Friday, July 21, 2017

A new school year... Now what?

Have you ever heard a nurse say something like this....

"I got a job in a school for next year and I'm so excited, 

but I have no idea what to do."  

It is so common to feel a little lost in this profession.  

You might find this interactive toolkit from NASN super helpful & 
below I'll list my top 3 tips on planning for a smooth start to a new school year.

  1. Take time to organize your office!  Think about the space you have and try to make the most of it.  Try making work stations in your space.  Consider a "treatment" area where you will help students, an area to organize your supplies, a desk area for paperwork (there will be mountains of paperwork!), maybe you're lucky enough to have a rest/quiet area too?  Having your items organized with designated areas in your office will help define the spaces for you, or students and staff too. 
  2. Before the first day of student attendance you will want to take time to review health folders/charts and make a list of students who have health concerns.  Consider using excel or google docs (my preference) for your list making.  You might want to start writing things with pen and paper, but using a computer will be more beneficial in the long term.  I keep my lists on google docs for easy access and updating.  I always make a copy and rename it for the next school year- this way all I have to do is remove those who no longer attend and add the new students.  By making a copy thought I still have all previous years for reference if needed.
  3. Figure out how you'll want to track your state health requirements!  Good record keeping in this area will save you time in the future!  I use google sheets for this one!  My columns include: name, grade, date of entrance, date due, what items are needed and a comment area to document when I've mailed letters or talked to parents/students etc. I delete names as items are turned in unless it is information I need to report to the state later in the year- if that is the case then I move the info down on sheet :)

What did I miss?  

What are some tips you have for a smooth start to a new school year?  

Please share your ideas :)

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Monday, June 26, 2017

How to use your stethoscope

Do you know how to properly use your favorite stethoscope?
Let's review the basics...

A stethoscope is a tool used to listen to the internal sounds of your patient.  
In the medical field, a stethoscope is typically used to listen to the 
sounds of the heart or lungs.

Stethoscopes are a tool used by entry level through expert level medical staff.  Just because they've been around since the early 1800s doesn't mean they are being used the right way.

Let's review a few basic steps...

  1. Always start and end your stethoscope use by cleaning the eartips and diaphragm with alcohol pads.
  2. Prior to inserting the eartips into your ears make sure they are pointing away from your ears.
  3. Use eartips that best fit your ear opening.  Make sure there is a good seal keeping external noises out.
  4. Make sure the diaphragm of the stethoscope is open.  Nothing more embarrassing then trying to asses a B/P and realizing your stethoscope diaphragm is closed :(  
  5. Provide an airtight seal around the bell/diaphragm of the stethoscope using your fingers and not your thumb.  The picture below shows the fingers on top of the bell/diaphragm... I would rather see the fingertips on either side of the bell/diaphragm.
  6. Take your time and listen.....

There are a wide variety of brands and prices too.
My favorite happens to be Littmann brand.... 
What about you?

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