Survival Tips for First Year Nurses - page 5

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   Supercalifragilistic
    Another tip. Anytime you talk to someone in a different department (i.e., lab, radiology, etc.), ALWAYS get the full name of the person you are speaking with. Then when lab tells you to draw blood in a blue tube, and lab calls back later to say you should have sent it in a purple tube, you at least can say who gave you the wrong instructions!!!

    Same for when Joe in radiology tells you to bring the patient down at 10:00 and then you get there and Susie tells you they won't be ready until 11:00, you can say "Joe told me 10:00" - goes a lot farther than, "well, somebody told me 10:00"!!!
  2. by   MadelineGlass
    i needed to hear that. thanks. Aide for 14 yrs (and a darn good one) and now RN in first year....you describe me to the t!
  3. by   susanna
    Quote from OCCHCanada
    Leave your ego at home - nothing is harder to deal with than a new grad with "grad-itis" that think they know everything. The art of Nursing is rarely something learned from a book!

    There is no dumb questions, ever - and if you don't like an answer, verify with someone else. Trust your gut.

    Don't be afraid to share your grief with a family/friends in need. They will truely care that their loved one was so special to those that cared for them to the end.
    I like it that people keep on reminding to leave the ego behind. My ego makes me nervous and stressed out easily so it really is good to hear that other people have problems with putting too much of their ego into their work and not following their intuition.

    But is it true that you should share your grief with the family? I mean, to me, that would be unhelpful and rude because I imagine the family/person being like, We've already got enought grief here buddy, we don't need to be taking care of yours too. He was our family member/friend/, not yours.
  4. by   canoehead
    If a hypotensive patient says they "have to take a crap RIGHT NOW!!!" they are about to code on you. Don't let them get out of bed under any circumstances, and make sure you have IV access-you will need it.
  5. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    Interesting about the hypotensive pt. I'll remember--thanks to all for the interesting tidbits.
  6. by   presC.
    thanks for all these wonderful tips. hope to hear for more, esp. tips in the e.d., about taking telephone orders?
  7. by   MadelineGlass
    I ca't seem to agree with ya'll!
    As a new floor nurse there were tons of stuff that I saw 'seasoned'nurses doing that I dont ever want to do. Standards of care that I dont want to do..I liked my education and theory of nursing.
    When i opened my mouth to ask questions the 'seasoned' nurses got offended. like i was questioning their motives, when i was asking rationale. If something a 'seasoned' nurse is doing that doesnt coincide with what I was taught and what the state licensed me , I should have every right to ask the rational (its my responsibilty to know) if I am being instructed to do something else! Its not the newbie fault if you get offended. that is something we all must look inside ourselves for.
    Seasoned nurses out there , lets please remember that the newbies to the floor are fresh and the most up to date technology and research data. That is priceless if mixed into reality.
    So please give the newbies a chance and not be so defensive!!!
    lol
    Quote from Shezam!
    That is so true!

    The best nurses ask ALOT of questions!

    I ask more questions than ever.

    Another tip or two:

    *There is always "another way" to do virtually ANYTHING.*

    *If you have a vague feeling that "something" is wrong with your patient, but you can't find any "evidence" (i.e., bad vital signs, bad labs) yet, trust your instincts and watch the patient - more than likely you will be proven right.*

    *Pick the experienced nurses' brains for tips. If you see a nurse who is very good at a certain thing (inserting an NG, a Foley, etc.), ask her to share her tips....starting IVs is another thing most nurses have trouble getting the hang of.*
  8. by   BSN2004NSU
    Thanks to everyone for the wonderful advice. I start my job in January, I'll remember these tips.

    BSN2004NSU
  9. by   geekgolightly
    Quote from MadelineGlass
    I ca't seem to agree with ya'll!
    As a new floor nurse there were tons of stuff that I saw 'seasoned'nurses doing that I dont ever want to do. Standards of care that I dont want to do..I liked my education and theory of nursing.
    When i opened my mouth to ask questions the 'seasoned' nurses got offended. like i was questioning their motives, when i was asking rationale. If something a 'seasoned' nurse is doing that doesnt coincide with what I was taught and what the state licensed me , I should have every right to ask the rational (its my responsibilty to know) if I am being instructed to do something else! Its not the newbie fault if you get offended. that is something we all must look inside ourselves for.
    Seasoned nurses out there , lets please remember that the newbies to the floor are fresh and the most up to date technology and research data. That is priceless if mixed into reality.
    So please give the newbies a chance and not be so defensive!!!
    lol

    i'm chiming in with this post. when i was a brand spanking new nurse, my preceptor (from hell) was essentially incompetent, and i quickly learned that it;s best not to question her (i was looking for rationales not trying to put her on the spot) because she had no clue what she was doing most of the time. she put a non-rebreather on a pt and put the O2 at 2L. she suctioned trachs lacking even aseptic technique, much less sterile. she yelled at me for questioning her on these subjects and after these encounters took great delight in pointing out my faults and mistakes. she tore me apart.

    if you think that your preceptor isn't up to snuff, find another one. i KNOW i am not a picky persnickity student nurse. i left that hospital to have my baby and now that i am back at work in a new hospital i can see very clearly that it really was her and the old hospital's enviornment that left me feeling frightened of nursing (i felt as though.. i felt as though it were somehow my fault that i wasnt fitting in with my preceptor. i felt as though i would never be able to work with a variety of people if i could not work with her). my new preceptors (i have at least three... im very flexible and take whomever is on shift) are all wonderful and i am learning TONS and am happy and feel useful and don;t get shot down when i ask questions about why certain things are being done.

    if you are really feeling torn up baout your new job, it might be the enviornment and not whether or not you are a good nurse.
  10. by   JACALA_CL
    this may sound simple but what saved my butt more times than not was waking up every morning refreshed. no "all nighters". bedtime was 1030 latest 11pm. (and of course always eat breakfast)


    (sorry if some one else already posted, i couldn't go through all the posts)
  11. by   purplemania
    Working with new grads I have learned there are some things generic to all in the beginning. Many of the above posts are great. Here is my 2 cents worth:
    You will not come out of school knowing it all. In fact, you will continue to learn (I hope!) for the rest of your career. So do not beat yourself up about not knowing what other people know. You know things they don't.
    Organize yourself at the beginning of the shift. Very important.
    There is a difference between being smart and being a smart aleck.
    The grass is not greener on the other side. Sometimes new grads believe their first year struggles are due to the unit to which they are assigned, so they transfer or leave. Guess what, the same problems exist elsewhere, or there are different sets of issues. On the other hand, life is too short to be miserable. So be patient, but not a doormat.
    Pat yourself on the back occasionally. If you care enough to be concerned about how "good" a nurse you are, then you are probably good enough. Caring is what it is all about. Caring for others and for yourself.
  12. by   Haunted
    post it notes come in handy.
  13. by   wjf00
    Familiarize yourself with this statement. "No I will NOT accept that assigment, it is unsafe". Say it and mean it and be prepared but not afraid, to be disciplined for it.

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