Tag Archives: nursing

Be a Voice for Patient Safety

The problem is becoming more and more serious. In 1999 Americans learned from the study, To Error is Human by the Institute of Medicine that 98,000 patients die every year from preventable errors in hospitals. In 2013, a study in the Journal of Patient Safety found an increasing number between 210,000 and 440,000 patients are dying from preventable errors each year in hospitals.

This striking statistic is causing many to acUnited Safetyt. Each year, to help health care organizations increase safety, The National Safety Patient Foundation promotes an annual education and awareness week campaign. Patient Safety Awareness Week educates healthcare staff and patients about the importance of preventing errors within hospitals.

As a nurse it is important to start early, practicing good safety habits to keep patients safe and healthy. Patient safety research shows that most errors occur during change-of-shift report.  As a result, a standardized change-of-shift report was created to reduce nurse to nurse communication errors. The following is done:

    1. Require two nurse signatures
    2. Adhere evaluations

These two simple tasks can prevent many complications and can help patients get the correct care they need. For nurses it is important to increase communication during these pivotal moments of  in between care and shift changing.

As a patient it is also important to talk to your healthcare professional to make sure you understand your own care.  Make sure your nurse or hospital staff explain to you any medication, treatments or procedures. Ask the following :

  1. Name of your medication
  2. Purpose of your medication
  3. Time for your medication to be taken
  4. How to take your medication
  5. Side effects of the medication

If you feel your nurse or hospital staff have not answered these questions ask them to do so.

Together, patients and healthcare professionals can eliminate the problem of unsafe healthcare. As everyone works together with better communication, everyone can prevent errors in hospitals every day, and not just during Patient Safety Awareness Week.

Why getting hit by a car will make you appreciate nurses


Photo credit Wampa-One.

“I’m actually going to get hit,” I think as I take a final look at the car coming towards me. “Why didn’t he stop at the stop sign?” The black metal connects with my bicycle. Smack. Windshield cracks. Crunch. I hit the asphalt. I’m up. Head hurts, swimming, hot, bleeding. Somebody is asking me if they should call 911. Yes. The police come, so does the ambulance. After a flurry of questions I’m off to the hospital.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been hurt and needed medical care. My hobbies of snowboarding and long boarding have put me in the hospital two other times. But while the incidents have been different, the feeling that comes from being taken care of when I really need it has stayed the same. It’s a feeling of trust and security. It’s a feeling I get as soon as nurses start taking care of me.

Nurses are busy. They are on their feet all day and look after hundreds of patients with different problems. Anyone who has been to a hospital has seen this. As I sat down to get stitched up after the car hit me I told the male nurse I had been on my way home from the new student orientation for the College of Nursing at BYU. He chuckled and said, “I bet they told all the new students nursing is the greatest job in the world. What they don’t tell them is that they are going to be working their butts off every day.”

It amazes me that despite the high demand of their job, nurses are still able to treat each individual patient with compassion and care. Each time I’ve been to the hospital the nurses have listened to me, kept me informed and even joked around with me.

It’s because of this compassion and care that I didn’t question the nurse who started scrubbing gravel out of my raw hand with an alcohol wipe. She explained to me why she had to do it, and even though it hurt more than getting hit by the car I let her scrub. I trust nurses because they know what they’re doing and know what’s best for me.

IMG_1187I don’t think I could ever be a nurse. I got a tour of the College of Nursing’s simulation lab my first day on the job and got woozy just looking at a fake arm with a needle in it. But my aversion to needles and dread of bodily fluids only make me respect nurses more.

With 11 stitches in my forehead and some major road rash everywhere else, I was lucky to come away from the car accident without serious injury. But just as much as I’ll remember getting hit by a car, I’ll remember the way the nurses took care of me when I really needed it.

By Nate Brown—BYU College of Nursing public relations assistant

Laughter: the best medicine

According to The Washington Post, “humor has been shown to decrease health-care workers’ anxiety, create a sense of control, and boost spirits in difficult moments.”

