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Because of you! (a “thank you” to experienced nurses)


What have you learned from the RNs in your life?

At work last night, while I was demonstrating how to place a catheter for a less experienced nurse who couldn’t quite get it, I started thinking about how many of my skills I can attribute to my coworkers. It wasn’t nursing school that taught me how to “look for the wink” when cath-ing a female, in fact, nursing school gave me a great foundation of theory, but my real education came from the chicks who have handed down their knowledge to me. I learned to be a nurse from other nurses, and not in a lecture hall.

For instance, I treat my scrub pockets as “drawer” per an awesome nurse I met at the very beginning of my career. I fill them at the beginning of the shift, and in the same order, so I always know where everything is. It’s a great habit: I don’t lose pens, I’m always stocked-up on supplies like tape and bandaids, and I rarely lose my “brain.”

Another wonderful nurse in my life taught me how to position a labor patient in order to get a stubborn baby “out” as it were. She is always around to share what she knows—I just have to ask. Owing a lot of my labor tips and tricks to her, I feel like she is part of why I am a competent labor nurse.

Or what about the great nurse who let me practice several IV’s on her, and now has volunteered to teach me how to scrub in the OR, using some time off to come in and hook me up! What a saint.

Then there are the nurses who showed me how to give and take report (wasn’t taught that in school), explained to me how to chart efficiently so I wouldn’t have to stay hours over my shift, and the RN’s who let me sit in on their childbirth classes so I could fulfill my dream of becoming a certified educator. The list goes on and on…

I owe so much of who I am as a nurse to the amazing nurses that have surrounded me thus far and shared their wisdom. Just one more example of how we nurses are givers—to our patients and to each other. Going to continue the tradition!

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Amy Bozeman

Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.

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4 Responses to Because of you! (a “thank you” to experienced nurses)

  1. Sharon

    My nursing instructors told us, “We aren’t teaching you to be nurses. We are teaching you to pass state boards. You will learn to be nurses after you get a job”. How right they were!

  2. Jeff

    As a student just getting ready to enter the nursing program I can tell already that i may get much needed info here!

  3. Norma R.N.

    As a older nurse with too many years to count under my wings, I have found teaching new grads as a wonderful experience and to point out to some that have “I know it all” attitude that in nursing we are always learning ! I can tell when I am demonstrating techniques to new grads which ones really want to know and the others who feel like I am a bother. Therefore I I don’t push any teaching on those who do not want it and praise and encourage the ones who do. I do this because I love for my patients to have a wonderful experience at a time when they are experiencing sometimes the worse times in their lives. I also want to know that as I age and become more the patient than the nurse there are competent and decent nurses out there.

  4. I remember well almost 30 urs ago a kind & loving LPN taught me how to be the nurse I am today and to become the same type of mentor she was to me. Its true that not all nurses eat their young.I always try to remember how I was in the beginning and try to relay those times to those that I orient to their new job.We didn’t all catch on the first time and we didn’t fall out of the sky as the perfect nurse.We have all made mistakes and if you say you never have you are lying to us and to yourself.I still love what I do after all these yrs.