Nowadays, newly licensed nurses who are considered as neophytes in the nursing profession are given a lot of job opportunities in different healthcare settings. Right now, you may have already started your career as a nurse in different units in the hospital. Keep in mind that it is far more different than what you usually do when you attend your duty when you were enrolled in a nursing school. Now, you are on your own and you have no clinical instructor whom you can rely to. You are now a student of nobody but of your own experience!
At first, you may be assigned in a medical ward which will help you understand more about your chosen field in a less demanding situation compared to that of other units which require specialization and expertise. As you gradually become adept in performing nursing interventions, you may now be assigned to work in a special unit such as the pediatric ward. In this situation, your patience will be tested as you deal with sick children who are expected to become irritable and oftentimes refuse to take their medications. You may also be assigned in a critical care unit which will let you deal with a more complex situation. By this time, you need to be skillful in operating and troubleshooting different cutting-edge machines and monitors because a single error in operating these machines will definitely put your patient’s life at risk.
Each unit poses different challenges to you . When you become assigned in different units as part of the shifting or rotation, your environment and workplace will become totally new to you. Hence, you have to be versatile and be able to adjust to this situation to ensure efficiency of care.
As a nurse who has been working for several years, I have encountered many challenges which tested my proficiency, commitment and patience. To help you survive the first few days of your nursing career, here are five simple tips for you:
- Know the things that will help you as you start your first day of work. You have to know that the first thing you should have before you work are comfortable scrub suit and shoes. Remember that you will be staying for so many hours at work. Your shift per day ranges from 8 to 12 hours or you may go beyond that; 16 hours, perhaps. Imagine yourself wearing ill-fitting shoes and scrubs for such long hours doing various nursing interventions such as lifting, transferring and helping your client ambulate. That would definitely add more stress to your work! Wearing comfortable uniform would help you perform these tasks conveniently. Aside from this, you may also need to buy a stethoscope which is the most common diagnostic tool for your health assessment.
- Know, learn and get familiar with your unit. Since every rotation your workplace will become new to you, it is important for you to know your unit. You have to orient yourself on the unit’s setting to conserve time and effort as you render nursing interventions. For example, you have to know where the charts and medications are kept. You also have to know where the syringes and used vials are disposed. Through this, you do not need to ask such matter to your colleagues where to get what you need because as a nurse, you are expected to know your environment.
- Never hesitate to ask questions from your colleagues and other members of the health team especially to the attending physicians. If you are unsure about something, never hesitate to ask other healthcare professionals. For example, if one of the attending physician’s orders is unclear, never hesitate to clarify it to him. Never ever assume if you are doubtful. During endorsement, never hesitate to ask your colleagues about the condition of the patient assigned to you during that shift.
- Organize your things as you begin with your duty. Before you start your day and before you go to your patient’s room, prepare all the things you need and those you think you will need. Through this, you do not need to go back to the nurses’ station to get something. Hence, you will save time and effort. You may also use a Joey Jr. pouch to bring things on the go while doing your nursing rounds.
- As you receive your first paycheck, pamper yourself and buy the things you need and other essential paraphernalia which will help you manage your work more easily and more efficiently. Use your hard-earned money to indulge in something you love. Go on a retail therapy to give yourself a break. This will freshen up your mind and will motivate you to continue doing your best at work. However, never forget to buy additional paraphernalia that will help you perform your duties conveniently and efficiently. And lastly, don’t forget to save a part of your salary too.
These are just some of the simple ways that will help you manage the stresses of work. You will learn more as you go through. You just need to open your mind and remember all the lessons you learned from your experiences. Good luck on your nursing career, colleagues!