Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Pregnant Nurse

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You’ve got that amazing pregnancy glow, the adorable baby bump, you’ve been taking it easy and – oh, you’re a nurse? Then forget the last part. I’m sure you’ve got the glow and the cute belly, but working as a nurse involves time on your feet; lots of time on your feet. And the world of nursing is quite the busy one. How then, can you care for yourself properly so that those all important nine months go by smoothly and comfortably? Read on to find out!

Pamper Your Feet

Carrying a baby is no small ‘feet’ (I had to!) and coupled with the typical nursing shift, you’re bound to have even more aches and pains than your average mama-to-be. You can take steps (pun intended!) though, to reduce the pressure you exert on your feet, by having the dad give you a gentle massage every day after work. A 10-20 minute foot massage can really make all the difference. In fact, according to the Journal of Nursing Practice, women in late pregnancy who received daily 20-minute foot massages had a smaller leg circumference. So bye-bye bloated ankles and hello dainty flats. (Just kidding, you should try and wear supportive shoes throughout.) Another great idea- compression stockings. They really help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis which pregnant women are 4-5 times more likely to develop.

Bring On The Water

No, I do not mean the tears, even though that too is a normal part of pregnancy. What I mean is for you to drink up. Drink, drink, drink; it’s good for you. Even if it means constantly running to the bathroom. Another spin on this? Go for a swim! Floating around in a swimming pool can do wonders for you! It’s the only place you’ll feel weightless, and besides, it’s a non-jarring workout routine. Take a morning swim and you’ll find that you’re energized and ready to tackle your day with full confidence!

Take a Whiff

What’s the biggest pregnancy gripe? Nausea and vomiting of course! There is relief, though. By regularly inhaling the essential peppermint and lavender oils, you can drastically reduce the level of nausea and vomiting you may experience in early pregnancy. A good idea is to inhale these oils twice a day, preferably before napping or sleeping.

Comfort Is Key

Gone are the days where you’re forced to figure out how to squeeze your pregnant self into regular fit scrubs. Times have changed and there are now maternity scrubs to accommodate your growing baby bump. Made with super comfy stretch panels so that they grow along with you, and available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and prints, you’ll forget that you’re wearing a maternity medical uniform.

Be Your Own Advocate

Take control of your body and your baby, and speak up! While pregnancy isn’t a free pass to neglect your responsibilities, you are entitled to be as comfortable as possible. So if anything makes you uncomfortable, or if you are concerned about the well being of your pregnant self or your unborn baby, you have every right to let your voice be heard.

Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life, and being a nurse is no contradiction to that, as long as you make the most of it.

Is It National Ask A Question Day?

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Who? What? Where? When? How? Yup, today, March 14th, is the official day for asking questions; all sorts of questions. And remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. ( I know you may be  thinking otherwise, but in honor of the day, let’s roll with the ‘no such thing as a stupid question’ thing!) In fact, asking is the best way to learn and grow. Questions, though, are not just about satisfying your own inner desire to be in the know, it can also be a means for helping others, particularly if you’re in the business of wearing medical scrubs. Yes, all you nurses know just how important question asking is when it comes to dealing with patients. Believe it or not, sometimes it’s the questions that offer the best sort of medicine, not the answers. So what sort of questions should you be asking? The four P’s!

Personal Hygiene Needs:

One of the worst aspects of being confined to a hospital bed is the diminishing lack of a sense of self. And a major cause for this, is the neglect of personal hygiene. The problem, though,  is that it doesn’t happen because the patient doesn’t care; it happens because the staff doesn’t care to help him/her fulfill those needs. So what does this mean for you? (Wow, I’m really getting into the spirit here!) Ask the patient: Do you need to use the restroom? Would you like to take a shower (if he/she is capable of showering)? Basically, make sure your patient doesn’t have to live without whatever personal hygiene you find sacred in your own life.


