REALLY LISTEN AND REFLECT, THEN YOU WILL LEARN:
First of all I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to complete a grad initiative in acute care. This was an experience where I am paired with staff RN's for six months and in a way be mentored by them. At the time, having a new RN with me every shift was somewhat stressful until I opened my eyes and realized that I was actually very fortunate for this change. Each shift the nurse I was with would start out by saying "I start my shift by..." and it was then that I realized these nurses were sharing with me their best practice and their experience. I finally came to the conclusion that I was lucky to be a recipient of so much knowledge. I then developed my own best practice and nature of nursing from these professionals.
TREAT PEOPLE HOW YOU WOULD WANT YOUR FAMILY TREATED:
As an ER RN you see a variety of patient populations. This can sometimes be very challenging when you are caring for someone that makes poor lifestyle decisions. In nursing they teach you not to be judgmental and treat everyone equal. But this should be taken one step further. Treat people how you would want a health care professional to treat you or your family. With this in mind, it is easier to remove yourself from your judgments and bias. Every person is human and deserves respect, care and dignity.
ITS THERE IF YOU WANT IT TO BE THERE, GOSSIP THAT IS:
Gossip seems to coincide with the nursing profession. At least from my experience it seems to be there if you are looking for it or starting it. Each nurse makes a conscious decision when contributing or refuting gossip. Everyone you work with deserves the benefit of the doubt. You never know what someone is dealing with outside of the workplace. So next time, before you start contributing to the gossip train, think twice, maybe that energy is better off somewhere else.
EMBRACE THE INTRODUCTION:
The first few minutes of meeting your patients are crucial. This interaction sets the tone for how the rest of the shift will go. If you can get eye level with your patient, introduce your self by name and find out what their expectations are things will go smoothly. These first few minutes makes a difference. It shows respect and initiation of rapport with people. It wouldn't hurt to try and proof its effectiveness.
DON'T SAY IT:
"I'll be back in a minute". This phrase can be a real turn off to patients. A minute to you may feel like a minute. But in reality, it's probably been five or ten minutes. In the meantime, you have probably answered call bells, been interrupted, finished off another task you working on or who knows what, while your patient is still waiting. The truth will go a long way. Let them know you will do what they need as soon as you can. Most patients have a pretty insightful idea to how busy you really are.
DO THE LITTLE THINGS:
Little things go a long way in the clinical setting. Brushing care, giving back care, warm blankets and tea can really have a positive impact on your patients experience. Time is a commodity for everyone, but these things don't take long and make a world of a difference for those needing some human connection and attention.
DO THE BEST YOU CAN:
Lack of everything is probably a big concern for all departments. Staff, resources, time, room etc. These are system issues and they are long term issues. It is important that you go to work and do the best that you can. There is no point in going home guilty or feeling upset because you couldn't do this or that. Just always keep in mind, that if you do the best you can with what is available, that is all you can do. Patients appreciate you doing what you can, not complaining about what you can't.
LEARN AND USE NAMES:
Being able to address people by them is a form of respect. It doesn't take much time, especially if people are wearing name tags, but this one will go a long way in the workplace.
Treat all those you work with, with respect. If it weren't for the janitor, lab tech, volunteer, unit clerk, or student the setting wouldn't be what it is. Clinical areas are a place for caring, healing, teaching and respect. It takes a large diverse group of people to care for patients. Everyone plays a role and deserves a smile or helping hand.
Textbook interventions may not work for everyone. Clinical settings are full of wonderfully creative scenarios. From call bell set ups, to oxygen placement to gown closures. It really can make a big difference if you find a unconventional but effective way to assist with caring for your patient.