What is your most valuable piece of advice?

  1. I thought that this would be interesting. As we have new graduates beginning to orient in our respective units, do any of you have any fool-proof pieces of advice for them? If you could only give them 1 "rule" to always obey as a nurse, what would it be??

    Actually, I have 2 that stand out in my mind.

    #1- Always go with your gut feeling. Minor and major hunches alike. For example, if you have a hunch that you need to check on a patient, check their BP again, etc., then do it. I have had many instances in which I think of something that I need to do, for whatever reason don't do it, then end up wishing that I had.

    #2- Always take at least one more wash-cloth than you think you're going to need!! (This also applies to other supplies as well).

    C'mon. I know all of you guys can add to this list!
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  2. 91 Comments

  3. by   Huganurse
    Always listen to your patient.
    And I agree,
    Never ignore your intuition.
  4. by   LasVegasRN
    Just a saying that my Dad told me and still tells me when feeling overwhelmed, downhearted, felt like giving up, etc...

    THE BEST STEEL HAS TO GO THROUGH FIRE.

    And these he says when I was giving less than my best or wanted to "just get by"....

    DO YOU WANT TO FLY WITH THE EAGLES OR FLAP WITH THE CROWS?

    DON'T MAKE SOMEONE HAVE TO HIT THE BALL AND DRAG YOU AROUND THE BASES.

    I used to think these sayings were so corny when I was a teenager, but they hit home now.
  5. by   purplemania
    really LOOK at your patients. Get eye contact. Also, check anything that is connected to the patient from the source back to the pt. to see if everything is properly connected, no kinks, working correctly, correct fluids, etc. (goes back to really looking)
  6. by   bellehill
    Nothing can replace true physical contact, if your pts are scared or in pain touch them and let the know you are there to help.

    Everything will get done when it gets done, there is no point stressing over the little things.

    Listen to everything your pts tell you even if it seems insignificant.

    Never be to shy to ask about bowel habits and voiding patterns.

    Listen to experienced nurses and never be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions.
  7. by   Sleepyeyes
    KNOW THY DRUGS before they are given.
  8. by   fedupnurse
    Agree with all of the above. If you work in ICU, make sure all of your monitor and vent alarms are on, especially heart rate and aline alarms.
    If a patient says they are going to die, NEVER discount this statement. They always know!!
    Look at your patients. I am distressed lately because we have a few staff nurses who come to work to socialize rather than care for our critically ill patients. Some set the automatic BP cuffs and then just trend their numbers at the end of the shift. I am disgusted by this and our managers aren't doing anything about it! So I guess my advice would be to treat your patients like they are a member of your family. Treat them how you would want to be treated.
    Don't be afraid to approach doctors about questionable orders.
    Stand up for yourself! If you won't stand up for you, you won't stand up for your patients!!
    And my last bit of advice is GOOD LUCK!!
  9. by   Love-A-Nurse
    Mine are, don't ever be afraid to say you don't know and no question is a "dumb" question. Politeness and a smile are great attributes.


    StephanysGetaway
  10. by   heartholder
    Take every day as a learning experience. Every day I make it a point to learn some thing new. After 12 years it still works. Somedays the only thing I have learned is, HOPE I NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN.
    the point is to be flexible everyday.
  11. by   mattsmom81
    Take care of YOURSELF first!!

    Bottom line and cruel truth here: Hospitals look at nurses as expendable objects....they really don't care if you hurt yourself on the job.

    SO YOU HAVE TO CARE AND LOOK OUT FOR #1!!!

    NEVER put yourself in danger, or lift/move unsafely...it is not worth it.!!

    Call a code overhead, if you have to, to get more help, but don't cut corners physically with heavy or dangerous, combative patients. DON't let someone else coerce you (a doc , a family member, or the supervisor) into doing something you are uncomfortable with physically. Err on the side of caution for yours and your coworkers' sakes.

    You're all you got. Protect your back and your weight bearing joints....nursing is EXTREMELY hard work.
  12. by   Brownms46
    Never ignore that still small voice that tells you something isn't right....and you will do just fine...! GOOD LUCK, and GOD BLESS YOU for making the decision to be a nurse!

    This is not an easy time, but the joys are still there...
  13. by   moonshadeau
    have very broad shoulders and a stash of Xanax (prescribed of course)
  14. by   Rustyhammer
    Show up to work when you are supposed to.
    Treat your co-workers with respect and kindness (not always an easy one).
    Leave home at home and leave work at work.
    -Russell

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