I find myself giving test-taking tips at every tutoring session lately.
Five tips for taking tests in nursing school: *
- Read the question.
- Think of the patient.
Of those, I think that passing out onto the cold dirty hard floor of orthostatic hypotension has to top the list of Things to Pay Attention To. Having one's foley pulled out with balloon still inflated would be right up there as a very close second.
- ABC, 123.
Airway Breathing Circulation
1 heart, 2 lungs, oriented x3 (who are you, where are you, when is it)
Risk for Powerlessness is always going to appear on my list of Relevant Nursing Diagnoses for any hospitalized patient. Always. Let's face it, laying in bed with no underwear does not increase one's self-efficacy. But I cannot assess anyone's psychosocial needs or even their pain level (which is usually next on my list after the ABCs and 123s) if they are currently not breathing or bleeding out.
- Do another med check.
- "Call the doctor" is almost never the answer.
Think about this - What are you going to say when she returns your page? Stammer, stammer, the patient uh, is, uh, doesn't look right and I think you should come down here. Click.
Assess before paging anyone - unless it's a code that you think you should call, and then holler away! Think through the information that a consultant is likely to ask you if you paged them - axillary temp, blood pressures for the last ten minutes, hematocrit levels, intake and output totals for the last 12 hours? What is the thing that made you worry about this patient and what information do you need to gather about that worrisome sign or symptom? Get it all written down, and then call (abcd - assess before calling doc).
*of course, I only know about MY nursing school. I know that all nursing students do skills evals, but I don't know if you will be able to talk to yourself throughout yours the way we were encouraged to do. I think these are pretty universal, and not just based on my Fundamentals professor. of course, your mileage may vary.