NurseAvatar Tips and Tricks of the Trade
• Blood Stains: For blood stain removal use hydrogen peroxide. Apply a few drops to the blood stain and allow stain to foam up. Afterwards rinse with cold water. Keep it in mind it may take a few applications.
• Malodorous smell: Try using Vick’s or Peppermint or any other type of “smell pleasing” Apply a small amount to the inside of a face mask to help deter the malodorous smell. Or use two masks and apply toothpaste between the two masks either to the inside of the first mask or on the front of the second mask, this alternative helps to control malodorous smell.
• Malodorous smell in room: Try using coffee grounds. Place a small amount in a small basin and slide under bed to help eliminate the “stinky”
• Malodorous alternative smell control: Try “Iodoform Packing Strip” used for wound packing. The gauze instantaneously removes malodorous smells of any room or environment.
• Dried Blood: Use KY gel or jelly. Apply gel or jelly to site of dried blood on the skin and then gently wipe away with gauze or cotton. The KY gel or jelly helps to soften and lift the dried blood off the surface of the skin making it easy to remove.
• Changing bed linen: The linens for bed change can be pre-rolled to facilitate faster linen changes, thus reducing the amount of time a patient will be on their side. Start by laying out a fitted sheet, then add the draw sheet, then add a chux pad, and on top of the chux pads place the CHG wipes with towels (if preferred), then roll it all up to together creating one single roll of linens. This technique will speed up your patient bathing and linen change time!
• ECG electrode pads keep falling off: Monitoring the heart rate, and rhythm are required for most inpatients. Unfortunately, there are times when patients toss and turn all night, and the aide or the nurse has to repeatedly go in the room, wake the patient, and replace the electrode pads. Try this method, swab the skin with a skin barrier swab; it will help the electrode pads stick much better. Better sticking leads to better sleeping!
• Foley catheter tugging: Some patients are confused, and distraction is one useful method to prevent or reduce foley catheter tugging. But another helpful way is to cover them with multiple blankets and snuggly tuck in their bedsheets. Though they eventually uncover themselves, they will spend a lot of time trying to remove the blankets and sheets before they can get to the catheter. Remember to place their hands on top of the blankets and try sliding in the bedside table over their lap as an additional distraction.
• Sleep for the confused: Medicating the elderly (specifically Dementia/Alzheimer’s patients) for sleep is delicate, however, see if you can get orders for Tylenol and Melatonin. The combination helps them relax and sleep comfortably.
• Nausea feelings: Ever been at the bedside, and your patient states that they feel nauseated. If so, do this until you can run out and get the nausea medication. Quickly open up an alcohol swab packet and put in under the patient’s nose. Have them breathe in the alcohol smell. Nausea will sometimes subside, but if not, it should at least buy you enough time until you can run out and get the medication. By the way, this technique also works well with children.
• Ice Pack: One of the best ways to make a homemade icepack is to use 1 (one) part of rubbing alcohol with 3 (three) parts of water. The combination of the two makes a chilly ice pack that is soft (never hardens) and flexible making it comfortable to apply to the body.
• Labs to order for Heparin and Coumadin: Heparin and Coumadin have their own specific lab orders such as PT and PTT, but which go with which? It’s easy, add the lab to the medication that will make it add up to a total of 10 (ten) letters for example: Heparin (7 letters) + PTT (3 letters) = 10 letters; Coumadin (8 letters) + PT (2 letters) = 10 letters. Now you’ll never forget!
• Tape adhesive for sensitive skin or pediatric patients: To reduce the amount of stickiness or adhesion, take a cotton ball and dab it on the area to be attached to the surface and this will lessen the adhesiveness and reduce pain upon removal.
• Code Brown odor: For many years, I have used coffee grounds for odor control. However, I have have found that it does not work as well as Iodoform gauze (wound packing gauze). Get a bottle of Iodoform gauze and remove all the gauze from the bottle and hang it in the room; the smell of defecation will resolve almost instantaneously!
• Shaving hair: If the person has a lot of chest hair and you need to do an EKG, you will most likely have to shave the patient. I would use KY gel. Shaving with KY gel will reduce the mess of the pesky shaved hairs by rolling it up into a ball as you shave. Additionally, it will cause less irritation and a smooth shave!
Have Tips and Tricks to Share? Please share your tips and tricks of the trade in the comments section below, I am sure you all have something up your sleeve…