If you plan on becoming a nurse, you probably already know that it isn’t a bed of roses. From operating tables to the bedside, nurses are some of the essential healthcare professionals. You cannot ignore their role. In a day, a nurse experiences almost everything. They can witness deaths and births all on the same day. However, the job has lots of rewards as well. It is fulfilling, and it presents lots of career opportunities. Here are a few things to know if you plan on being a nurse.
1. Practice Many Skills
When you get into nursing, you won’t have as much time to practice your skills as you imagine. If your goal is to become the best nurse, use every opportunity to practice your skills. Doing the same skill over and over will make you better at it. Try working on everything, including drug calculations, IVs, catheters, and assessment skills. Don’t just focus on one thing.
2. Prepare to Work Crazy Schedules
In most cases, your schedule as a nurse is more complicated than it appears on paper. People think that nurses have the best schedules of all healthcare professionals. However, that isn’t true. If you factor in the time spent on commuting, working, and reporting to the oncoming nurse, you may have up to 15 hours every day. You will be receiving calls regularly even when on your’ day off.’ Do not get into nursing if you are unwilling to work crazy hours.
3. Time Management Is Important
Time management is an essential skill for nurses. Even though you will need all the skills you learned in nursing school, they aren’t as important as time management. You must be able to complete specific tasks before your shift ends. If you cannot follow the schedule you create, you are unlikely to be a good nurse.
Like most healthcare professionals, nursing doesn’t move in a linear direction. Even when you have a clear schedule, you are likely to be distracted several times. Therefore, you don’t have much time to complete your scheduled tasks. With poor time management, you won’t achieve any of your goals.
4. Learn to Have a Good Laugh
Nurses have a good sense of humor. Even though you will be witnessing and experiencing lots of tough things every day, you must be able to laugh things off. Humor is a great coping mechanism. If you lack it, you may not enjoy your experience as a nurse.
5. Invest In Continuing Education
If possible, continue investing in your education. It does not only improve your confidence but also makes it possible to move up the ranks fast. There is a range of accelerated nursing programs that can help you improve your training. Online courses are flexible and affordable. There are lots of programs for different needs.
6. Your Duties Stretch Far and Wide
Your responsibilities as a nurse may stretch wider than you imagine. The definition of being a nurse goes beyond medicine and offering the medical care you learn in school. There are many instances where nurses perform the roles of housekeepers, waitresses, counselors, and crusaders. You must be willing to put your training aside and fit into other shoes when required.
7. Nursing School Doesn’t Prepare You for Everything
Going to nursing school will help you learn lots of important things. However, it won’t prepare you for everything you need to know. It doesn’t tell you what to do when you experience your first death or when dealing with the parents of a sick child. Every day at work is different, and it is impossible to prepare for everything.
8. Be Prepared to Make Mistakes
Unfortunately, mistakes happen, and you may not always be able to prevent them. Your first mistake will probably feel terrible, but things get easier. The secret is to learn and never make the same mistakes again. While some errors can be harmless, others have serious ramifications. Please do not dwell on them.
9. You Need a Mentor
Get a good mentor and learn from them. Do your best to get as much from your relationships with mentors as possible. Ask the right questions, take notes, and practice everything you learn. Remain grateful and curious even as there is always something new to learn.
Have a clear set of goals, and your mentor may help you achieve them. Establish clear communication channels, and don’t be afraid to speak up when things seem to be going wrong. Connecting with your mentor outside of your work environment can help strengthen your connection.
Even though being a nurse comes with many responsibilities, the above tips can help you make it easier. Having a passion and going to schools are great starting points, but they aren’t enough. Other important tips include getting a mentor, continuing your education, and time management.