Just thought I'd share my thoughts for those of you about to graduate.
1. Nursing is a Privilege that must be Earned ...
I always try to let my patient feel as if they are the one in charge, not me, nor the MD. Always, and I mean every single time, before implementing a nursing action explain to the patient what is about to be done, why, and ask permission to do such. As healthcare professionals, our patient's have entrusted in us to do what is best for their health & welfare. Yet, we must open our patient's eyes to the plan of care [regards to both medical diagnosis & nursing care plans
] that has been layed out in their best interest. As healthcare advocates, we must help our patient understand they have the ultimate decision as to what can & cannot be done.
2. Nursing is a Team sport and we are the QB...
In-patient care is so complicated these days. A patient can be overwhelmed with so many different faces, hands, and hearts. In one hour a patient can be seen by their RN, Respiratory Therapist, XRay Tech, Primary Physician, another physcian that has been requested by the Primary MD to consult, then if it is a teaching hospital multiple the number of physicians X's 2-4. The Primary MD may be writing the orders [similar to the football coach sending the plays], but it is up to the RN [QB] that everyone involved is in sync. Never hesitate to call an audible at the line of scrimmage!
RN = QB = Advocate
3. More on being an Advocate...
Never, and I mean not even once be afraid to ask another nurse for an opinion you may have regards to your patient's healthcare, whether that be an MD order, the patient's presenting condition, or whatever. Plus, never, ever be afraid to ask the MD for clarification on an order that you either don't understand, or think may not be correct for the patient's present condition. It is better to get yelled at by the MD, than do harm. Besides, you will most likely earn the MD's confidence, as well as become more confident in the process.
4. Never forget that your patient's are Human Beings... not a diagnosis.
- rninme [post #8]
I like that one, thanks rninme for adding to the list! Kind of goes with treat the patient & not the monitors. As nurses, we spend so much more time with our patient's than the MDs'. We start to get a sense of our patient's norms by close interaction, besides just looking at lab values, or EKGs, etc.
- Corvette Guy
5. Listen to your Patient's
I can add Listen to your patients, and their input. Patients often have a "sense" of what is wrong and what can be done to help them. Too often I see nurses saying "what does she/he know, they don't have a medical degree."
- Gonzo1 [post #10]
If, anyone would like to add to, or expand upon my three thoughts above feel free to do such.
WELCOME & GOOD LUCK!