How do you know when to follow your gut instinct . . .
If you are a new nurse, you may not have enough experience to have a well-developed "gut instinct". I think this is something you develop through a synthesis of experience and education. When you've been doing this type of work for a while, you'll know when to trust your feelings. Until then, whenever you have a feeling about something, check it out with a more experienced nurse, and find out how he/she problem-solves these issues.