come in complaining of nausea and vomiting “20 times before I got here;” after they get pain and nausea meds they are demanding something to eat because they are “starving!” LOL!
–Kim Drennen 

9.  Telling “normal” patients, “Don’t worry, he will be fine” as they look at you all worried as the patient next to them is going crazy and you are ignoring their antics!
–Kelle Lawson 

10. Wondering whose life I may help save this shift!
–Mark Streicher 

22 Reasons Why It’s Difficult to Be a Nurse


By: Susan Kieffer

To be a nurse is difficult. This article is dedicated to outstanding nurses around the world working in the trenches; working tirelessly for the good of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones who are entrusted to your tender, loving and skillful care.

Many are asking, why is it so difficult to be a nurse? Is it the job itself, difficult colleagues and physicians or your patients? Here are the 22 questions that might make you realize that being a  nurse is a daunting job.

  1. Make life-and-death decisions for 7 people based on a 5-minute shift report?
  2. Get berated by a physician for forgetting one thing when you have remembered 100 other things?
  3. Think about what you are going to have for lunch while cleaning an emesis basis or a bedpan?
  4. Have to know the etiology, classification, dosage, side effects, contraindications, and compatibility for 18,000 different medications?
  5. Need to know the significance of obscure lab results and whether the doctor should be awakened at 3am because of them?
  6. Have to obtain a physician’s order to give a patient a Tylenol but have the authority to float a Swan-Ganz catheter through a patient’s heart to measure central venous pressure and pulmonary artery pressure?
  7. Coordinate respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, dietary, social services, consulting specialists, and wound care nurses for 7 patients but somehow forget where you put your car keys?
  8. Spend 12 hours on your feet only to be told by your personal physician that you need to get more exercise?
  9. Own 20 sets of nursing scrubs and own zero sets without a stain on them?
  10. Have to learn a new corporate computer system when you are 55 years old, and you don’t even own a computer?
  11. Memorize the menus and phone numbers of every local restaurant that will deliver in the middle of the night?
  12. Being a nurse, find yourself choosing a personal physician based on how nice he or she is to nurses?
  13. Go to work when it’s still dark outside and leave work when it is again dark outside?
  14. Get floated to some random area of the hospital where you have received zero training and be expected to carry the load of a nurse who has worked the unit for 20 years?
  15. Consider a chair at the nurses’ station something worth fighting for?
  16. Learn about research findings because the administration taped them on the wall of the ladies’ room across from the toilet?
  17. Know your patients by their diagnoses and/or their room numbers rather than their names?
  18. Feel naked without a stethoscope and a pen hanging around your neck? Can nurses survive without things?
  19. Learn how to take a manual blood pressure in 15 seconds flat?
  20. Remember your worst nightmare was when you dreamt that the doctor called and you couldn’t find the patient’s chart?
  21. Feel guilty when you leave your patients for 30 minutes to have lunch?
  22. Learn to read physicians’ handwriting that resembles the graffiti on the dumpster behind the local Wal-Mart?

10 Tips to Beat Anxiety When Taking the NCLEX Exam!!

By: Sue Heacock 

Whether you’re taking a short quiz or the NCLEX exam, you’re sure to encounter test anxiety. It is that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you feel that you will inevitably fail, no matter what. It is the physical tension and the headache that creeps up on you as the big test draws near. It is that overwhelming “knowledge” that failing this single test will negatively impact the rest of your life.

So what can you do to conquer this fear? Here are 10 tips:

  1. Be prepared.  Nothing conquers anxiety more than confidence. Nothing builds confidence better than preparation. But how can you prepare?
  2. Study effectively.  When preparing for a test, especially in nursing, a student often feels overwhelmed. There is just too much information and so little time. So start studying the day you get the test date. Begin by investing some time organizing. Break the information into several subcategories and study only one block of information at each study session. Schedule manageable study sessions into each day, say after your nursing classes, and don’t let anything deter you from your schedule. And no, organizing your sock drawer or going out with friends for a quick dinner are not valid reasons to break your study schedule!
  3. Eat and sleep well.  Make sure to get a good night’s sleep and have a well-balanced, light meal before you take the test. Junk food or energy drinks are not replacements here! Don’t overeat or under sleep.
  4. Leave the notes at home and have no time for chit-chat.  You are ready. Don’t create stress by attempting last-minute studying, especially for the NCLEX exam. This will increase anxiety and leave you second-guessing what you know. Don’t study with your peers immediately prior to the test either. They may not be as prepared as you and their anxiety can rub off on you. You don’t want that since you are ready and focused.
  5. Take a breather.  Right before beginning the test, take three deep breaths, then go for it! As you do, think positively. Positive thoughts lead to positive results.
  6. Answer the ones you know first.  Okay, you have confidently mastered all of the information but now look at the first questions and draw a blank. Don’t worry, quickly move past any questions you are unsure of without giving them any thought. Finish the questions you know and go back to the ones you skipped last.
  7. It is not a race.  Don’t get uneasy because you are not the first or may even be the last to finish. Slow and steady wins the race. Focus on your test, not on what your peers are doing. There is usually no trophy for being the first one done.
  8. I can do this.  As you breeze through the test, continually focus on the confidence of your answers and how well you are doing. Drown out the negative with the positive.
  9. No check please.  When you have finished the questions you know, go back and complete the ones you skipped at first glance. Now, get up and turn in the test. Don’t go back over every answer and start second guessing yourself.
  10. Celebrate.  You prepared your best and scored your best so don’t obsess over your performance. Enjoy the rest of your day and think about the fact that you are one step closer from being a nursing student to a successful nurse. Most importantly, celebrate the “A” when you get the NCLEX exam or the test results back.


