New Grad Nurse Tips | New Registered Nurse Tips in 2021
New Grad Nurse Tips | New Registered Nurse Tips in 2021. Nursing for new grads in 2021 can be difficult.
- Be flexible. In everything you do, be adaptable and willing to change, especially in regards to your patients and their individual needs. Ask yourself, what is the big picture? Pick and choose your battles. Our patient’s trust is invaluable when it comes to their health care.
- Sometimes doing nothing, is doing something. There is a common phrase we have in the ER, “Fixing them to death.” (This is when we keep adding more interventions for the previous intervention that caused the first problem, after we tried to fix that number we saw on the monitor, because it made us uncomfortable.) This is more of an art and can only be learned from experience. I have had hospice patients that we withdrew care from, and they got better and lived longer than their initial prognosis. Look at your patient and ask yourself if what you are seeing matches what the monitor is telling you.
- At the beginning of every shift ask yourself, “What three things can most likely kill my patient today?” Prepare for those things as if they are going to happen. Be proactive in making sure none of those things can happen. This method will keep your patient safe as it prevents panic and reacting to the situation in a way that may cause harm.
- KNOW WHY you are doing something. If you are asked to do something, anything, by anyone, and you cannot provide a logical rational to yourself as to why you are doing said thing, stop what you are doing and ASK. If the first person doesn’t have the answer, ask someone else. Keep asking until you know why. You need a rational for your decisions or you will get into a dangerous territory of treatment versus harm. Many nurses get themselves into trouble by doing something based on unit culture without actually having a solid rational. Find the policy, and don’t be afraid to ask the doctor. There is a reason they spent as many years in medical school as they did. As long as you come from a position of wanting to learn to help take care of your patient, (and not from an attitude of “questioning” them so to speak) they will not be mean. They are usually more than happy and eager to help new nurses learn.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m new. I don’t know how to do this. Help me.” It will get you out of most binds and there is no shame in it.
- Never ignore your intuition. Trust me on this, and trust yourself. You will know when you feel it. You could save someone’s life. Sometimes that intuition is as simple as leaving someone’s room and just having a “gut feeling” that you should go back. Do it.
- Understand that you do not know what you do not know, and that is OKAY. If at any moment, there is a question to what you are doing, STOP IMMEDIATELY. There are no stupid questions in nursing, only life saving ones.
- You will make mistakes. The difference between a safe nurse and the unsafe nurse is the one who can admit when they are wrong and learns. You will meet nurses in your career who will not accept criticism. Be watchful of them.
- Try to have a general practice of never taking more than you are willing to give. This has to do more with your coworkers. It is okay to need help and to ask for help, and it is encouraged. Set realistic expectations for yourself and try to recognize when you might be in over your head. It’s okay. Patient conditions change, and sometimes assignments become unsafe. This is when you need to rely on teamwork. Just be willing to offer help on your good days as well. Don’t be the nurse that finishes what they are doing, sits on their phone, and ignores their coworkers who are drowning. Think of it this way, (besides fostering good work relationships), if you help your coworkers out when they need it, they will be in a position to help you when you need it.
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