As 2015 approaches, many people are looking to make resolutions for the new year. Brittney from The Nerdy Nurse has some suggestions for the nursing profession….
With the new year, we make many resolutions to improve our lives. As nurses, we have the unique ability to improve the lives of others on a daily basis. However, there are many nursing issues that we as nurses face on a daily basis. We should be focusing attention on these areas to make the nursing profession a more desirable one to be a part of. We need to band together to ensure the best patient care possible.
1. Mandatory Safe-Staffing Ratios
Many states have already implemented nurse-patient ratios to promote patient safety and improve care. However, there are far more that do not. Until this is a requirement, there will be too many opportunities for nurses to have unsafe patient loads and risk not being able to provide safe and competent care.
2. Eliminating Lateral Violence
Until we stand together as a profession and pledge to eliminate the act of “nurses eating their young,” we will continue to hold ourselves back in the realm of professionalism. We must eliminate the cattiness and the bullying that so often is encountered by new nurses. We are a part of a beautiful and caring profession. Let us show that care to our fellow nurses as well as our patients.
3. Use Every Patient Encounter as an Opportunity for Education
Take every patient encounter as an opportunity to educate them on something, whether it be about their hospital stay, their medication, their condition or a procedure they are receiving. Always ask your patients if they have any questions and take the time to answer thoughtfully and responsibly. Patients are appreciative of the extra time you spend giving them extra attention to detail and they may not always ask the questions they need to. It is up to us as nurses to give them the answers that we know they need, even when they do not ask. Be honest and considerate and helpful with their education needs.
4. Continuing Education to Grow Professionally and Personally
Regardless of your state or employer’s requirements, nurses need to take personal responsibility to continue their education. This does not mean you have to be in college till the day you die or pursue a higher degree. What it does mean is that healthcare and nursing are constantly evolving and you should be thirsting for the knowledge that will help you provide the best care possible for your patients. This may be reading nursing articles, reading nursing blogs, looking for evidence-based practice and other sources of information. Anything that expands your knowledge base as a nurse is helpful in helping you grow.
It should be noted, however, that if you intend to use knowledge you have gained to change your practice, or the organization you work for, you should ensure that the information is vetted and evidence-based.
Head on over to The Nerdy Nurse to read the rest of Brittney’s suggestions. Then, in the comments below, tell us your own work-related resolutions for the year ahead!