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NurseTrishBSN CNA, RN

Charge Nurse, Unit Educator, MSN Student

Cardiac Nurse. Podcast Host. Mom. Wife. Nerd.


Content by NurseTrishBSN

  1. NurseTrishBSN

    What, exactly, IS a nurse?

    DEFINITION OF A NURSE MY EARLY DEFINITION I am embarrassed to say before becoming a nursing assistant, I had no idea what a nurse actually was or entailed. I thought a nurse was basically a caregiver for a patient who also gave them medications. While that is not entirely untrue, there is so much more to nursing and infinite possibilities as to what setting of nursing you want to be. MY DEFINITION NOW A nurse is an advocate. A teacher, a healer. Someone with a thorough understanding of science and how disease processes work in the body. A nurse is an educator, a communicator, and the ultimate organizer. A nurse will put your needs before his or her own and will speak up when something isn’t right. HISTORY OF NURSING Has anyone ever heard of Florence Nightingale? The lady with the lamp? She is basically the founder of nursing. During the Crimean War, she became known for training other nurses to care for the wounded soldiers and developed a method to improve nursing in her time. Fast forward many years and you can see the evolution of nursing from emptying chamber pots to being the physicians' handmaiden to now organizing treatment plans, advising lawmakers, creating systems of health care, as well as various roles at the bedside, operating rooms, computer technology, education systems, and politics. You can become a nurse practitioner and depending on which state you practice, you can have your own health clinic or run an emergency room. Nurses are everywhere! What is the one driving force that evolved nursing as a profession? Education! You can now obtain your doctorate in nursing and more and more nurses are furthering their education as they advance in their careers. TIP Have an education plan. How far do you want to go as of now? There is no “right” or ‘Wrong” way. Do what’s best for you! Revisit your education plan every year as you gain experience in nursing. Nursing is a lifelong career of learning, you never know where you will want to go in another year from now. TYPES OF “NURSES” When I say “Nurse” what comes to mind? Most commonly we see our primary doctor or pediatrician, therefore the “nurse” in that setting is likely a Medical Tech or MT. The next most common “nurse” the public might find is the school nurse. A lot of times this is not an RN but either a MT, CNA (certified nursing assistant), or an LPN (licensed practical nurse). There might be an RN who oversees the school nurses in an area of the county but usually, each individual school nurse is not an RN. In the healthcare setting, you have “nursing” in this order. CNA, LPN, RN (ADN), RN (BSN), APRN (MSN), APRN (DNP). At the masters and doctorate levels, there are multiple branches and types of nursing in which you can specialize. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, just a very basic example of the types of nursing education you might see. NURSES ARE EVOLVING As Healthcare changes and evolves, nurses will too. We will have to in order to meet the needs of our communities and to overcome the challenges we will face in the upcoming years. Nursing can basically be found in almost every job sector. If you try one area of nursing and discover it isn’t for you, you can switch! You can move from bedside nursing to leadership or education, and back to the bedside. Do you have a plan?
  2. NurseTrishBSN

    What, exactly, IS a nurse?

    Nursing can definitely be stressful, I used to work in a place like that. I’m lucky I’ve found another company that takes care of their nurses, they do exist!
  3. NurseTrishBSN

    What, exactly, IS a nurse?

    Yes, that is why I said “in the healthcare setting” as in, direct patient care. We do have other nurses but I mostly wanted to highlight more if those directly working with patients
  4. So you’ve landed your first nursing job? Congratulations!! Guess what, learning doesn’t end here! If you were lucky enough to get into a good residency program that is awesome but who do you think is responsible for your orientation and that you get everything you need? It is still YOU. Nursing is all about advocacy. The first person you learn to advocate for is going to be yourself. You will have to speak up when it is uncomfortable and ask for help when you don’t want to. It can literally be a life or death situation. Learn now how to advocate now for the easier stuff and you will be successful down the road and have experience when it comes to the more challenging situations. ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF Take the time out for your breaks. IT'S THE LAW. I have worked in different situations where the busiest and easily burnt out nurses never took breaks. Do you think that makes you a hero? NO. You will be replaced with another nurse as quickly as you leave so TAKE YOUR BREAKS (This is for bathroom and water as well). No excuses that you are “too busy”. News flash: Nursing is 24/7. Repeat that to yourself slowly. Nobody can do ALL the things ALL the time. So stop trying. Get the most important stuff done and learn to delegate and ask for help. Nursing is a team effort and learning to utilize your resources will go a long way. Ask for Orientation Experiences Didn’t get to try as many IVs as you wanted? Ask your charge nurse to give you some extra opportunity. Don’t understand a certain procedure or test? Ask to go down with a patient to observe and see what it’s all about. You have to ask for yourself and speak up when you don’t understand something. These are just the things you KNOW you don't understand. Sometimes you don't know what you DON’T KNOW. Seek Education Opportunities Ask your unit educator, manager, preceptor, residency organizer about education opportunities your hospital offers. A lot of times there will be Grand Rounds, Workshops, and Conferences that you can go to for free CEs. Use them wisely! Find Your Go-To Resources Who is the one nurse you can ask questions and know they will point you in the right direction>? Seek them out and also understand it doesn't’ have to be a nurse! Are you on a pulmonary floor that has a lot of trachs or pulmonary patients you don’t quite understand? Find that Respiratory Therapist who likes to teach and show you the things! And learn!! Do the same thing for other disciplines. Most people enjoy teaching! There is a lot you can learn from them! Don't’ forget your Nurse Practitioners, PAs, and Physicians who enjoy teaching as well. Get them in a not so busy setting and you will be shocked at how much they enjoy explaining things. Ask Your Manager to set up an In-service Is there something you want to learn more about? Ask your manager or educator if an in-service is possible. Most of the time different departments will have a short in-service when something is changing with a process, or staff is having difficulty. This allows for more hands-on practice and opportunity to ask questions in a slower setting. Read a lot of Articles, Publications, and Case Studies Ask a coworker if they have any subscriptions, maybe they would bring them in to share with you. Become a member of organizations related to the type of nursing you are learning. Study new diagnoses and look up treatments which you aren’t familiar Know Your Learning Style Personality Test Learning Style Quiz You may already have an idea about your personality and learning style but these assessments help you to understand further what may help you more in relating to others and how to learn new concepts. I thought I was a tactical & writing learner but I found out I’m actually multi-modal and need different formats to fully learn and understand a concept. Know your Hospital Websites for Policies, Procedures, and Medications Policy STAT- Know your policies and WHY. (I’m a why person, it helps me remember more). Usually, the WHY for policies is for safety. Understand policies are meant to be used as a strongly suggested guide but might not be the best for all patients in all circumstances. Lippincott- Procedures and supplies needed as well as nursing implications. Medication Lookup---- Know what you are giving your patients and WHY. If you don’t know, look it up beforehand. Don’t wait for your preceptor to tell you. Use a drug book or your hospitals’ online resources.