Posted 12/04/2010 by William Hardy in Nursing Career
Tagged with advice needed, cartoon, comic blog, comic journal, hospital, knowledge, new hire, new nurse, request, rn, webcomic
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The first 6 months are going to be the hardest. You might feel like you know absolutely nothing, and are in over your head, like you have forgotten everything you learned. But just keep plugging away. It will get easier and you will do great. :)
The best piece of advice is that you have to ears and one mouth. Be sure to listen twice as much as talk. I don’t mean that you don’t speak up and ask question. Become a sponge and take it all in, but never, ever, ever, ever stay silent and not ask questions.
Ask questions until you are blue in the face. The most dangerous ‘new’ nurse is the one who doesn’t speak up when something is being questioned. Don’t every do something and not understand it fully.
Best of luck out there! By you posting this blog I can tell you are going to do great!
Never lose that spark.
Let me know if I can help ya in any way!
oops. LOL .. TWO ears. not to.
Pingback: ATTENTION NURSES : New Nurse Asking For Advice | My Strong Medicine
ASK QUESTIONS. There really is no such thing as a stupid quesiton, especially when you’re a new nurse, seasoned nurse or anything in between. I’ve been a nurse for two years, and I ask questions ALL THE TIME. Remember: in our limited clinical rotations, we couldn’t possibly see or do everything, so there will come times when you are faced with a patient who has something going on that you’re not familiar with. Equipment, procedures, etc. Seek out those experienced nurses and ask!
Also, be willing to take patients who are outside YOUR comfort level. The only way to learn and become skillful is to DO IT! :)
Take little bits of each nurse you orient with, using the things that you like, that help you organize your day and assemble it into your own organizational structure. There is no right or wrong way, but there are efficient ways of doing things. Over time, you will find your own groove. It may not seem like it in the beginning, but it will happen.
Welcome to the BEST PROFESSION IN THE WORLD. NURSES ROCK!!!!!! Proud to welcome you into our community!
Ooh, good post. I can’t wait to read the comments. Is it ok if I partake from the advice you’re given too?
Sometimes nurses get stuck in a rut, and do a certain procedure/task “their” way as “the only” way. Then you have another nurse who does it “their way” which can be totally different. (Example: setting up vaginal delivery tables in L&D, starting an IV, taping the IV, other set ups where it doesn’t really matter how it’s set up – just that it’s done aseptically!). Just take what you can learn from each. Eventually, you will find your own way of doing things where you integrate different nurses’ techniques. That’s ok!!! (I know it will be tempting to go up against a nurse who is precepting you and showing you “his/her way” of doing it – just bear with it, and do it their way.)
Hopefully, you will hook up with a preceptor that matches to your personality – that always helps in the new nurse learning process!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to jump in and get your hands wet. (Well, not literally….or at least make sure you’re wearing gloves!)
Don’t hesitate to ask for more time on orientation if you need it.
Seek out nursing tasks/procedures that you feel are your weak areas (they all might be at first, don’t worry. You’ll get better with repetition and time.)
Most of all – welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of nursing!
Not to forget – the patients. Talk to them. You’ll be amazed at how having a normal conversation with them will help garner clinical information you might need for your assessments. Also – most patients like to talk and be listened to. Practice your active listening techniques with every patient you have.
Don’t forget – they’re more than likely scared when they’re in the hospital setting. By you staying calm, acting like you do these nursing tasks all the time (even if it’s your first time), will help them stay calm. Smile like you genuinely mean it (they will know if it’s a fake smile). Don’t forget your non-verbal cues in your own body.
Keep positive and don’t be too hard on yourself. In other words, there are others that will flagellate you so don’t do that to yourself. Always look at the GOOD you have done and don’t let the rest discourage you. It is a learning process and no one is expected to start nursing knowing everything. If you don’t kill someone, it’s a good day.
Remember: old nurses still ask questions too. I know I do. It isn’t a bad thing. And I have been nursing for 34 years!
Some days will be good, some bad – but just consider the bad days as a learning experience.
Remember to Check, check, check and recheck your meds. Even the “experienced” nurse will and SHOULD be doing this. Don’t take shortcuts unless they are safe shortcuts.
Above all protect your license. It is a hard earned and valuable piece of paper….don’t let anyone do anything to take it away from you by making you feel you should be doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing or don’t think it is right.
Listen to your patients. If they question something, double check – even if you are SURE. It sure saved my butt – look at my blog entry on the near medication mistake I almost made.
I always used to look at each patient as if they were my own family member….mother, father, brother, sister…best friend…..and it changes the compassionate side of nursing.
I agree with all of the above advice.
You will do well. :)
Ya’ll are awesome! Keep it coming! I have directed a few newbies like myself to soak up these points. I already LOVE being a nurse and I haven’t even started yet!
1) When in doubt, assess.
2) ALWAYS remember ABC.
3) Take the time to look up any drugs you aren’t familiar with–what you don’t know CAN kill someone.
4) Only you are responsible for your license.
5) Do not apologize when calling a physician, no matter what time of the day it is; you are doing your job and you are their eyes and ears when they aren’t at the bedside.
Just thought of a couple more….
Trust your gut instinct. It is still developing, but if you have a feeling that something isn’t right go with it. Some inkling in the back of your head that says “something is wrong with that patient, but I don’t know what” usually has some truth to it. Even if it isn’t clear enough to go to the doctor with, listen to it. Keep a closer eye on them or do an even more thorough assessment than usual. Or grab a cowoker who you trust and tell them “something is up, but I don’t know what… what do you think?”.
There is nothing wrong with being a little superstitious at work. I often go with the attitude that I would rather have something ready and not use it than have an emergency where I need it and don’t have it. Whether it is drugs mixed up (such as vasopressors or sedation), emergency equipment at the bedside (or near by). Having that one item to “ward off bad things” can sometimes set your mind at ease so you can worry about something else.
And as said several times already, ask questions. There is no stupid question. We know that you are new and still learning, and expect it. Nothing worries me more than the new nurse who is too confident and who doesn’t ask questions–they can be dangerous. Be confident in the skills you have, but know where you still need to grow.
Since I’ve only been employed for 3 months, all I can say with confidence is don’t be too hard on yourself and nursing school and reality are two different planets. Best wishes.
I was reading thru AYC’s…..about talking with the patient and listening. It is amazing how much you can calm a patient’s anxiety by listening (ie. don’t think of what you are going to say while they are talking) and then restate it…. “Let me know if I am wrong but I am hearing you say….” and is is surprising how much we sometimes misunderstand.
I can’t tell you how many times a patient has told me – “you have a calm and friendly voice….it makes me feel better just listening to you” … talking to them as a person in language they understand….and not talking around them…. :)
See post here for a great reply!
Can I just say I love this post, and am so happy with the response it is getting. First, Will well done. Great use for your blog and I love your comics. Second, well done nurses, but remember not all new grads have the comic sense (get it, sorry, I’m one of those nurses) Will has. So please remember all new grads could use a bit of support and advice, even if they are not smart enough to ask. Thank you to everyone that responded and to all those who are taking new grads under their wings in their organizations. We need it, the profession needs it, and even if we come with a shiny degree we know it pales into comparison to what you have learned through experience. However, we look forward to working with you and learning quickly as we go.
Again, just love this post.
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