Goodbye, my tumblr friends. I am giving up Tumblr for Lent. I’ll be back after Easter!
— St. Francis of Assisi (via christ-lives-in-us)
— Thomas Merton (via faithandfandoms)
I meant to do a post a month ago at the one year mark but got busy with the holidays. I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between how I feel right now as a nurse and how I felt a year ago. Here’s what advice I’d give to me last year knowing what I know now.
- Take Nothing Personally. Patients get fussy, nurses get frustrated and have bad days, and older doctors can be especially cranky; it isn’t about you.
- Don’t let fear or insecurity prevent you from calling that MET team, making that recommendation to the doctor at 3 AM, telling your charge you disagree. The person who suffers is the patient. Don’t be afraid to challenge that order.
- People die, and it’s sad, and that’s okay.
- If you don’t feel up to caring for others today, it’s okay to call in sick and take that mental health day. That being said, don’t call off because you are anxious about your shift; running away is counterproductive.
- Trust your gut, whether you have two days experience as a nurse or twenty. It’s your patient.
- Know now that just because it takes two hours to pass medications, hours to chart, an hour to do every bed bath, it won’t always be this hard. You’ll get faster and more efficient. But never rush just to get to the next patient. Prioritize and stay present while you are in that room.
- The pain in the ass patients are many times the ones that need you the most. Older nurses may forget that, don’t you forget it.
- Don’t trust anyone’s subjective assessment. Never. YOU assess yourself. Don’t pass on your subjective to the next nurse. “She’s faking all that heavy breathing, it’s just when you walk in” — That poor girl ends up dead in 14 hours. Go back and reread number 5.
- Don’t get so caught up in caring for others that you forget to care about yourself. Eat right, exercise, go easy on the caffeine.
- You have twelve hours. Breathe, it may not all get done. Do the most critical things first and work your way through the list.
- Shift report WILL get better. They are rude and mean to you because they don’t trust you yet. Prove to that nurse how good you really are.
- It gets better. The first year is so very hard, don’t give up.