Hello! My name is Andy. I am a recently registered nurse, and I'm excited to begin my career.
I'm a guy, and 'man' it's been easy. The amount of respect and encouragement I have received through my clinical rotations, patients, supervisors, clinical instructors, and teachers has been great. People treat you different, and offer their positive 2-cents about the need for more male nurses.
This is day 1 for me on allnurses.com. I came here initially looking for traveling nurse information because of the positive hear-say. I have still yet to find this information, and further explore this website.
To make this thread a little more interesting, I thought I'd share some mistakes that I made throughout my education.
*I almost never studied*
This was not said to gloat. This was a mistake. My nursing school was known to be particularly hard; However, I am a very conceptual learner and 90% of all my learning occurs in the classroom and sticks. This, coupled with excellent teachers, helped me avoid the books. This was a mistake because I could have learned so much more and been a better nurse had I put in more effort. I never came close to failing, but I never got A's
*I didn't always count respirations*
During my clinicals, I just looked at people and if they were breathing at a rate that seemed normal, I would make up how many respirations per minute I thought they were having. This was a HUGE
mistake. I have peoples' lives in my hands, and it's not like I always had better things I could be doing in my clinical rotations than sitting with the patient for a minute and counting respirations. I feel the guilt now, and had an excellent preceptor who taught me how to take more pride in my self-image. This image I have of myself is 'thorough', so that is what I became.
*I didn't take documentation seriously*
This isn't a big one in student clinicals. However, in the real world, this can save lives, save careers, and save money for you and your patient.
*I bad-mouthed one of my best professors*
She was tough. She was unfair. She took NCLEX questions from books, and made her own questions to the same style of NCLEX questions. The questions she took from books made sense and I often missed the hard ones, but the ones she made up were FRUSTRATING. Added to this, she NEVER took questions off, gave points back, or anything. She said "if you chose another answer, you must provide me with 3 credible book sources and a written paper on why that answer is correct." I did this once. I still didn't get the point, because she said one of my sources spoke too subjectively about the subject. One question that she made up was
"(blahblahblah).... You observe another nurse give a patient crushed meds through an NG tube, then clamp it. What do you do?"
A) Accurately Document
B) (obviously wrong answer)
C) (obviously wrong answer) or
D) Report that these meds were incorrectly given to your nursing manager.
I chose D, because the nurse did NOT flush the NG tube, which is incorrect med administration, according to the information given. Her
answer was A. She then tried to defend her answer, stating that D "you would lose friends pretty quickly just telling your nurse manager everything!" and "you are reading too far into the question." I obsess on things like this because I want to do things right
On to her positives: She was tough. She demanded critical thinking through her questions, and it was NEVER 'choose the critical lab value' or 'apply oxygen'. All of this critical thinking truly did prepare me to NCLEX exam style questions, and I passed first try. I owe her a lot of my skills, knowledge base, and passion for knowing my stuff.
*I didn't work as a CNA*
and I wish I would have. These people find jobs at their institutions FAST, have a ton of resources to talk to about stuff all day, and work with these patients while applying newly learned things in their head as they go. I really regret not working as a CNA first...
*I quit my part-time job too early*
Just before taking my exam, I quit my job. You keep hearing "there's such high demand for nurses!" The idea of getting that much larger paycheck for very trained work clouded the idea of how long the hiring process truly takes. I have turned in SEVERAL applications, 1 week later have not received 1 phone call related to an interview. Keep your job people!!!
If I could go back and change these things, I would. Perhaps someone new to this site will read this and learn from my mistakes. Wow this is quite the TL;DR...
Look forward to the knowledge I can gain from this site, and other nurses!! I have the feeling I'll be here a lot!
Off to find the travel section...
Check out "On Assignment" for travel nursing. That is who I use.
Last edit by tnbutterfly on Aug 19, '12