Seven tips to be a better nurse
After landing your first-ever nursing job, you will encounter several expected and unexpected hurdles. Most registered nurses come prepared to deal with the workload and pressure, but others are surprised to see what’s happening around them.
Fortunately, nursing doesn’t necessarily have to be as challenging as it might sound. But, if you have the dedication and perseverance this profession demands and truly enjoy contributing to your society, this will be a very personally satisfying journey. Just keep striving to be better and perform to your fullest capacity.
It is possible to make the transition from student life to the practical nursing field a massive success if one goes about it with the right strategy. Today’s organizations truly value nurses who handle their professional duties well, and we have some handy tips to help turn your nursing career into a success.
Strive for lifelong learning
Learning never ends in the healthcare sector. There are always new techniques and advancements that healthcare workers are expected to keep up-to-date with. Good nurses recognize this importance in improving patient care and incorporate continued learning into their schedules.
The latest modification in healthcare has resulted from the advent of technology. Telehealth has become a significant component in healthcare provision, and nurses are the service providers most actively involved in this. This, and many more such developments, show that learning never ends for a nurse aiming for career advancement.
You can seek such learning opportunities in continuing education courses, nursing conferences, journals, and certifications. Many education institutes offer such courses, like Texas online nursing programs by Arlington University, for instance, offer a range of specializations in master’s programs, doctoral programs, and certification options.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions
If you’re new to nursing, you are bound to be confused about your duties and the organization’s day-to-day work. Never take questioning as a sign of weakness or lack of expertise.
Patient care is the top priority in any healthcare profession, and everything else takes a back seat. One cannot stress enough how important questioning is for nurses. For some patients, it might be a matter of life or death.
No one in your workplace expects you to know everything, and questioning is actually encouraged. It indicates the desire to learn and improve. In fact, a nurse who assumes to know everything is more likely to create problems for the team.
Nurses have plenty of tasks to perform in a single shift, and it is entirely possible to get so occupied with the less urgent tasks that one has no time left for the important ones. Initially, you are bound to feel overwhelmed with the workload and might find it challenging to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. Very soon, you will get the hang of it. First, however, you have to learn to prioritize.
Your tasks can usually be divided into broad categories of varying importance. For instance, you can divide tasks into things that require preventative action, time-sensitive tasks, tasks you can delegate to others, and patient appointments. Then, decide which tasks need to be performed and follow this outline.
You might have to create a new list every day, so it is a good idea to begin your day by outlining and prioritizing your duties.
Make patient care a priority
Often nurses become so task-oriented that they lose track of their patient’s need for empathy and care. Yes, it is one thing to provide them with the necessary healthcare. It is equally important to make sure they feel cared for.
Give your patients undivided attention whenever you are in their presence, communicate understanding, use their names to address them, and show genuine concern for their wellbeing. You must also keep the patients in the loop, share all necessary patient care information, and empower them regarding their healthcare decisions.
Polish your communication skills
Of all the skills a nurse is expected to possess, communication is the most important. Since nurses are the frontline workers most often interacting with patients and have a central role in communicating with other healthcare providers, good communication skills are necessary.
You would have to communicate with the physicians, talk to other specialists, update the family about the patient’s condition, and interact with the patient regularly. You should know how to ensure clear communication in each interaction. For instance, when talking to a patient, you must avoid medical jargon and ensure your patient understands what you are saying.
Similarly, when talking to other healthcare professionals, you must be thorough. Here it is a good idea to use the SBAR technique. The abbreviation stands for ‘Situation’, ‘Background’, ‘Assessment’, and ‘Recommendation’. This entails that when discussing a patient, remember to incorporate these elements.
Healthcare is all about teamwork. As a nurse, you should value your professional relationships. Your patient’s care relies significantly on your team’s collaborative effort, and you must not let personal differences compromise this.
Why? Because you will interact with people from different cultural and social backgrounds. So it would help if you learned to embrace such diversity. With successful teamwork, you will ensure better patient care and patient outcomes, build strong professional relationships and increase your job satisfaction.
Remember, good teamwork relies on effective communication, coordination, collaboration, integrity, accountability, and support.
Don’t forget self-care!
Amidst all the workload and responsibilities, nurses tend to forget themselves. A nurse’s selflessness will likely manifest in ceaseless duties and no time for oneself.
However, such a routine is counterproductive, even in patient care. Burnout is a real danger for any employee working beyond their capacity and can lead to careless mistakes that could seriously threaten patient health.
This crucial tip should be at the top of your list as a nurse. Give yourself time to decompress and release the stress that will likely build up over time. Make sure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat well, and incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine.
Nursing as a profession is, without doubt, highly personally satisfying, but it is no walk in the park. The job is demanding and requires dedication. However, achieving career success is also possible with the right strategy.
Never stop learning, ask questions, prioritize, work on your communication skills, value teamwork, and don’t forget to care for yourself. Together, these tricks will give you excellent results sooner than you think.
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