career-changer & adjustment to the acute care floor

  1. This is something I've been wondering about & maybe some people out there who know psychology can comment. I made a change to nursing after a long career of research at the lab bench. I am curious about the thought processes for lab research versus nursing. With nursing, a lot comes at me at once which is very different from the lab setting. I do enjoy my new work quite a lot, but sometimes I still find it overwhelming. Or could it just a matter of age I made this change in my 50s.Any insights about thought-processing etc out there? I feel like I'm using a whole different side of my brain than I used to.
  2. Visit 567 SeaOtter profile page

    About 567 SeaOtter

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 24; Likes: 11


  3. by   RNperdiem
    You are right; it is not just age. Acute care floors are one interruption after another.
    On good days you will complete your assessments, charting and procedures one at a time without interruption. In the real world, the call bell goes off during report, someone needs help to the bathroom now, another patient wants pain meds now, you give some of your meds late and try to get caught up on charting while keeping in mind that you need to call the pharmacy.
    A new skill you will learn is how to get back on track after multiple interruptions of what you were doing. I also learned how to reshuffle priorities. This is not easy for me. I like to have a plan and follow my plan, but sometimes a patient going into respiratory distress is going to take precedence over getting all your meds given on time.
  4. by   jadelpn
    Make sure you always use a paper "brain" that you can set up however is easiest for you to understand. It helps when you multi task.
    Be good about writing reminders to yourself on your brain. I always write things during report that I need to remember, and check off when it is completed. I also love those pens that have the multi colored ink (red, blue, and black). That and a highlighter, and I am good to go.

    Always start with a good assessment. While you are in the room, ask if the patient needs to use the restroom. (Which never means that in 10 minutes after you leave the room it will not be a request). If you have CNA's speak with them at the begining of the shift on what you need to have happen, so that they can plan their day as well.

    It will all come easier as you develop a way to deep organized. You may not always be able to stay on task, however, make sure you know your resources available for assistance.
  5. by   kismetRN
    it all comes down to learning the art of prioritizing, delegating and multitasking..speaking of which - i was reminded of my 1st job ever working in MedSurg in
    one of the busiest gov't hosp,, 1st couple of weeks were like a hell of a transition but i did learn so much!
    we nurses have the innate ability to cope fast, that's what I believe..