A nurse's first year on the job is similar to the first few weeks of playing on a varsity sports team. To have gotten the position in the first place is a massive accomplishment in and of itself. Thrown into an unknown environment, you are immediately put to the test of nearly all the knowledge you have acquired throughout your years of nursing school. Furthermore, you run the risk of possibly not even having a team that works to your strengths. It's natural to go through specific growing pains when you shift from nursing student to working nurse, and we wanted to make sure you were aware of some of the more common ones.
Learning to be a nurse on the job is like learning how to play basketball in the championship game while dribbling the ball. A lot is riding on this, and your heart rate is sure to skyrocket. Ensuring your learning doesn't stop when you leave the office is the most important thing you can do to improve yourself. In a field where problem-solving and in-depth analysis are central to your role, you'll need more than your shift hours to engage in the kind of critical thinking and planning that will provide the best outcomes for your patients.
Do not allow yourself to become disheartened. Remember that this is similar to picking up a new set of drills and skills. Assumptions cannot be relied upon to predict the outcomes of actions. The easiest way to get used to a new workflow, which will initially seem awkward, is to do it repeatedly.
As a new nurse, you will be tested to see how much you know about being a safe, competent nurse. The after-hours practice may be necessary for this skill. Nonetheless, that privilege comes with the strong recommendation that it be used wisely. To save time and effort, consider the following:
The relationship you have with your preceptor nurse is similar to that of a player and a head coach. This veteran nurse is there to mentor you and help you develop into an invaluable asset to the team. For this reason, it's important to cultivate positive relationships with those you work with because they can help you succeed in the long run. There are many different ways in which preceptors can enter a student's life.
Just like your squad. The success or failure of your first year as a nurse may hinge on how well you work with others. In addition to the potential benefits of working with more seasoned colleagues, the way you are treated and the atmosphere at your workplace can significantly impact your professional development. This factor can make or break one's enthusiasm for their chosen career. This is true not only in the nursing field but in any young professional setting.
There's little doubt that the pressures of your first year on the job will be different from those of your previous jobs. The task is genuine, and the consequences of a failure in a medical unit are vastly different from those of a test failure. Although you are an integral part of the team, you must realize that you are now responsible for continuously performing at a high level.
However, you may have no prior exposure to patient suffering during your first year. To bear witness to suffering, whether actual or perceived, is never simple. It's part of your responsibility as a nurse to give care even when things look bleak. You will be expected to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, including providing care, maintaining open lines of communication, utilizing technical abilities, and controlling your own emotions and delivery. However, on a personal level, this is quite a bit. Recognizing your tendencies and managing your reactions in the face of challenging situations is essential in any field. To care for others, you must first care for yourself. This does not mean being numb or hiding behind a mask.
First and foremost, you are interacting with actual human beings. And in the workplace, everyone is after the same thing. To take pleasure in one's current location. It's essential to take the time to show both yourself and your coworkers grace, and it's worth the effort to create trusted and enjoyable relationships with coworkers. Your time in the unit will have its ups and downs. Put one foot in front of the other, as the saying goes. And if you can muster the strength and sincerity, be demonstrative in your expressions of appreciation for those around you.
As far as the average day goes, being a nurse is much like working retail, albeit with far more significant stakes. You will be on your feet for long periods and rely on your patients and rotation to provide breaks for eating and toileting (as are lunches sometimes). What about night shifts?
Maintain good foot hygiene. In your first year of nursing, supportive footwear and compression socks will become your best friends. Many folks who spend their days on their feet might benefit significantly from restorative yoga positions. When looking for new shoes, keep your comfort in mind.