There is no profession nobler than being a nurse. But with that comes a lot of pressure and responsibility.
Sure, you go through a lot of schooling and training, but that does not make it any less daunting as you approach the first few days of your career.
It doesn’t matter if you are coming to nursing later in life, with a solid work experience behind you, or are fresh from school and eager to make your mark. You will all suffer the same nerves and doubts because there is no profession quite like nursing.
However, keep reading because below you will find seven crucial tips which, as a new nurse, you just need to know.
1. Be Assertive
You are going to be nervous, especially when you are just starting as a nurse, but it is important to remember that your patients are nervous too. They are hurt or sick or maybe both. They will be concerned and scared and look to you to allay their fears.
This means you need to be confident and assertive. Even if you are second guessing yourself, and need to confer once out of the room, always make sure you let the patient know you are a skilled professional who is confident in their abilities.
2. Listen to your Patients
Yes, you have had the training. You have been to school and graduated, but there is one thing you don’t know – your patient’s body.
It is imperative that you listen to your patients. They know their bodies. They know what feels normal and what doesn’t. They know what has changed and to what degree. It is this information that can be crucial when seeking a diagnosis or assessing treatment options.
We know it is important to listen to our bodies, so it is just as important to listen to others when they are seeking treatment.
3. Take Care of Yourself
For nurses at work, time can be a crazy mesh of duties and responsibilities. It can be all too easy to skip meals and skip breaks, or not to drink enough as you run around getting things done.
That go-getter attitude will serve you well, but it is important to make sure you look after yourself. You will not be any good to your patients if you have not eaten enough, drunk enough, or gotten sufficient rest to be able to do your job effectively.
4. Be Punctual
Nobody likes people who are late, but when you are a new nurse, it is vital that you are punctual with everything from arriving at work to doing the tasks assigned to you.
There is a system and an order to things in a hospital, and it is not going to fun if your tardiness slows down the well-oiled machine.
There are many ways you can work on being punctual. Such as wearing the correct attire for under your scrubs, or arriving so that you start working the time your shift starts. Read more here.
5. Be Meticulous With Note Taking
This is not only a tip for new nurses but one that is valid for nursing as a whole. It is always important to be meticulous with your notes.
You will be given tasks or medications to administer. Doctors will ask you questions, and labs will give you results to be passed on through the chain.
Without being prepared and having what you need to document these things you are going to run an increased risk of error. If you ever wonder how to be a better nurse, look at how well you record things as this is often a great place to start.
Organization is key in a stressful job, and anything you can do for yourself with this regard will have a knock-on benefit for everybody you work with.
6. Remain Calm
Stress is a guarantee when you are a new nurse. One of the best bits of new nurse advice you could get would be to ensure you always remain calm.
There is no situation that could be solved or made better through panic. Cool heads always prevail, and the best nurses understand that no matter how desperate the situation, remaining calm is not only the best but the only option.
This can be done but keeping a level head while at work and also through the practice of mediation or other such calming exercises at home.
7. Study the Medications You Work With
As a new nurse, a lot of the medications you are going to be working with will be new to you. Sure you would have heard about them and learned the basics at school, but the real world is always something else.
One of the best tips for new nurses is to spend time reading up on the different medications.
Learn and understand them, because then you will more comfortable and confident in administering them and asking any questions about dosages should the need arise.
Use your drug handbook to educate yourself at every available opportunity. When you are new to nursing, there is so much to learn, but each challenge presents a chance for you to grow into your role.
Being a New Nurse is Daunting But Rewarding
Being a new nurse is a big challenge, and it doesn’t end at the end of the first shift, or even the second. Your first ninety days are going to be a whirlwind ride, but you are going to have a good time along the way.
There is a sense of kinship between nurses that runs stronger than anybody not involved in the profession could understand. The above tips for new nurses will help you adjust to your role.
What is also important not just for nurses but anybody is to ensure that while not at work you kick back and have fun. Don’t take work home with you, and make sure you follow your passions and live life to the fullest.
Check out some of our other posts on life and living it to the fullest.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.