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Tips for nurses in their first year of nursing

First Year   (370,674 Views 438 Comments)
by Brian Brian, ASN, RN (Member)

Brian has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

13 Articles; 201,212 Profile Views; 3,695 Posts

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You are reading page 15 of Tips for nurses in their first year of nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

22 Posts; 993 Profile Views

This thread has been so helpful to me and I'm not even 'new'. I'm returning to nursing after an absence of a few years and my time management skills are all shot.

I've been C & Ping the most relevant posts and I plan to print out my list tomorrow. I hate, hate, that feeling of finishing a shift feeling that I hadn't done all I ought.

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86 Posts; 1,681 Profile Views

one more: when i first started out, on a medical unit with 10 pts, i organized myself into 3 first rounds. the first time through, i just introduced myself and stated i would be back soon.

that way, i could make sure that everyone was where they're supposed to be (not on the floor) and nobody was in acute distress (my first priority on everyone).

then, 2nd rounds: i'd go back through and do my assessments.

3rd rounds, med pass and taking care of 'creature comforts'.

i found that those 3 'first' rounds organized my shift better, highlighted the priorities more soundly, and gave me time to 'impress' my pts. nursing is at least part an acting gig. you can't 'take the time' with x pt when you don't know anything yet about 'y patient'.

i never stopped until my 'first rounds' were complete. but, at that point, my shift was well organized.

~faith,

timothy.

this is very close to the method that i have adopted. :rolleyes: i get funny looks from my co-horts, but oh well. i spend a good chunk of the beginning of shift with my pts and it goes really well for me the rest of the noc. it makes me feel good that an experienced such as yourself had done it first!:thankya:

another thing i've found veerry important, keep a bottle of water on your cart. i've come to realize i'd feel much better if i remember to drink some!

i printed up my own 'brain' and made copies to put in a drawer @ work. i use black ink for report notes and red for what happens on shift. i actually keep 2 brains, 1 for report and 1 for meds. on the meds i yellow off what i've done after i've done it.

which reminds me. i've seen all but one of my preceptors sign mars before giving the meds, don't do that. one was too impatient and didn't want too wait for the lady to swallow them all,( :nono:looonnnggg story :uhoh21: ) and said, eh, she got most of it. who knows how much and of which meds she really got?!?!

just my humble:twocents:

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EmerNurse has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Tele, ICU, ER.

437 Posts; 5,094 Profile Views

I never stopped until my 'first rounds' were complete. But, at that point, my shift was well organized.

~faith,

Timothy.

Absolutely!! I've always done this, even now in the ER. After report, I go see all my patients and grab a set of vitals on each. That sets my day - I know my patients quick physical status, that no one's in acute distress at the moment, and then I can go check the chart for pendings, etc. I also chart a quick "pt rec'd on stretcher, VS stable, blah blah". One of my pet peeves is a chart with no evidence that the patient was seen by a nurse until two hours after they hit the bed. I keep wondering how that would look in court!

Everyone finds their own "rhythm" for thier shifts. My best advice is to try out a couple of methods early on and find which works for you. When you find it, ALWAYS organize the same way. When I was on med-surg, we had a patient worksheet we used. I always always placed my info in the same places (VS at bottom, to-do list on the right, etc) so when things got frantic, I automatically knew where I was looking for what.

In the ER, I organize my patient charts (which are far far smaller than med-surg) in a certain way ALL the time. Lab and other results on the left, ongoing flowsheets etc on the right. That way I (and the MD) can find things quick.

I always thought I had a big advantage getting into nursing later in life, becuase I was a secretary (not medical) for nearly 20 years. I learned to handle large volumes of paperwork and stay organized long before I ever hit the nursing floor!

Good luck!! It truly does get easier with time - find the couple of really nice nurses on your shift and work with them. Sometimes a support person or two (preceptor or not) is a lifesaver!

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Madame Poppy Pomfrey specializes in medical-surgical.

13 Posts; 1,030 Profile Views

Smilingblueyes,thank you, spoken true words of wisdom on all points!!

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Madame Poppy Pomfrey specializes in medical-surgical.

13 Posts; 1,030 Profile Views

a few more tips:

- find a mentor- look for advice from a senior rn. this person should be different from your supervisor and can provide a soundingboard, giving you objective advice.

- don't be too hard on yourself. although exciting, it's also a stressful time. you're going to make misktakes- we all do. what's important is you work to correct those mistakes and learn from it. a sense of humor truly helps.

