Nursing can be a rewarding profession both financially and emotionally. However, it can also be one of the most spiritually draining professions there is. Surviving the first few years for nursing may seem impossible at times, but don’t despair. Instead, use the following tips.
My aunt, who has been a nurse for over 20 years, warned me that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my own nursing skills for the first five years of my career. I thought she was exaggerating. However, I soon learned that she was right. When I first started nursing, I felt lost. I remember what I had learned in nursing school, but the real world was totally different. I asked questions, but I began to feel a little silly having to ask the other nurses what to do all the time. Over time, I gained more confidence in my nursing skills. I stop having to ask as many questions. I began to make decisions for myself. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with asking questions. It is better to ask questions that to make deadly medical errors.
Befriend the Unit Secretary
At any job, a good point to remember is to be nice to the secretary. They know the ropes. They know the other nurses, and they know the doctors. So, don’t think the unit secretary is beneath you. Remember, they contain a world of wisdom, and you can learn from them.
Always Check the Orders
Always, always check your medication orders. It is so easy to mix up orders or to misread notes. So, double check the doctor’s orders before administering any medicines.
Keep it Professional
Keep things on a professional level at your job. This advice may sound anti-social, but it is a good rule of thumb. If you are a nursing supervisor, it is best not to become buddies with the staff members that you have to supervise. My aunt warned me about this, and I learned it on my own. Sure, you can go for drinks and chat. However, you can’t become their best friend and then think that you can properly supervise them. I have had nursing assistants try to take advantage of our friendship. They put my position as a supervisor in jeopardy just so they could get away with lacking off. I have learned over the years that it is okay to be cordial but know when to draw the line with co-workers.
Learn How to Handle the Doctors
Doctors can be intimidating and even rude at times. They are at the top of the medical totem pole. However, remember that you are also a professional. You went to school just like they did. Speak to them. And, don’t run away in fear. Take care of their patients and follow their orders. You will soon learn which doctors like what.
You can be one of the best nurses in the world, but if you have lousy bedside manner, your patients will hate to see you coming. And, you will end up in your supervisor’s office. In business, good customer service is vital. It is the same in nursing care. It doesn’t matter how much you know. I have learned that the main things your patients will want are: cold water in their pitcher, their ice passed out on schedule, their pain pill on time, and for you to be compassionate. So, watch what you say to your patients. Be sure to keep a pleasant look on your face, smile often, and be nice to their family.
The first few years of nursing can be scary. You are just learning, but you can save yourself a lot of heartache by using the tips listed above.