I'm a second year nursing student and was wondering if assertiveness is an important part of "your" nursing practice? And if so, how? This question is part of a presentation that I'm doing on assertive behavor.
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I think of this in terms of getting your patient what they need to be comfortable or to feel that their care is complete, including explaination, education, comfort, and follow-up.
It can also play a part in fair scheduling.
I think it is important because sometimes it can help get things done faster. I'm not saying to be rude or anything, but you can't be a good supervisor if you treat everyone like a friend. I've seen alot of nurses get walked over because they don't want to step on toes, but we are ultimately there to do a job.
- families will own you; you'll be at their every beck and call.
- pts will disown you; for failing to challenge the frequent inadequacies r/t their care.
- md's will eat you up. even God doesn't do that.
- and your coworkers will spit you out. just because.
to survive and thrive in nsg today, assertiveness is the self-confidence that will enable you to strut your stuff to, and for, others.
others may argue one needs a bsn, or sev'l yrs experience.
both of the aforementioned are useless, w/o a backbone and a healthy dose of self-respect.
Being assertive is being able to talk honestly about how you feel in a respectful, straightforward way.
Not passive, not aggressive.
I use it in my practice to get the best care for my patients and the best working environment for myself.
Specifically: when a co-worker thinks she can bully me into doing something I know is wrong (I don't think so.). Or when a patient is using disrespectful language. Or when a family has unrealistic expectations of care. Or when a tech is not getting BG's on my patients. Or when a physician doesn't believe my patient's pain.
Assertiveness is key to thriving in nursing. It should be taught in nursing school.
I am very assertive , but am also very respectful, of people's feelings, space, etc. I have always worked as a supervisor, and it comes with the territory. As said previously, to not be mildly assertive lets everyone else take advantage of your good nature, inability to say no, etc. I rarely raise my voice, but have been told the look in my eyes says it all. I can only remember once in the past 5 years, I was aggravated enough to raise my voice, (as aggravation comes with the territory) and I had listened to the same old sob story by the same aide, who worked herself to death to pay for and feed a 100 year old horse she had had as a child, and a worthless drug addicted, alcoholic, non working 38 year old son, who never said THANKS MOM< and all I had to say was " C..... THAT IS ENOUGH!" Earn your respect and you will have no problem.
It is very important. In alot of cases you are the patient's voice( at least in LTC) . Some of those people can't speak for themselves so you need to. It is needed to ensure proper care is given both physcally and medically.
You definitely need it or else you will get walked on. I have not always been real assertive and sometimes I am still a wuss because I'm one of those people who doesn't want to hurt someone elses feelings but I am slowly realizing that it is not worth it and am learning to stand up for myself more and more. Prevents me from working short staffed. But I have developed an attitude of what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong and I will call someone on the carpet for it.
"Use your mom voice when you need him do do something" I was once told in report. The mom voice is the voice of command. Any military folk or parents will know what I am talking about.
This combined with excellent manners(I live in the south after all), and patient advocacy will take you far.
Assertive comes naturally to some, and is a hard-learned skill in others.