Have the courage? “Give it a good nudge!”

courageOK, so in my last installment I talked about my brazen feline who dared to head butt my pooches, the two large bullmastiffs. Sometimes that is a good metaphor for how it feels to be a new nurse! Senior nurses or physicians can seem big, scary, and intimidating when you’re new to this gig.

So here’s my “head butt” story. It was my first patient death…I had to fill out all the paperwork by myself. Which I am sure, no matter which county or state you are from, is about two inches thick! I had never done it before and I was terrified I would do something wrong and end up in the manager’s office. I looked up and down the hallway, left, right, and all around. There was no friendly face. But there was a very experienced face—although to me she was very, very scary.

So I figured I had two choices: 1) Be scared and refuse to ask for help, then end up in the manager’s office or 2) “Head butt” the scary nurse and fill out the paperwork correctly. I surmised (correctly I assume since I still have a job) that the manager was scarier than this nurse, so I should just pull up my compression stocking straps and ask.

Gingerly, timidly, I asked for help. It was hard for her to hide her annoyance, but you know what? She sat down with me and helped me line by line. As the months went by, I valued her more and she tolerated me more and we became closer colleagues. She would give me advice on nursing and life, and I, in turn, would make her laugh and bribe her with lattes. We don’t work together anymore but I sure am glad I decided to brave the bullmastiff…so ladies and gents, get out there and face those things which frighten you—you might be surprised how well they turn out!

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Rebekah Child

Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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2 Responses to Have the courage? “Give it a good nudge!”

  1. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    Simply awesome. I think we all have this ‘situation’ that defines our ‘nursing personality’ for years to come.
    Strong work.

  2. Len

    Great issue. Gets harder when the bullmastiff is an MD who is a top referrer and looks down on all other staff! Takes a nurse manager who has the you-know-what to back their nurses in the firestorm that follows confronting a top-referring doc!!! All of sudden, the nurse seems to have to apologize, and admin is falling all over themselves!