As a new nurse, I have observed and learned from outstanding clinicians. Some have provided invaluable guidance. While others have taught essential skills and tricks only experience could bestow. So, when I asked the age-old question, “ How can I make it through my shift unscathed and emotionally sound?” Initially, they simply smile and respond, “The first year is stressful. With time, you will gain your bearings and notice that difficult tasks will require less time.” Usually, after such an objective response, my glare exuded a yearning for direction. Thankfully, these outstanding nurses offered similar advice time and time again. Here’s the scoop.
- Pay attention to the details!
- Know you patient’s history (allergies, past medical history, etc.)
- Knowing the complete picture allows you to answer questions confidently and accurately
- Don’t take the shortcuts
- When executing tasks, it’s imperative to provide safe patient care.
- Perform the 5 rights when administering medication
- Label you tubing and IV fluids
- Don’t Rush
- When entering a patient’s room properly introduce yourself.
- Inquire about the 4 P’s (Pain, Potty, Possession, Position) each time you enter the room
- This will cut down on call light use, and the patient and your feet will be very happy.
- Dress for Success
- Be early!
- Arriving early reduces stress and anxiety.
- Sign up, for an educational class or committee to broaden your knowledge and experience.
- If a co-worker offers a chance to preform a new skill, take it as an excellent learning opportunity.
Implementing these easy recommendations has eased my stress and anxiety. However, I am continually learning new tasks and developing my routine every time I work. What are your habits that you have developed?