For that reason, we are sharing some humorous stories today from nurses around the country.221fdcec88710d005cdd65ab554f93a1

“On a busy med-surg floor, the doctor stopped to brief me on a patient’s condition: ‘This patient is a fellow physician and my favorite golf partner. His injury is serious and I fear he will not be able to play golf again unless you follow my orders exactly.’

The doctor then began listing orders: ‘You must give an injection in a different location every 20 minutes, followed by a second injection exactly five minutes after the first. He must take two pills at exactly every hour, followed by one pill every 15 minutes for eight hours. He must drink no more and no less than 10 ounces of water every 25 minutes and must void between. Soak his arm in warm water for 15 minutes, then place ice for 10 minutes and repeat over and over for the rest of the day. Give range of motion every 30 minutes. He requires a back rub and foot rub every hour. Feed him something tasty every hour. Be cheerful and do whatever he asks at all times. Chart his condition and vital signs every 20 minutes. You must do these things exactly as I ordered or his injury will not heal properly, and he will not able to play golf well.’

The doctor left and I entered the patient’s room. I was greeted by anxious family members and an equally anxious patient. All quickly asked what the doctor had said about the patient. I stated, ‘The doctor said that you will live.’ Then quickly reviewing the orders, I added, ‘But you will have to learn a new sport.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“A hospital posted a notice in the nurses’ lounge that said: ‘Remember, the first five minutes of a human being’s life are the most dangerous.’ Underneath, a nurse had written: ‘The last five are pretty risky, too.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down, I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.’

— from Scrubs Magazine

“One evening while administering medication to an elderly lady the following exchange took place:nursing-quotations-funny

‘Hi, I have your medication for you.’

‘Oh, okay.’

‘I’m gonna give you some Pepcid for your stomach, but I’m putting it in your IV.’

(Patient looked a bit perplexed) ‘Okay. Uhmmm…I have a question.’

‘Oh, what’s your question?’

‘Well, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I was just wondering …why Pepsi and not Coke?’

— from Scrubs Magazine

I was the only nurse on duty during the morning shift and together with a nursing aide, we were caring for five newborn babies. We liked to talk in shortened sentences to save time and incredibly, we could understand each other easily.

During the shift, one of the babies being monitored was undergoing photolight therapy with standard order of resting intervals whenever her body temperature became elevated. While providing morning care to another baby, our nursing aide shouted from the other side of our unit.

‘Hey, baby G’s temp is 37.6. Shall I kill the lights off?’

‘Wait, I’ll double check the chart.’

Unnoticed by us, a relative approached our area to borrow a pen.

‘Yeah, 37.6 is not safe. Kill it off!’

‘You better be sure. This is not going to be easy! She’s gonna cry hard!’

I glanced at the relative and she was looking positively horrified! She didn’t know that we were just talking about the photolight machine that had a very noisy light switch.”

— from Nurse Buff

Share your fun nursing stories in the comments!

Hypertension and College of Engineering

Two colleges teamed-up last Friday to discuss blood pressure–the College of Nursing and the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology.

Dr. Rollin Hotchkiss requested the assistance of several nursing students to support his Hydraulics & Fluid Flow Theory class lecture (CE EN 332). He was discussing the mechanics of hypertension and its mathematical formulas and wanted his students to have their blood pressure checked. They could then take their data and verify if the equations he presented were accurate.

Can you follow the lecture and determine if his equation is accurate?

Amy Hullinger checking Jordan's blood pressure. Paige Haynes is also taking blood pressure.

Amy Hullinger checking Jordan’s blood pressure. Paige Haynes is also taking blood pressure.

Pictured is Amy Hullinger, a fifth semester nursing student from Salt Lake City, checking the blood pressure of Jordan, a senior majoring in civil engineering. In the background is Paige Haynes, a first semester nursing student.

Aubrey Sandberg, a first semester nursing student also participated in the engineering class screening.

Aubrey Sandberg, a first semester nursing student also participated in the engineering class screening.