Congratulations!! You have achieved those things that you really wanted – you’ve finished nursing school, passed the NCLEX and now you probably secured your first job as a nurse or you are waiting to get one. So what’s next, how ready are you for the tasks ahead? There are challenges ahead and most graduates feel overwhelmed and unprepared; as a matter of fact, some new nurses find it hard to keep their first job past their orientation time.
I remember when I finished nursing school, honestly, it was a great achievement to become a nurse but then the reality of this lovely and wonderful profession can be shocking. As a graduate or new nurse, you really do not know everything; yes, you passed every test but you are still learning and now you learn where you work. Note that as a new nurse, you are not expected to have answers to every question. So here are some ideas to help get through your first year as a Nurse.
- Be Patient: Remember you are still learning, you don’t know everything, and there are some questions you may not be to answer right away. Give yourself time to learn and you will surely get there. The same thing applied to the unit you work, it will take some time for you to know all the policies and get used to the unit in general. So do not be harsh on yourself. If there is anything you don’t know, don’t feel bad because it is okay. Be Patient; take one day at a time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask: one of those things that will help you to learn is asking questions. This is a sign that you are ready to learn, and that you do not want to make mistakes. Making assumptions when you don’t know what to do will only lead to mistakes. Remember you are a nurse, and that you are taking care of people – mistakes could be bad, so ask questions. Protect your practice.
- Take care of yourself: this is where you will need to do a head to toe assessment on yourself. Believe me; I do this all the time, even now. Working as a nurse is very demanding and you will be on your feet for longer hours. So it is highly important to look at yourself, assess and plan for the future. You do not want to break down, eat good food, drink adequate amount of fluid exercise and wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t take it home: just like the employer does not want you to bring your home to work, don’t take work home either. Things will happen but once you give report to the coming nurse; that is the end of your shift. You need to go home rest your body, eat good food and prepare for another day. And when someone wrongs you on the job, remember no one is perfect; don’t take it home.
- Be grateful and believe in yourself: you have come a long way, look back at where you started and see where you are now. Take a look at the nursing curriculum that you’ve learned from, all the exams you took and passed, time to be grateful. Not everyone that started finished. Also belief in yourself, you are a professional nurse, you are licensed and authorized to practice. You can do it, with patience and readiness to learn all you can; it will surely come together.
Welcome to the nursing profession!!!
Every day is different, there will be days or times when, no matter what you do or how caring you try to be, you will still have people who are not satisfied with your services. There will always be ungrateful people.
So, what do you do as a nurse when this happen to you?
First, know that it is not personal. Do not think it is because of who you are or how you look, etc. It is important to understand that no one chooses to be sick or be in the hospital or in the healthcare facility where you may be working. Many people who happen to be receiving care may be frustrated for other reasons – not because of the you.
Nursing is a calling, and since you have accepted this calling, you have all that it takes to take great care of every client and every situation you may come across.
- Remain calm. Remember it is not about you. They may be going through pain or anxiety about their health and they may want to discuss their feelings with you. Whatever the case may be, find the good in each day and appreciate it.
- Listen and have a conversation with the client, this may not work the first time you try it. Try again. This is how you demonstrate the patience of being a nurse. I am sure you can do it!
- Greet your patients and introduce yourself with a very big smile. Make it a part of your uniform as a great nurse. You may have received in report that the client is the most difficult on the unit; but your approach with this client will make a big difference. With a big smile and a warm greeting as you introduce yourself, you can successfully gain the trust of the client, and just earn yourself a great shift.
- Do not get in an argument with the client, this will only make the situation worse. Know when to leave for a moment, then try again when they may have calmed down.
Much love to all of you great Nurses out there, you are doing an awesome job!
Happy Nurses’ Week 🙂
Set your eyes on the prize; always remember that nothing comes easy in life. If it were to be easy then everyone will have it and it wouldn’t worth that much.
What is the goal that you want to achieve at this time; stay focused, have the strong will and gently find available resources.
Other things will happen at the same time, life has to go on and these things may appear to stand in your way. Try not to pay too much attention to distractions. Stay focused. A person does not fail until they give up. Never give up!!!