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If you could give one piece of advice back when you were a new grad RN, what would it be?

Nurses   (3,827 Views | 37 Replies)

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Ask questions and learn from as many people as you can (even if it is learning what not to do).

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Keep your notes from school to review! Write down any questions you have and bring them with you to work. Ask as many questions as possible and find an experienced nurse that likes answering them. Residents love to show off what they know. Make sure you ask them as many questions as possible. Keep asking throughout your career and make learning a priority each and every shift!

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Seeing Myself Out has 6 years experience.

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Don't get stuck in non-bedside specialties like psych if you aren't completely sure about wanting to do it for your whole life and not regretting it. Get a year of med-surg or similar experience then re-evaluate, so you won't be like me. 

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RickyRescueRN has 21 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Trauma, CCT,Emergency, Flight.

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On 2/12/2019 at 5:05 AM, Mursthetics said:

As a new grad RN myself, I am always curious about what experienced nurses would want to tell a younger version of themselves. 

If you could give one piece of advice back when you were a new grad RN, what would it be?

Grab every single opportunity for learning more; take extra free classes that hospitals offer. Get as much experience as your time off allows; volunteer to help out if the ward is busy and needs extra hands when it's your time to go home. The more experience you get as a nursing student, the better you will be able to function as a RN when you land your first job. I think that is the biggest thing that new grads struggle with. They have never had a full patient assignment for 12 hours , 3 days in a row , every week. If you are not prepared for this, you will struggle to make it through your first year. 

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audreysmagic has 15 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Peds, Education, Infection Control.

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Eventually, there will be a day when you will fail to be surprised by a patient's antics.  Impressed, perhaps, but not surprised.

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audreysmagic has 15 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Peds, Education, Infection Control.

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And: Go on to your BSN right away, kid.  Don't think that year or two gap will cure your academic fatigue, because you'll jump right in to working full-time and eventually two years will become 13.  (I did go back to school, and am now proudly working on my MSN, but I could have been further along in my career by now if I'd done it sooner).

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audreysmagic has 15 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Peds, Education, Infection Control.

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3 hours ago, Checkers08 said:

Ask questions and learn from as many people as you can (even if it is learning what not to do).

If someone can't be a good example, they might become a horrible warning.

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Dear New Grad me,

Learn that you cannot please some patients, and that's ok. They will complain about you to everyone who will listen. You will end up in the manager's office, and your charting will save your butt.  Remember to chart because they WILL complain and so will their family. Some patient's think that they are your only patient, and that you are at their beck and call. Don't spend all day with them at the expense of other patients. Look after them the best you can, but it is ok to say, "No. I will not fluff your pillow, or go down to the nutrition centre and get you some cookies and ice cream, or move your TV 1 inch to the right. You can do all of those things yourself. I won't do it for you." Yes, it takes more time to explain this than just do it, but your patient needs to hear this and do for themselves whatever they can. Only do for your patients what they cannot do for themselves but would if they could. Be kind, be firm, and be fair. Saying "no" is not mean, it's necessary.

Signed,

Nurse JollyBug92

Ps: Bring an extra set of scrubs to work.  

 

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78 Posts; 1,435 Profile Views

2 hours ago, audreysmagic said:

Eventually, there will be a day when you will fail to be surprised by a patient's antics.  Impressed, perhaps, but not surprised.

I walked into the building one day to the most horrific and confusing smell. It was beyond describing. During day shift, a patient with a colostomy appliance emptied his full bag into a radiator. Some liquid feces were left on the radiator, so his solution was to clean it off. With urine. Maintenance was still cleaning away when I arrived. Odd shift.

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SquatsNScrubs has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, CVICU.

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Don’t agree to be on call/downstaff unless you have the PTO! You would have so much more money saved for a down payment on a house right now. Also, pack your lunch more often. Cafeteria meals are overpriced and generally unhealthy. 

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SquatsNScrubs has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, CVICU.

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17 minutes ago, JollyBug92 said:

“No. I will not fluff your pillow, or go down to the nutrition centre and get you some cookies and ice cream, or move your TV 1 inch to the right. You can do all of those things yourself. I won't do it for you." Yes, it takes more time to explain this than just do it, but your patient needs to hear this and do for themselves whatever they can. Only do for your patients what they cannot do for themselves but would if they could. Be kind, be firm, and be fair. Saying "no" is not mean, it's necessary.

 

THIS!!! When I worked med-surg, I had a totally aaox3 patient throw a fit and demand for me to get out of her room because I wouldn’t spoon feed her her pudding when she had 2 fully functional upper extremities. Told her that if she wasn’t able to feed herself we would have to consult social work to get her placed in a nursing facility at discharge. She was then miraculously able to use her arms 🙄

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78 Posts; 1,435 Profile Views

On 2/15/2019 at 9:40 PM, SquatsNScrubs said:

THIS!!! When I worked med-surg, I had a totally aaox3 patient throw a fit and demand for me to get out of her room because I wouldn’t spoon feed her her pudding when she had 2 fully functional upper extremities. Told her that if she wasn’t able to feed herself we would have to consult social work to get her placed in a nursing facility at discharge. She was then miraculously able to use her arms 🙄

Yes! I've had a few patients like that. One patient actually wrote a page long list of my "infractions" and handed it in to my manager. Among the infractions was "Nurse refuses to feed me but feeds other patients. This is obvious discrimination." and "Nurse refuses to go to my pharmacy to fetch me my prescriptions and essentials". My manager and I had a laugh at that one!

I also had a patient complain once that I refused to turn her head to the left when she was in bed. This patient was fully able to do that, so I stood on her left and pulled my pen from my pocket and went "Oh, is this yours?" She turned her head to the left, and I said, "Oops, sorry, it's actually my pen. How silly of me. Oh look! You've turned your head to the left!" Snarky? Yes. Worth it? Completely. 

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