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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.
“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).