- be aware of corporate culture- use all your senses to find out what's accepted in your organization, i.e., patterns of communication, dress codes, etc.

in choosing your first job, consider:

1. orientation progtram for the new RN. a strong orientation and preceptorship will be what makes or breaks your 1st job experience, and possibly, even your career in nsg.

2. policies on continuing ed, including tuition assistance/reimbursement. this policy will also help you understand the employer's views on continuing ed.

3. work environment & attitudes of potential co-workers. what is your 1st impression of the unit during a walk-through?

4. nurse-to-patient rations, patient acuity, size of unit, mgmt. structure, staffing mix (rns relative to lpsn and nsg assts), availability of ancillary staff (housekeeping, dietary, unit secretary, maintenance, etc)

5. availability of mds (esp after hrs), autonomy vs.responsiblity of RNs,type of nsg care delivered (team, primary, etc)

6. type of work scheduling (weekend programs, M-F, 8-10-12 hr shifts, floating, overtime policy, weekend requirements, holiday requirements)

7. opportunity for advancement?

8. salary including shift differentials and cost of living increases.

9. benefits including vacation time,sick time, childcare, staff health services, parking, cafeteria.

tips for survival:

- think before answering

- take vacations

- remove energy drainers

- support co-workers

- treat yourself

- avoid aggravating people

- keep in touch w/yourself and your needs

- say no w/o guilt

- ask for help

- use available resources

- evaluate your growth and stay focused.

- re-energize

we are not superhuman- lest we not forget that. and we are no one's doormat. love yourself enough to avoid ANYONE treating you badly.

strive to treat each patient as you would yourself or a family member.

and take a deep breath.

peacefully,

leslie

SURVIVAL TIPS ARE A MUST THANKS!;)

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66 Posts; 2,028 Profile Views

I have wanted to write a book just for this topic!!!!!! Maybe now I will!

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Madame Poppy Pomfrey specializes in medical-surgical.

13 Posts; 1,030 Profile Views

I have wanted to write a book just for this topic!!!!!! Maybe now I will!

Great Idea!:typing Get typing! hee hee

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3 Posts; 525 Profile Views

Hey guys, I'm Nursing student looking for RN to help me out with one of my school project. I just need to do a brief interview of RN. I would really appreciate if anyone can help me out.

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nursebenson has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac.

22 Posts; 1,771 Profile Views

:yeah: Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to use it at my new job, I especially like the "don't act like you know it all, ask questions"!

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34 Posts; 2,076 Profile Views

Okay, as a nurse with over 30 years experience (LPN and RN), I am going to give you guys a bit of advice here.

ASK---if you don't know, don't fake it. The old-timers absolutely do NOT expect you to know everything. They know you are scared poopless. Contrary to popular belief, older nurses do NOT eat their young. Too many bones ;-D. We know that you are the future of nursing, and most likely (hopefully, even) will be the ones taking care of us when we inevitably succumb to life's physical insults.

PITCH IN---yeah, we know that you have no clue how to transdermally pace a patient in an emergency. Just hang around, offer to be a gopher, and LEARN by OBSERVING. We'll totally respect you for that. Most of us will grab your hand and guide you as you input the settings into the pacer. That is, if we sense you're interested. Hide, and you have written your epitaph.

DO NOT (under any circumstances) UTTER THE PHRASE "Well, this is how we did it in school"----SLAP!! Real life is NOT school. Book learning is a foundation, not a house. You live in a house, not on a foundation.

I think I am done for now.

Yours truly,

WindwardOahuRn, aka ICU maniac

Ooops :uhoh21: Im new & just did that yesterday..Actually my preceptor actually went to the same school. I think in nursing school they condition you to be like that. You just don't want to do the wrong thing. Now i know. She said to me, "your going to find things are different in the "real world".

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6 Posts; 449 Profile Views

I agree, always ask your classmates, teachers, and other nursing student. You'll learn a lot by just asking and sharing. By the way, I would like to ask you guys, what is your idea of having flu vaccine to be mandatory to all health care staff?

Takotako

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6 Posts; 449 Profile Views

Hi!

I just want to say thank you to all the staff and nursing students of ELM 2006 especially to our wonderful teachers. It's been a wonderful experience at Touro University Nevada. Hope I will make it till the end.

Takotako

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