5 things I learned in my first month as a Registered Nurse!

It’s officially been one month since I’ve been an official, practicing, paediatric nurse!

And while I’m still learning, here’s a list of 5 of the “gems” I’ve learned so far.

1 – Real nursing is not like nursing school – for some reason I am reminded of this every time I put on sterile gloves. In nursing school, even the simplest tasks like donning sterile gloves felt so huge because you were always under scrutiny of an instructor watching your every move. When you’re on your own just you and your preceptor, you begin to realise that you can handle those little things so much better when you’re accountable for your actions because you love your job, not because you’re trying to get an A – and THAT makes all the difference.

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2 – BE PREPARED. I was a girl scout for 6 years and while none of our activities required much preparation, the rule still stands with me, and now more than ever – BE PREPARED!!!  It doesn’t hurt to carry an extra flush in your pocket with some spare caps for your tubing. It’s better than having to go in and out of your patient’s room over and over, and saves some very valuable time on a busy day!

3 – Always be thorough – If you’re charting and you’re ever not sure if you need to say something, think about it this way: If you were brought to court to defend what you did, and someone who doesn’t know anything about nursing were to read it, would they know what you did?  And then go from there.

4 – Time management isn’t something you learn in a day – it’s something you have to keep working on for your whole career. I feel like I am getting better, but there’s always something that comes your way when you least expect it. It’s all about learning to get things done efficiently and thinking one step ahead. It takes time to learn, but you get there (hopefully).

5 – You become a part of an extended family. A part of the family of nurses, a part of your patient’s family, especially for those who spend their lives in and out of the hospital. When you’re working with family, there’s  a bond you all share, and you have to learn to cherish that bond, and work with it. Because after all…. And I guess this counts as a rule number 6: You’re never alone! When things get crazy or your confused about something, remember that you have your fellow nurses there to help you out – don’t try to figure it out on your own!

There’s still a lot to learn, but I am getting there. Being a real nurse is so much different than the last 3 years in nursing school – and it’s so worth it!

Posted with permission from ScrubsMagazine.

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