Survival Tips for First Year Nurses - page 3

hey everybody! i am giving a speech to an class of upcoming new nurses. what are some of the best survival tips you have for a nurse's first year. thank for your input!... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Quote from Supercalifragilistic
    thanks, tweety - needed to hear this one this morning! been at the job for 8 months now, going much better now than in the first few months --- but had "one of those nights" last night. felt like i left things pretty disorganized, and felt pretty incompetent by the end of the shift...nothing major, just little things that i should have been more on top of.

    however i AM learning to be gentle with myself at the end of the day. thanks for the reminder...

    Yep. I have to remind myself even today.
  2. by   Tweety
    Quote from orrnlori
    By the same token, if you find yourself in tears at the end of every shift, if you pray you'll wreck your car on the way to work so you don't have to go, THEN MOVE ON. I wouldn't be a nurse now if I'd stayed in the unit that made me so miserable as a new nurse.
    Absolutely. No job is worth that many tears or suicidal thoughts.

    Knowing when you're just having a bad day, and what is normal for a new grad and knowing when to leave is very important.
  3. by   NursesRmofun
    Close mouth, open ears is a good one!

    Study hard because it makes things easier when you understand more.

    If a patient looks like they aren't doing well, they look grey and short of breath, they probably aren't doing well! If a patient says they feel "funny" or "weird", take it seriously.
  4. by   H&Pmom
    I graduated last May and started working last June. All of the tips mentioned here have been great. I especially agree with the part about asking for a new preceptor if you feel you are not getting what you need. I REALLY wish that I had. I had a very poor preceptor, and had to get much of what I needed on my own.( she spent most of her time talking on the phone and playing games on the computer) I found good nurses and questioned them and I try to model my care after them. My biggest regret is that I didn't speak up and ask for someone else sooner. I allowed myself to be cheated out of the training I was entitled to and I did not realize how miserable I was until I finally spoke up near the end of my orientation and got a different preceptor. Don't be afraid to speak up. It can be done politely and it's in both your and the hospital's best interest. After all, everyone benefits when you come out of orientation with a strong foundation.
  5. by   Haitianchik
    As a soon to be Nursing student, I want to thank everyone for sharing their tips and stories. I know when I get there, I will return the favor!!!
  6. by   SarahCeleste
    I am graduating in 8 days and will start working at a larger hospital than where I've done my clinicals and all of this advice is GREATLY appreciated. I'm going to make a list and print it out to keep it in plain view. Thanks to everyone!
  7. by   jtfreel
    Remember that the work place is not a social club. It is okay to make friends at work, but the primary purpose for being at work is to provide patient care.

    Always look and act professional. If you look sloppy, the impression you give is that your work is sloppy as well. If you act unprofessional (gossiping, negative attitude, cussing, talking loudly at the nurses station), that too will give others the impression that your care lacks professionalism.

    Give yourself permission not to have to know everything. No one does. Learning is an ongoing process.

    Do not join the 'complaining as an art form club.' If you are really unhappy, determine why but avoid complaining: it is unproductive and unprofessional. If there is an issue, address the issue.

    It is okay to have fun!
  8. by   edib1
    Quote from jtfreel
    Remember that the work place is not a social club. It is okay to make friends at work, but the primary purpose for being at work is to provide patient care.

    Always look and act professional. If you look sloppy, the impression you give is that your work is sloppy as well. If you act unprofessional (gossiping, negative attitude, cussing, talking loudly at the nurses station), that too will give others the impression that your care lacks professionalism.

    Give yourself permission not to have to know everything. No one does. Learning is an ongoing process.

    Do not join the 'complaining as an art form club.' If you are really unhappy, determine why but avoid complaining: it is unproductive and unprofessional. If there is an issue, address the issue.

    It is okay to have fun!
    I could not agree more. Well said!
  9. by   caroladybelle
    Leave your cell phone at home or lock it up while at work. People have lived without cell phones before, and you can survive without instantaneous contact every second of your life. Only take it out at break time or off duty.

    Unless a family member is dying or has been injuried/ill to the point of hospitalization, you should not get/receive social/family/business calls at work...at ALL!. This means maybe one call or less a week. After about the 8th call in two hours, we get peeved. Your coworkers should not be your social secretaries.

    Leave your personal life at home. If you were an idiot, loaning your car to your on again off again boyfriend, and he takes it to a rocking party at some hot "other" woman's house, it is not an emergency to stay on the phone. for an hour..unless you are calling the cops on him and making a shrink appointment for why you do such things. Yes, we do not mind knowing a little about your life, but not when it interferes with patient care.

    You are coming to work...TO WORK. To concentrate on work for 8-12 hours and not on home/social issues can be healing. But not if people call you up continually, further distressing you about things that don't necessitate immediate action. It is also manipulative behavior. There is very little that cannot wait until your break or when you go home. And if there is, well you have problems that need to be cared for before going to work at a regular job.

