Empowering Fresh Nurses

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Nursing profession was not actually my dream career when I was embarking to start my college education; I was more inclined to Architectural or Business courses, hence, I am here now happy and challenged to become a better Nurse practitioner each day that passes. I guess you might be wondering about my age today. Well, let me just tell you that I successfully finished my Nursing degree long before the internet and mobile phone era…The time when famous song “Tatlong Beintisingko” was very relevant to public phone users. The time when there were few doctors who enrolled themselves to become nurses, the time when the ratio of female nurses outnumbered the male nurses…..

So, why did I take up nursing course then? I was enrolled to this profession because my foster parents offered me a free education as long it would be a nursing course. An offer that I could not resist. Nursing then would be my gateway to go abroad especially to America, a profession that was always available everywhere. A career that would develop my total personality over the years, a career that would give me various opportunities and make me flexible for other fields. All these were true because many of those who saw the work opportunities abroad were determined to take up the challenges by not stopping after passing the PRC exams in our country.

In my experience, after I finished and passed the PRC licensure examination, I tried professions other than nursing, and true enough, I was hired and for more than seven years, I worked as an office employee and acquired the business management skills from a reputable company, hence because of economic reasons in the Philippines, I opted to embrace back the nursing profession in order to work abroad.

I would like to share some helpful tips for first time hospital nurse practitioners.

1.Starting your training course and before the patient care exposure, review the normal vital sign parameters by heart, carry with you a small clinical handbook hence be sure not to review in front of the patient or else you will have a difficult day coming from patients and relatives.

2.As a trainee, don’t be afraid to receive patients with challenging clinical case, this will make you confident in the future. Seniors will be there to guide your care and skills. When accepting handovers, don’t hesitate to ask the status of the patient during the previous shift and the care plans.

3.Harness skills and speed on assessing the patients from head to toe. Take note and focus on physical signs that seem abnormal.

4.Be sensible on your queries from seniors, learn what, where, and when to ask and know what you will be doing. Know the effects of medications that you will be administering and familiarize the equipment attached to the patient if there is any.

5.Learn to correlate laboratory results and the clinical manifestation; look up the everyday trends of laboratory abnormalities. example the Complete Blood Count this is to see if patient needs antibiotic, blood transfusion, or has bleeding tendencies; or look up the renal parameters and alert the doctors of certain results that need to be corrected in terms of dosage medications or medications that need to be stopped before patient’s kidneys will be damaged.

6.After your exhausting duty, find time to rest then research the unfamiliar cases that seem only familiar. A person who knows what and why he is rendering a certain care keeps him confident in front of everyone. Always remember that studying is a never ending quest. Even masters and experts of certain fields still harness their skills by attending workshops and seminars.

7.As a trainee, you will encounter different personalities among health workers that are seemingly unacceptable, my advice for you is to look up and acquire only the positive qualities from them and learn to timing on how, when, and where to question the senior nurses or doctors without hurting their ego in public, say when you are not agreeing of their approach of treatment. Be conscious of your approach not to appear arrogant when questioning them. This way your work relations will be good and they will always be nice on your training progress and skills development.

8.There are instances that you will be dealing slow response from other departmental care like the Respiratory therapist, phlebotomist, staff radiologist, etc… Learn to command without appearing demanding, be perceptive on how you are doing of your communication skills and stick to your approach that makes you effective. They have background knowledge that will be useful for beginning nurses. If you have good relations among them, they will be happy to share this with you.

9.Learn to carry out doctors’ orders by knowing what the care plan(s) for the patient so that you will know what to anticipate. There are nurses who just carry out blindly, rendering the nurses exhausted and reactive. Remember, not all resident doctors are good, they are there also, for work exposure and to acquire skills just the like nurses.

10.Always document relevant instances affecting your patient care and referrals to doctors. There will always be incidents that the primary nurse will be blamed for whatever has transpired to patients. Good documentation will save you.

Finally, all the above mentioned will always be applicable to all levels of bedside nurses, and when you become a Senior Nurse, don’t make the training for the incoming fresh nurses difficult by making yourself like the stereotype seniors who seemed did not pass the training ground by changing your demure type personality to a bully type nurse. Respect is earned if you treat others with respect. Be patient to fresh nurses, they are not nuisance to your work but an extra hand to make your load lighter.

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