I’ve come up with a syndrome all my own–it involves extremes nerves, heart palpitations, frequent bathroom visits and uncontrollable eating of chocolate leading to weight gain akin to the freshman 15. Having moved over thirty five times in my life, I think I have evidence enough that a kind of new kid syndrome does indeed exist, and not only have I experienced it over and over again, I’ve found some ways to cope with it!
The cool and exciting thing about being new–and probably the only real positive in my opinion–is that I get to reinvent myself. Starting fresh is a great way to really refine the way I do things–and this is especially true when it comes to starting a new job.
I’ve noticed that this time around the way I’ve “reinvented Prisca” at my new job encompasses how I deal with my coworkers, how I act on the floor, and how I nurse my patients.
Group dynamics are kooky! Because groups of people can often have their own weird vibe, I’ve learned that when I encounter such groups, it is best to sit back, watch, and keep my opinions to myself as I slowly interject myself into the setting.
Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed that “new kids” get picked on in many settings? Think “nurses eating their young” type stuff. Close knit groups have a bit of exclusivity to them–and this is especially true when it comes to nurses. This coping skill has really served me well in that I ease into the group, people get to know me slowly, I can figure out who’s who in the group, and also I can set some boundaries. There is something to be said for keeping my mouth shut and instead watching and listening.
The other aspect I’m working on is my floor demeanor. I really want to act professionally–it is important to me–and I want respect from my fellow nurses and the doctors. I’ve been working on my language (gasp!), the way I approach my coworkers when I need to advocate, get back-up, get orders, etc, and also my organization skills. It has been a lot easier in my new job, because I have a little experience, to work calmly and in an organized manner–even in an emergency. My skills are being refined and I find I am constantly working on perfecting what I do.
Nursing my patients in an ever evolving art form. I’m learning to trust my patients a little more–in other words, what they say can many times outweigh what I am assessing. Listening to women who say they feel like the baby is going to come fast, even when I don’t see contractions on the monitor, is REALLY helping me improve my practice. Plus my assessment skills are getting more refined because I am learning to really listen to my patients.
I don’t like being the new kid, but I see how being new has given me some more opportunities to grow because it is so challenging. In stead of a stumbling block, I am trying to use my newness as a building block. It definitely keeps things interesting!
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!