REALITY BITES...In need of positive feedback!!

  1. I am doing a class aimed at senior nursing students entitled "REALITY BITES...THE TRUTH AFTER NURSING SCHOOL". And I have gotten some excellent advice from nurses in the field now.

    But if I just present with what I was given, I fear that I would totally freak out these students into immediately changing their career BEFORE graduation!

    Please help...I need some positive suggestions that were never taught in nursing school specifically to new grads.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   kenny
    yes it is hard @ first but there not much more gratifing then when you finish your shift and realize you did it all on your own
    everything went smooth it is then that you
    really feel like a nurse and no longer a student reality only bites as long as you let it
  4. by   saphie
    While I do agree with the above comment, I have to admit as a fairly new grad, reality does bite. But here is some advice that I have passed on to friends a year behind me...
    1. It helps to ask questions, ask lots of questions, don't act like you know everything. You will get some nurses that complain but you just find some that are willing to answer. And it's better to do that then not do things because you don't know, leaving things for the next shift. I have been told that because I ask lots of questions my patients get better care than those that don't. Eventually you can make it through a shift without asking a question every hour.
    2. While in school, take every experience you can while you have instructors there to help. Nurses also tend to be more leinet when you are a student. Take the confused patient that no one else wants... because when you are done, you'll have that pt anyway with no choice in the matter.
    3. Practice your assessments and charting, use the time to in school to streamline both.
    4. Here anyway, sometimes our instructors were against giving us a full pt. load. If that is the case, lobby to take a full pt. load. Do it while you have your preceptor to back you up. Learn how to priortize and organize.
    5. Keep a drug guide book handy, the CPS can get a little mind boggling.

    And overall, I have to agree with the above commentor, the first few months are the worst but then you will have a shift where everything got done, you managed on your own and at the moment you'll stop feeling like a nursing student and start feeling like a nurse. Learn to make a deal over the big things and be laid back about the little things.... Perhaps just remind them that nursing is a great career and to find a way to remind themselves when the going gets tough.

    On the plus side after graduation... no instructor grading you or asking you a ton of questions in front of your pt. No one watching when you do a procedure. [I recently got a female cath and IV start on my first try unsupervised, I floated on cloud nine the rest of the shift].

    Anyway I ramble on... good luck on the class.
  5. by   Mijourney
    Hi ganurse,
    I want to second saphie's post. You definitely need to approach patient care with your "coat of armor" prepared to do "battle," as I would describe it, against the forces that would keep you frustrated, anxious, unfocused, angry, and push you to the brink of insanity. Kenny's post illuminates the importance of attitude. Saphie implied that as well. A positive attitude and focus, I feel, are two very important qualities to take to the bedside. Best wishes.
  6. by   saphie
    I thought of another thing that has been the most important thing for me this far is laughter. Sometimes I feel bad for things that I laugh at but then if you don't laugh you will cry. So laugh, learn to laugh a lot. Afterall, nurses do tend to have a warped sense of humor by "other" people standards!
  7. by   JillR
    OK her goes. I am not going to lie, reality does bite as a new grad. Here are a few tips that really helped me as a new grad.

    1. Do a summer nurse internship, if at all possible. Try to find a facilty that will allow you to use the skills you do have. Some untilize the nursing students as CNA's and call it an internship. The more you are able to practice your skills, the more comfortable you will be when you get out there.

    2. Practice your organization skills. There is no better way to do this than by prgressively taking on more patient's as a student. Advocate this for yourself.

    3. Learn from all nurses. If you do not agree how someone does something, then you have still learned something...thats not the way you want to do it.

    4, Know your CNA. The more you know this person, the easier it is to learn who you can and cannot trust. Some have many years of experience and are excellent. Some do not have much experience, but are willing to learn. Treat them well. You won't know how important they are until you don't have one.

    5. Don't assume that because you are a RN that you can't learn from LPN's and CNA's. If you do this you are missing out on a great wealth of knowledge, and they will sense your feeling and be less willing to help you.

    6. Find a great mentor that can remember what it's like to be new and scared. This person is a great resource to bounce this off of. I have a couple of these and I wouldn't have made it this long without them.

    7. Don't think that just because you have a higher degree than others you are superior. The degree means nothing if you are unable to take good care of your patients. Remember that you have alot to learn, this is only the beginning (sp).

    8. Remember that once you have passed your NCLEX you have demonstrated the MINIMUM competency for being a RN or LPN.

    Good luck to all of you. It is hard but it does get easier after time and with some experience.
    Jill

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