Showing up to work does not mean that you are gifted a neatly wrapped patient assignment. The same goes for your coworkers. What may seem like the smooth sailing assignment can easily shift to the assignment from hell. Working as a team is essential on any unit. No one person can possibly manage an emergency alone, sudden unexpected admission alone, or the sick call that leaves the unit short staffed. It is the strength of many that keeps the unit running.
Whether you are a nurse or a nurse in training, you are likely a well-organized individual. It comes with the territory. It is important to have routines. One routine that is well worth having is a designated nursing bag that you can easily grab on your way out the door without thinking twice about its contents. I have been asked time and again by my coworkers what exactly is in my work bag. I thought, why not share with you? The following are just a few of my own personal essentials….
Nursing is a calling, not just a profession. Most nurses are innate caregivers. Perhaps you became a nurse after caring for a sick loved one or friend? Perhaps you are the mediator of your family? Are you the glue that brings people together? Or maybe you became a nurse because you like problem solving? While all of these attributes make for an excellent nurse, there is the risk of burnout, mistakes, and lack of necessary change in the profession when we never say no……
Whether it is your first job as a nurse or you are a seasoned one, starting a new job requires patience, humility, and openness. You are walking into a well established, well oiled machine or so it seems. While there remains room for improvement in every unit, how you offer your thoughts and suggestions will determine how you are initially received. There is a delicate balance between proving your worth and coming across as a know it all. Here are just a few suggestions to help you smoothly acclimate to your new unit.
If there is one thing I have learned in my travels, it is to embrace minimalism. On my first assignment I tried to pack my entire apartment. It was like I was moving out entirely. I packed every photo, piece of clothing, pair of shoes, cleaning item, and on and on. With each subsequent assignment I realized that I did not need my vacuum, pots, pans, or dishes. I learned to use what I was given. That being said, there are a few musts that should be on every travel nurse’s packing list.
Most nurses can recall the trials and tribulations of nursing school. The first day they attempt to weed out the weak ones by simply reviewing the syllabus. You are told to quit your job, forget any social life until you graduate, and prepare to study every waking moment of your life. They give every scenario that is a possible ground for expulsion from the program. You may go home feeling like a failure before even starting. Don’t!! Go home, cry if you need to, sleep it off, and wake up to the fact that you can do this. You will do this! How? Here are just a few tips….
A NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse is a special breed of nurse. We care for the tiniest population on the planet. Our babies are the most fragile patients. One tiny baby can challenge us most intensively in one shift. So what does it take to be a NICU nurse? A careful ear, meticulous eye, and gentle hand are just a few key ingredients……
It is no secret that this country is facing a massive nursing shortage. In fact, it is a worldwide epidemic. Nurses are tasked with far more responsibility, sicker than ever patients, and an unsafe nurse to patient ratio. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1 million new nurses will be needed by 2022 in the U.S. alone. While we continue to strive to offer the best care, our minds and bodies are at the losing end. So how can we maintain while measures are being taken to improve our work environment?
Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as a trusted counselor or guide. Every nurse should have at least one nurse mentor regardless of the stage of his or her career. We are constantly in need of second opinions or advice. The day you think you have learned it all or know it all is the day you should retire 😉 In my latest for Mighty Nurse, I discuss some necessary qualities of a nurse mentor. Thanks for reading!!!
Hello from sunny Florida ❤ Every winter, I head home for the warmth and light, embrace of family, and to remember where I come from. Since coming home, I have been a little lax in my posting. As a result, I will now be inundating you all with back posts 🙂
For me, being a nurse is so much more than having the skill to place an IV, the ability to detect subtle changes in a patient’s status, and the ability to deal with the multiple personalities one is confronted with on a daily basis. It is equally important to be a good listener, strive to continually learn, and take the time to educate and advocate for one’s patients. Our patients are not only those we treat at the bedside, but those we are surrounded by in every day life including friends, family, and community. A nurse is never truly off-duty.
In the last year, I have transitioned more and more away from my role as a bedside nurse to the role of maternal/infant health and education. Patient education has always been my passion and in the last year I have been honored and privileged to offer maternal and infant education courses to expectant parents living in Gothenburg, Sweden, through a fledgling maternal/infant and wellness company. My vow to each and every student is the same I offer my patients. I strive to leave my own struggles behind and greet them with undisturbed enthusiasm. I will learn from them as they learn from me and guide them with care and consideration on the journey to their baby.
The following is my vow to those I serve in my role as nurse whether through care at the bedside or through community outreach ❤