09 Aug Advice to my younger nurse self…
Getting a new job can be extremely overwhelming. Especially when your job is as high stress as nursing! When you first start out it could be daunting to compare your knowledge to that of a more experienced nurse. Years from now you may look back at your old self and want to offer some wise words of advice.
We asked a few nurses who had been in the field for over a decade what advice they would give their younger less experience self. Here’s what they had to say:
Remember that it’s okay to NOT have it all figured out. During your first few years there will be a lot you don’t know. Rather than stressing about what you don’t know focus on what you do know. It is also perfectly okay and encouraged to ask questions when you are unsure. At the same time don’t sell yourself short. When you doubt your own knowledge, it comes across in your work. If you believe in yourself and your capabilities your patients will feel more at peace and comfortable.
Never forget that your patients are your priority! With the hustle and bustle of a busy shift this can often be forgotten. Remember why you do the work that you do. Helping your patients wouldn’t be possible without teamwork. Working in a hospital is not a one-person act. Therefore, it is critical to communicate and support EVERYONE that you work with.
You may be able to read a patient’s chart but that isn’t necessarily going to tell you what is going on in their life. You won’t always know what patients and their families are thinking and feeling. That is why it is important to always act with empathy and respect, especially during tough times.
Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate nursing school. Each year procedures change, new technology is released, and with that comes a vast field of information. Never stop learning, even if your state doesn’t require continuing education. By keeping up to date you can be of best help to your colleagues and patients.
Find a mentor. This can be someone you admire, look up to, or simply feel comfortable talking to. As you progress through your career it can be extremely helpful to have a designated person to talk to. They will be there to help you through the tough times and rejoice in the happy moments.
Even if you have been nursing for many years, this advice can act as a little reminder. It’s okay to not have it all figured out and don’t forget that we are all continually learning. By continuing your education, working as a team, and talking to others, you’ll be able to grow in your career all while serving those in need.
From all of us at EmPower, THANK YOU for all that you do. Whether you’ve been a nurse for two years or twenty, we are truly grateful for all that you do!