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

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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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