New Nurses

  1. What is the best advice you have for being a new nurse?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   nutella
    Expect to be "uncomfortable" and to be stressed for the first year.
    Try to establish comfort with being uncomfortable.
    Expect chaos as linear decision-making is less and less the case in healthcare due to complexity of interacting clinical microsystems - you try to manage the chaos but a lot of times things are not straight forward.
    Know what is "normal" and what is not.
    Come prepared, take notes, be willing to learn and be willing to be flexible.
    Deep breathing and learn to manage your own anxiety - sometimes all you can do is to get through the shift by just keep going - it takes probably at least a year to feel more comfortable.
    Find a mentor once you are off orientation.

    If your first job is in acute care you better also learn some de-escalation skills, communication skills and "customer service skills" as is seems that nowadays relatives often come in to visit prepared for war and a lot of times quite confrontational. Patients expectations can be "interesting" and families can be unrealistic.
    Literally almost everybody is a "fall risk" nowadays as well ...be prepared to jog to bedalarms, chair alarms etc..
    Make sure that all your patients have the right ID band on ! Ask them for name and DOB and compare what they have around the wrist - the other day I saw somebody with a variety of wristbands from the last facilities on one arm - no kidding probably 4 or so as the patient has been circling between hospitals, rehab, different hospital, different short term rehab. On the other arm he had a rainbow of bracelets indicating everything known to mankind ....
  4. by   Davey Do
    Welcome to AN.com, shay95!

    You have just received The Complete Condensed Best Advice for a New Nurse Guide by Nutella!
  5. by   BSNbeDONE
    I'd just like to add that Nutella didn't mention taking breaks; there's a reason for that, and that reason is that only a few of the things that you'll encounter most frequently were discussed.
  6. by   Silverdragon102
    moved to the First Year After Licensure forum
  7. by   srercg6
    Document EVERYTHING.

    Write down things you need to remember for later (without HIPPA info of course) - so if anything comes up - you'll have a reference for memory. Always know who said what to whom and when.

    ALWAYS check vitals that a CNA does for you - or any other things that a CNA documents - don't assume if there is a problem they will tell you because they get called away - and then its still on you to have followed up.

    If you have a situation in which you think a patient needs to be upgraded - don't stop until they are, or ask to be taken off the case.

    NEVER communicate with management in an email - (maybe not EVER, but avoid it) - if it gets taken out of context, or your tone is misinterpreted you'll be on their "list" and won't be able to get off.

    If your preceptor is not doing what they are supposed to (showing you what you need), or you aren't getting enough "live" practice - be sure and let the powers that be KNOW. Ask for a new preceptor if you don't like the one you have. Better to step on toes, or make up some reason for it - than to stay with them so as not to ruffle anyones feathers, and not get what you need out of your time with them.

    There will be nurses who will try to "walk" on you as the new nurse - trade a bad assignment for one of your good ones before you get to the floor. Put your foot down early or else.

    If your facility gives bonus pay for picking up a shift - be careful - nurses will pounce on new nurses to trade days with them off the bat so they can pick up their own scheduled day, and other stuff. If you trade that day - you can't pick it up. So say you work thurs. They want to trade you their Saturday (which ALWAYS NEEDS HELP AND OFFERS BONUS) for your Thursday. Now you are working their Saturday for regular pay, and they will show up that Saturday and get bonus pay for picking it up after working your Thursday.

    Be careful who you ask for help. Ask fellow nurses, after a bit, who you can trust, and who you can't - they'll know right off if there's anyone in particular that just looks for people to throw under the bus to make themselves look good. I found out late - felt sorry for this girl because when I was new I watched another nurse let her have it - she was in tears. the other nurse had gotten in trouble for something and said "you KNOW what you did". Later I found out that the nurse I felt sorry for because she was crying was really good about going to management and telling them 1/2 a story, and leave out important details to make others look bad.
  8. by   pmabraham
    Quote from srercg6
    NEVER communicate with management in an email - (maybe not EVER, but avoid it) - if it gets taken out of context, or your tone is misinterpreted you'll be on their "list" and won't be able to get off.
    I made this serious mistake as a PCT. Do the communication in person (best case) or by phone.
  9. by   audreysmagic
    Quote from srercg6
    Document EVERYTHING.

    Write down things you need to remember for later (without HIPPA info of course) - so if anything comes up - you'll have a reference for memory. Always know who said what to whom and when.
    I can’t agree with this enough. I’ve had several other nurses tease me for “writing a novel” in a patient’s chart, but that documentation has saved my hide before.

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