As a nursing student, I love to talk to current nurses. I want to know the real deal. You know, the stuff that isn't in our textbooks and our teachers can't tell us because it's not politically correct.
So, whenever I have a nurse friend, I always ask them to guest post with some tips and tricks of the trade.
While I'm studying for a massive test, I hope you guys will read on to see what my girl Renee has to say about what nursing is really like!
Hey there friends! I'm Renee and I blog over at This Won't Hurt A Bit. A little about me before we get this guest post on nursing kicked off! I'm twenty-six. I'm not married. I don't have any kids or furbabies to blog about. I mainly blog about life. The ups and downs and whatever I feel like really. I'm a nurse and usually work in CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit). You can read more about my nursing career -here-.
I loaded up my car a few months ago, left my job and my home state of Mississippi and decided to give travel nursing a shot. In California. That's ohhh, only about 2000 miles from MS. It was scary as hell but completely worth it. I've been in NorCal since the beginning of June and can't wait to see where else these new change will take me!
So Paige and I decided that a bit of nursing wisdom would be appropriate for me to share today.
Of course, y'all want to hear real life stuff that you don't learn in nursing school.
Okay, here we go.
Don't be that person that complains about your assignments of patients constantly. Some nights or days will just suck. You should know that up front when choosing this career.
If your pt has an NG, keep in mind that if you open it to give a med and then they cough before you get the syringe on, it will blow back on you. So word to the wise, don't point it at your face.
Learn to stick up for yourself. People will walk all over you with assignments or with physicians. But do so professionally. There are ways to say things to get what you want. Communication skills are a necessity in this profession.
Eventually invest in a good stethoscope. You will be amazed at how much better you can hear breath sounds and heart tones.
Make friends at work. You are likely going to spend more time there than at home with family. Especially if you work twelve hour shifts.
If you are done with your work and you are caught up offer help to your co-workers. People will like you and respect you more if you aren't lazy and actually offer help. Even if you help with little stuff, just do it. Those little things matter too.
You should know, you are probably gonna wipe more ass than you ever wanted to or thought you would. It's just part of it and comes with the job.
Don't miss an opportunity to learn something. The medicine and nursing profession is vast and ever changing. In fact seek out opportunities. If there is something going on that you don't understand - ask!
Know that you will have some patients that you truly can't stand. Again- part of the job. Learn to suck it up and deal with it. Just be nice and keep on smiling while cursing in your mind.
|created just for y'all :)|
If you are in your room fixing your patient's IV pump the first step is to hit the silence button. No one wants to hear it alarm. And then if you have helpful co-workers they won't seek out the beep while you are in the room fixing the pump. Also, you will likely hear beeps and dings in your sleep for a while. You'll adjust.
Never, ever say that you are bored at work. Ever. Under any circumstances. The ish will hit the fan after you say it. Nurses are some superstitious folks. Myself included.
Prepare for the floor waxers to come do the floors at the most inconvenient times. Not joking either. The picture below was at midnight. People don't sleep at night, no big deal.
Don't be afraid to add a little something, something to your patients bath water. Especially the funky ones. A can of hospital grade shave cream smells great FYI.
You will have your weaknesses as a nurse and you'll learn to excel in other areas. For example, I suck at starting IV's. But on the upswing I'm kinda book smart so I can explain the pathophysiology of lots of stuff to you. And the patho is very important, if you understand why the disease process is happening then you will better understand all the orders you get to correct it.
You will learn that certain doctor's will ask certain things and you'll come to expect those and have the answers prepared. Until then though talking to doctor's can be scary. You'll get better at it though.
Know that burnout truly happens and even more in a critical care setting. If you need a break from it then take one. Change to a clinic or somewhere else. There are plenty of options for types of work in nursing. You can always go back to critical care or direct bedside later. I'm proof of that.
If you are faithful, then pray. Pray for your patients, pray for your co-workers, pray for yourself, pray with the family if they ask. There have been nights that I prayed more than I ever thought possible.
Know that it's ok to cry. I have a hard time with this one because I hate seeing other people cry and hate crying myself. But there will be patients who die senselessly and you have to find your own way to cope with seeing death frequently.
And last, but certainly not least...
Don't let your patients family (or you) put Vicks vaporub or lotion on their chest. EKG leads will never stick again. I have battled the lotion and the lotion usually wins.
. . .
And that's all I've got for you today. Maybe not a whole lot of nursing knowledge but I tried to truly hit the topics that you might not learn or know about just from school! Hope it helps and I hope that y'all will come say hi! Thanks for letting me take over your blog for a hot minute, Paige!!
Have you met this amazing blogger?