STOP giving BAD NEWS to the oncoming shift!

Have you ever got to work and before you could even get to your locker you have everybody coming up to you saying how bad of a shift it was for them? Did you answer yes? Well, so did I and it completely changed my mood for a second! I had to think and say to myself, “I won’t let someone else’s negative energy (Fake Encouragement) affect me.” I knew that if I let their comment sink in and fester that it could affect my shift.

Why is it that just because you had a bad shift, you have to make others feel sorry for you? Or get them upset by predicting how their shift will turn out? (Telling someone, “Oh this patient was horrible and his family isn’t no better” is not the proper nor professional way of giving information or report. Try saying, “This patient was not very compliant for me, even after giving his medication. Nothing really calmed him down except for when his family was not around, they seem to get him worked up a bit. I suggest you ask them to leave early so he can calm down a bit for you once you give him his meds.”) If you know what will and what will not work for a certain patient why not help your next shift out by giving them some helpful tips to make things easier for them. Maybe next time when they are giving report to you they can do the same in return.

As caregivers we have to look out for one another, which is something that is not done often. Why wish someone a bad shift or say it’s going to be horrible or that the patient they have is a total mess. Maybe if you took the time out to handle things properly instead of getting frustrated with the patient and his family, your shift could have been better or at least easier. If you do not have time to straighten things out then have someone else do it who has time or let the new shift know that maybe trying some other alternatives to help with the non easy patient & family members.

No part of nursing is really easy so why make it harder on yourself or your co-workers…..

Separate we have purpose, Together we have POWER. ~Sylette

Doctors, Nurses, Aides, Phlebotomist, Housekeeping & Nursing students ==> *A note to yourself, “STOP giving BAD NEWS to the oncoming shift! Don’t put them in a bad mood before they even start because it can affect how they act towards or treat their patients.”

How Nursing Professionals Can Identify Human Trafficking Victims

By NurseTogether.Com

As Nurses we come across ALL types of patients and situations, sadly Human Trafficking is real in the world and as long as we have the knowledge and proper care we can help stop and or prevent it from continuing. Every bit of help is needed to stop this horrible  mess towards women of all ages. So next time you are doing your assessment on your new patient please take the time to go over these SIGNS listed below. You could be ending a horrible nightmare for someone!

This article specifically focuses on the nurse’s role in identifying a victim of human trafficking. As a nurse providing direct bedside or emergency care to a patient, he/she is positioned strategically to recognize potential red flags indicating the victim is being trafficked. When victims of trafficking have serious health issues, traffickers will occasionally seek to obtain medical treatment for the victim. Some key indicators for a nurse to watch for would be:

  • Lack of health care (evidence of numerous untreated or prolonged/ongoing health issues or medical problems/injuries)
  • Bruising, (all in different stages noted by the appearance of different coloring, yellow, purple, blue), signs of physical/sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Presence of a third party who will not leave the individual alone, perhaps posing as the victim’s “translator”
  • Multiple or frequent pregnancies
  • Multiple STD’s
  • Malnourishment
  • Pain/injury in lower back or back of head; important to note that sex industry victims are often beaten in areas where are not obviously visible that would damage their outward appearance.
  • Fear and depression
  • Exhibiting signs of being controlled Unable to move or leave their job by choice

Victim identification is the nurse’s first step in combating modern-day slavery. Whether it is a young child, a teen, a woman or a man; victims can be from any age group and may be either female or male. When it comes to rescue and restoration of victims, nurses are a vital link in that portion of the chain as well. However, before rescue and restoration can take place, a victim must first be identified.

United States Department of Health and Human Services Rescue and Restore Campaign materials from www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking