Nursing is a vastly complex career, and a career in nursing can often be totally stressful and hard to manage. There’s so much to remember, so much to do – and so much to NOT do. It can be a lot for even veteran nurses to deal with, let alone a new nursing school graduate.
It’s tough out there for all nurses. So to help you keep your head at work – whether you’re a rookie nurse or a grizzled veteran who can insert a foley cath with her eyes closed – we’ve put together a list of some of the most important do’s and don’ts of nursing.
Read on, and learn with us.
- Clean As You Go – There’s nothing more miserable than walking into a patient’s room and seeing a mess left behind – trash, un-emptied bedpans, diapers, tissues, used medical equipment – whatever it might be.
There’s no excuse to not clean up after yourself. Even if you don’t have the chance to deal with your mess when you make it, ensure that you check all the rooms and patients you dealt with before your shift is over, and clean up after yourself. Your coworkers and patients will appreciate it.
- Encourage Your Coworkers – Nursing is hard. You all know it. It’s a rewarding career because you can push your limits – who would have thought you could work a 16 hour shift and not keel over halfway through? But this stress can build up and lead to a toxic work environment.
A great way to minimize stress is by giving credit where it’s due, and encouraging coworkers who are doing a great job. What goes around comes around. If you give a coworker a much-needed boost, chances are you can count on them next time you’re feeling down.
- Question Physician Orders If They Don’t Make Sense – We get it. Challenging a doctor can be tough – and scary. But your job isn’t to blindly follow doctor’s orders – it’s to be a patient’s advocate, and make sure they get great care. Doctors are human too. They make mistakes. And if you think your physician has given an order that doesn’t make sense, politely bring it up. It could be a life-or-death difference.
- Learn Something New Every Day – Nursing is all about learning. The more you learn, the better you are as a nurse. Did you know that body lotion is a great way to clean tough-to-scrub feces from a patient with excess body hair? No? Now you do! Every time you learn something new about your job, your job gets easier – or your ability to provide care grows. Make it a point to learn something new every day, no matter how big or small.