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They say that in life, you have to stumble a few times before you can run. And in nursing, it’s probably safe to say that this is true, with those first few tumbles feeling slightly more high-speed and “face-to-the-pavement” than the hiccups that follow.
Which is why, before hitting the track, it’s not a bad idea to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible, courtesy of all those nurses who’ve already got a few laps on you.
So, to help new nurses (or nurses in training) load up on some valuable advice, Kati Kleber (aka Nurse EyeRoll) has tapped her own Twitter network for words of wisdom:
“Hey RNs—remember what it was like to be a young pup and a brand-new RN? What’s your best nursing advice for new RNs?”
And all of you fabulous, experienced nurses had some great advice that I felt needed to be repeated. Here are some of my favorites that were posted. I removed all of the hashtags just to make it a little more concise and easy to read. Thanks everyone! Seriously great advice that I wish I knew before I started out. Enjoy!
@iseeyou_nurse: Before you page, ask [if] anyone else has to call (or has called) the doc. Consolidate!
@nursekelly911: When their O2 is like 75% and their NC is @ 5 LPM and ur all “wtf is going on”—make sure it’s plugged in.
@_CharyD: When I have a chatty pt. I give my nurses a heads-up and have them come ask for my “help” after 10-15 mins.
@RNChristy05: When you make a mistake, and you will, own it, report it, fix it, but never hide it. This is how you gain respect.
@nursekelly911: Don’t be tempted to skip breaks just because you are swamped. Those are the times you really NEED to take a break.
@theresemurley: It’s not your patients’ fault you have to work today.
@NurseEyeRoll: If you had an awful, tearful day…just take small victories…“no one died today” (hopefully).
@rymitch18: Just b/c you’ve graduated, don’t stop researching unfamiliar diseases, drugs, algorithms or procedures. It’ll save ur butt.
@jcampbell252: Some nurses claim 10 years of experience when all they really have is one day of experience repeated 3,650 times.
@cocoaporter: Remain calm; it helps you think clearly and it helps calm the patient, too. Everyone freaks out on the inside, but relay calm. (I call this my nurse face!)
@katmeek: Own the problem. Pts/mgmt will respond better if you take on the issue even if it’s not your fault.
@lyleshehane: You should absolutely never get upset about a doc yelling at you. Sooo not worth your time.
@NurseEyeRoll: The sooner you fart in front of your coworkers, the better.
@iseeyou_nurse: Don’t pretend to know something if you aren’t sure. Asking “Can you double check I’m doing this right?” is good.
@joyrydr: You don’t know everything just bc you passed an exam/have a license. Ask questions and read protocols!
@jcampbell252: Skills are important. But the ability to “play well with others” is what patients and co-workers value most.
@iseeyou_nurse: Know how to accept advice and tips, and how to reject it if it won’t work for you.
To read more, visit NurseEyeRoll.com.
Learning how to be a great nurse at the bedside while maintaining your sanity at home is no easy task. Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Take Care of Your Patients and Yourself talks about how to realistically live as a nurse, both at home and at the bedside…with a little humor and some shenanigans along the way. Get ready: It’s about to get real, real nursey. You can get your own copy at NurseEyeRoll.com, Amazon or Goodreads (ebook).