No matter what type of nurse/intern you are, whether it’s medical or in another profession. There’s more to the job than they ever tell you about in the books. In fact, some of the most helpful hacks are often learned right on the job and may never appear in a medical journal.
They often are tricks that the nurses teach them, because the doctors don’t deal with the patients directly in most cases. Here’s a few from a friend that I thought you’d like. Dealing with horrible smells, quick fixes for cuts and eliminating anxiety can help and your family in a pinch.
Toothpaste or Vicks VapoRub on a Finger or under Your Nose to Block a Smell.
My young friend said that on one of his rotations he learned a great trick from a nurse. When the stench was too great, she took out a small travel tube of toothpaste and put it on her finger, periodically sniffing it if the odor was horrible. She said anything with a strong but more pleasant smell could be used, such as VapoRub.
If she was with a live patient, she just put it on her finger and sniffed, but if the patient were deceased or the odor came from a non-human source, normally everyone in the room stuck a small amount under each nostril until they left the room.
Calm Yourself or a Sick Family Member with a Simple Task
Are you about to go through the roof waiting for results of a test, whether medical or academic? Do something simple to distract yourself like folding towels. I used to run up and down the basement stairs when I was stressed out, just to tire myself, and now that I think about it, probably release endorphins or burn off stress.
You can’t ask a sick spouse to do that, but you can distract them by asking them to fold washcloths and towels. It calms the person because it not only takes their mind off the situation, it makes them feel useful.
Are You In a Hurry or a Bind, Super Glue the Cut
A cut that keeps coming open or one that keeps oozing blood or reopening because it catches on everything you touch is the perfect candidate for gluing. Super glue works just like the liquid bandages you get in the emergency room.
In fact, it even smells like it. The difference is that a tube of super glue is a little more than a dollar and a dab of the hospital glue is thousands. Sorry, side tracked here. You can seal cuts and scratches at home and save the big ones for the doctors. Be careful to make sure it’s thoroughly clean before you super glue it together. Puncture wounds should never be super glued because they’re too hard to clean in the first place.
Use a Pad or Tampon to Apply Pressure, Stop the Bleeding and Sop up Blood
You’ll not only sop up the blood, but have good vehicle to apply pressure on a large wound. I’ve actually used a maxipad when a friend slashed his arm open. It allowed him us to put pressure on the gash and keep the car clean as we raced toward the doctor.
A new twist for me was using a tampon for a nosebleed. It’s just too great of an idea allow it to pass without mentioning it. I know I’ve thought of sticking one up my nose when I had a cold, but it never occurred to me to cut one in half for a bloody nose.
Eliminate Stains and Disinfect with Peroxide
You can keep this handy disinfect on hand for both cuts and cleaning. You can use peroxide for removing stains and it won’t set.
In most cases, it won’t harm the fabric’s color either, just the stain. Mix that peroxide with baking soda to make a paste and wipe it stains in the sink or on dishware.
Click here on how to remove pit stains
Make Lemon Juice Your Seasoning of Choice
My intern learned this trick from one of the patients he visited who was on a low-sodium diet. The patient said the food was horrible until one of the nurses showed him that squeezing some lemon juice over it could make all the difference in the world to the taste.
Get Your Sticky Hands Clean with Shaving Cream
Regular soap can’t touch many of the substances you get on your hands, so you end up scrubbing forever.
Instead of hand soap, use the lotion-like shaving cream as you would hand cream first, to loosen the grime and the wash your hands or wipe them with a cleaning wipe.
Rubbing Alcohol Can Take the Tangle Out of a Sick Child or Adult’s Hair
Laying in bed for long periods can create tangles and hair knots everywhere, particularly on the back of the head. Rather than tug at the hair of someone who already feels like garbage, massage a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the back of the head. The tangles come out easily and dries almost instantly.
There are so many tricks to learn that make life easier, more comfortable, less expensive and more productive and I want to learn them all. If you have any ideas that might help others to improve their life, let me know. I really love all the hacks readers provide.