The first year on the job is always the most challenging, not in terms of situations and events that might happen but in terms of your reaction to situations and events, nursing school has ended, and now it is time for real practical work.
You are probably going to feel very nervous, and somewhat unsure about your competencies, well, I’ll tell you that is very normal to feel that but those feelings are not the accurate measurement of your competencies. You are only nervous because it’s your first year, it happens to most first-timers, so don’t be embarrassed.
This article highlights some tips that will help you survive your first year in your chosen career.
You won’t know everything, the way to come out of your uncertainties is to ask questions, don’t try to use guesses to solve any problem. This is a delicate job, delicate because it has to do with lives, so you don’t want to play the guesswork card with people’s lives, don’t beat yourself for not remembering a particular procedure or protocol, ask, get help, and when you forget, ask again, ask from experts. The truth is it might not be with you forgetting some things, it might just be that some cases have certain peculiarities, asking will help you learn how to deal with such cases.
READ THIS: 5 Ways To Improve Your Patient Advocacy Skills As A Nurse
Listen to your Patients
The patient knows how they are feeling than you do most times, they might know the prognosis, but they know what they feel in their bodies, so you will do a whole lot of asking, asking them questions gives you a clearer picture of the symptoms which will help your diagnosis. You might miss a symptom if you don’t listen well to them, and that might affect your diagnosis which will spell a bigger problem, so you have to listen well to your patients and be calm while at it, some will annoy you, frustrate you, but remember your reaction to their outburst might be the determinant to their survival, they might not know that very much but you know, so give them attention and listen well to them.
Your confidence will inspire hope or doom to your patients. Even when you have doubts, don’t show your patients your doubts, Patients will either gain strength or lose hope from your assertion, they are more relaxed if they know a competent nurse is treating them, they give up when they notice you have also lost hope in their survival. This will also prevent senior colleagues shoving you aside, refer to the first tip, if you are in doubts, and do so professionally.
Learn to Prioritize
Prioritization is very important in the health sector, you have to know what comes first before what, this you will learn by much observation, know when the steps involved in a procedure, the order to carry out the steps, priority is one thing you will have to learn intentionally in your first year as a nurse.
These tips are basic things to put in mind to help you survive your first year, there are other tips that will also be of help to you as you go along, but knowing these will help you develop adaptive features to other situations.