    Not all of your patients, coworkers, NMs will like you. It may or may not be justified or fair. But it is life and you need to find a way to deal with it.

    Do not bring valuables to work, and if you do, lock them up. I don't have time to dig through bloody garbage, because your favorite 8 necklaces fell off when changing someone. Not to mention that many of us think that excess jewelry, hairdos, nails, makeup look tacky as heck.

    Expect that you will work holidays, Sabbath, Sunday, weekends. That is the nature of this job, in most cases. And that sometimes it will seem unfair. Deal with it.

    Introduce yourself to everyone, several times and/or wear your name badge in CLEAR view. We meet alot of people in our lives and it can get confusing at times.

    Say "Thank You " to EVERYONE!!!!! for EVERYTHING!!!!! Say yes sir, no maam to everyone. This includes MDs, janitors, security, fellow nurses, managers, dietary aides, housekeeping, volunteers, nursing students that you are mentoring, engineering, EVERYONE!!!! Say please, also.

    Keep emergency supplies in your locker. Mine is individual packs dry instant soup, dry instant macoroni, crackers, peanut butter, immodium (I have IBD), ibuprofen (I am allergic to tylenol), mini sewing repair kit, feminine pads, deodorant, hair care products, mouth care supplies, etc... Most females have periods and should be reasonably prepared for them....no running home mid shift. And it is best not to use hospital supplies.

    When you call in, do it early. PLEASE don't come to work feeling bum, see your assignment and then try to leave.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on May 11, '04
  10. by   orrnlori
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Leave your cell phone at home or lock it up while at work. People have lived without cell phones before, and you can survive without instantaneous contact every second of your life. Only take it out at break time or off duty.

    Unless a family member is dying or has been injuried/ill to the point of hospitalization, you should not get/receive social/family/business calls at work...at ALL!. This means maybe one call or less a week. After about the 8th call in two hours, we get peeved. Your coworkers should not be your social secretaries.

    Leave your personal life at home. If you were an idiot, loaning your car to your on again off again boyfriend, and he takes it to a rocking party at some hot "other" woman's house, it is not an emergency to stay on the phone. for an hour..unless you are calling the cops on him and making a shrink appointment for why you do such things. Yes, we do not mind knowing a little about your life, but not when it interferes with patient care.

    You are coming to work...TO WORK. To concentrate on work for 8-12 hours and not on home/social issues can be healing. But not if people call you up continually, further distressing you about things that don't necessitate immediate action. It is also manipulative behavior. There is very little that cannot wait until your break or when you go home. And if there is, well you have problems that need to be cared for before going to work at a regular job.

    Not all of your patients, coworkers, NMs will like you. It may or may not be justified or fair. But it is life and you need to find a way to deal with it.

    Do not bring valuables to work, and if you do, lock them up. I don't have time to dig through bloody garbage, because your favorite 8 necklaces fell off when changing someone. Not to mention that many of us think that excess jewelry, hairdos, nails, makeup look tacky as heck.

    Expect that you will work holidays, Sabbath, Sunday, weekends. That is the nature of this job, in most cases. And that sometimes it will seem unfair. Deal with it.

    Introduce yourself to everyone, several times and/or wear your name badge in CLEAR view. We meet alot of people in our lives and it can get confusing at times.

    Say "Thank You " to EVERYONE!!!!! for EVERYTHING!!!!! Say yes sir, no maam to everyone. This includes MDs, janitors, security, fellow nurses, managers, dietary aides, housekeeping, volunteers, nursing students that you are mentoring, engineering, EVERYONE!!!! Say please, also.

    Keep emergency supplies in your locker. Mine is individual packs dry instant soup, dry instant macoroni, crackers, peanut butter, immodium (I have IBD), ibuprofen (I am allergic to tylenol), mini sewing repair kit, feminine pads, deodorant, hair care products, mouth care supplies, etc... Most females have periods and should be reasonably prepared for them....no running home mid shift. And it is best not to use hospital supplies.

    When you call in, do it early. PLEASE don't come to work feeling bum, see your assignment and then try to leave.
    This reply is a gem!
  11. by   susanna
    Say yes sir, no maam to everyone.

    Is it only polite to use these titles in the South?
  12. by   nursebedlam
    ask questions questions questions,,,, Better to ask a silly question, than do a silly thing!!!!
  13. by   mitchsmom
    Is it only polite to use these titles in the South? (ma'am, sir)
    I think it's polite anywhere, but it is not as common in other places as it is in the South. Even in the South I don't think it's as common as it used to be, but I try to do it just to be nice to anyone older than me.
    When I lived in W. PA and had foster kids from the Deep South, people always thought it was sooooo nice and polite when the kids said that (it was force of habit for them). We got positive comments about it all the time.

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