Ever woke up with a stiff neck? Or had your foot fall asleep because it was stuck in the same position for waaaay too long. Not too comfortable, huh? Well guess what? A bedridden patient feels this way almost all the time. Which is why it is so important to ask your patient if he/she wants his bed adjusted, his pillows fluffed, or maybe even ask if they want to sit in a real chair at the window for a little while. The monotony of being stuck in a single position is mind-numbingly exhausting. But remember, you’ve got to ask, because there’s a good chance the patient won’t!


Asking about pain is pretty standard. But you can make a difference by saying it with meaning and showing that you really, truly care. Another simple way to address your patient’s pain is by asking, “What is one thing that will make your day easier and make the pain just a tad more manageable?” You’d be surprised by what your patients will say. They might just want an extra blanket, or even some juice. Little things can make all the difference!

Personal Items:

You know how important personal items are. You even love all those pockets in your Everyday Scrubs by Dickies 82156 drawstring pants, because they’re a great place to store those personal accessories. For a patient, any reminder of normal, home life is a major welcome in the sterile hospital environment, which is why it’s so important to take note of the personal items the patient brings in. Ask your patient if all his/her personal items, such as a cell phone, picture frame etc. are in the right place. You wouldn’t want your patient reaching out to get something that is in fact out of reach and then subsequently falling. Besides, by asking about personal items it gives the patient the sense that you see them as a person outside of the hospital’s four walls.

Bottom line is, you’ve got to ask, ask, ask! You can make all the difference in the life of someone else, just by asking a few simple questions!

Getting Through the Graveyard Shift

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So you’re fresh out of nursing school and about to take on your very first job. You know what that means, don’t you? The dreaded graveyard shift! You’re not alone though; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3% of the country’s full time employees work this same shift. (I know, you were hoping to see a larger number. Misery loooooves company!) It’s not too bad though. Looking on the bright side, you get to wear comfy pajama-like scrubs, like the Dickies Everyday Scrubs 85755. Like this you won’t feel too out of touch with the rest of the world! Anyhow, by creating and maintaining a new kind of schedule, one which involves sleeping by day and staying awake by night, you’ll see that it is possible to properly function this way. Go ahead, implement these ‘survival tips’ and see for yourself!

Sleep, sleep, sleep:

Ever tried sleeping during the day while the rest of the world is awake? It’s hard, huh? To help the situation, make sure your room is cool and quiet. Also, be sure to block out all sunlight, either by using room darkeners or even a night mask. To help you get in the zone and put you in sleep mode you can read a book or listen to some relaxing music. Don’t, however, watch any TV because that will stimulate your mind and make falling asleep harder for you. And you don’t need me to tell you that twisting and turning when you know you need to sleep is no fun!

Be Disciplined:

The key to successfully resetting your biological clock is making sure to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day; EVEN when you have an off day! I know, I know, it’s hard. Really hard. Throwing off your schedule completely, though, will just make it a whole lot harder to jump back into the job when you go return. Just a friendly tip: Make sure your friends and family know about your new sleep schedule so that they know not to call or visit while you’re sleeping.

Eat and Drink:

It’s important to eat while working the night shift, but don’t sit down to a 3-course meal. Instead, try and eat a few small portions throughout the course of your shift. This helps your body maintain its normal sugar level. Also, try eating complex carbohydrates like bread, pasta, vegetables, etc., to keep your body energized, and avoid eating refined sugars which can be found in candy and the likes. Why, you ask? These sugars will induce a  ‘sugar high,’ which gives you instant energy but causes you to crash and burn later on. Another great idea: Have a cup-a-joe or a Coke right before your shift or as early on in your shift as possible. Caffeine gives you a boost of energy by stimulating your central nervous system.

Stay Active:

Keep yourself busy; move around to help keep your mind active and awake, and don’t sit around idly because no good can come of that. In fact, doing nothing will result in a decreased blood flow, causing you to become lethargic and sluggish. Part of staying active is chatting with your coworkers. Once again, it’ll keep you alert and on the ball. Besides, who knows, maybe they have some more advice for getting through the graveyard shift!