My name is Connie. I have been a critical care RN for 20 years. I have chosen to remain at the bedside where I feel like I can have the greatest impact on patient care. Some refer to me as an "old" nurse but I prefer "sage". The dictionary defines sage as "Having or exhibiting wisdom and calm judgment" but defines old as " Exhibiting the effects of time or long use; worn". I'll take SAGE -anyday!
I know I am getting old because I start using phrases like "those new nurses" or "when I was a young nurse". The truth is the new nurses ARE different than we saw graduate 20 years ago but there are some exciting changes.
I suppose if I was given the opportunity to give two pieces of advice to nurses it would be these: 1) approach every situation from the point of view of believing the best about others and that they know something that you need to learn. (I believe every nurse wants to give good patient care. The questions then becomes how do "you" define good patient care and what do you do when your definition differs from anothers?)
2) the BEST skill you can learn is how to be a good communicator.
Neither of them is very specific to nursing, are they? And yet they can make a huge impact on how we practice and how we relate to our patients, our peers, administration, everyone!
I've read a lot of books on communication but two of the best have just recently come out: "Crucial Conversations" and "Crucial Confrontations" by Kerry Patterson. If I were Dean of a nursing school, these would be required readings.
I look forward to participating in the forums as much as time allows and learning from each of you how to be a better nurse, as well as, a better person.