Starting your new nurse jobs comes with a lot of responsibilities – it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking at first. Your duties include educating patients and their loved ones, caring for the sick and injured patients, working alongside your medical team and physicians, and so on. You have to go through various situations and learn how you can improve yourself – it can be mentally and physically challenging. You have to learn where everything is, the culture of your healthcare facility, and get to know your new coworkers while trying to do your job.
Every healthcare culture is different in its functionalities including – workplace practices, patient care, management, rules and policies, transparency, leadership, rewards, and recognition. All of these factors can affect how your work is going to be done. If you are starting your new job and wondering how you can adapt to your new situation, here are some tips to help you adjust to your new practice:
Know Your Work Culture
Why is it important to know your work culture? Work culture helps you to understand how your facility works, how they value and provide quality patient care, and how they treat and support their staff. No matter how much payment you receive, no one can stand in toxic work culture. Understand what is the culture like in your workplace? Does this culture promote the well being of their staff? Because a healthy work culture is critical to the job satisfaction of their staff, nurse retention, and quality patient outcomes. Most of this is unspoken by their staff, but a lot can be learned from their company policy or employee handbook. It further enables nurses to experience valuable learning in their career.
Work-life anxiety is common when you are settling in a new nursing method. It can be difficult at first, being a nurse can be challenging and difficult at times. You have to go from bedside patient care to emergencies to unexpected situations. As a new nurse who landed their first job, depending on your facility’s work, you might be a part of the healthcare team. But in critical situations, you must have to go through emergency tasks while still learning on the job. It can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be like this, at the beginning of your shift, take some time to plan your day. Effective time management can help you to reduce your anxiety issues. When you feel like you’re breaking or too anxious to deal with a situation, talk to one of your colleagues or take a small break to find yourself back.
As a new nurse, one of the important things you have to learn here is effective time management skills, because the last thing you wanted to do is stay at your job longer than you wanted to. You may have an 8 hour or 12-hour shift, and it’s in your hands to plan and utilize your time to complete your tasks. You’ll later know the benefits of effective time management such as getting more work done, results in higher work quality, and you’ll be able to meet deadlines. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by interruptions from patients and staff members and later you’ll find it’s difficult to get back on your track. In certain situations make note of what you were working on and prioritize this task as the next thing on your list. Time management takes practice and patience.
Be A Team Player
Bond with your team. You need to know your team members well enough to be a proficient team player. Get to know your coworkers, how they are working, and what to look out for. The work-life of a nurse is always unpredictable, you’ll never know when a new emergency situation is going to pop up or the nurse who follows your shift is going to be late. So it is important to be ready for a sudden change in plans. Offer your help to your colleagues in a difficult situation. Remember to smile, be friendly, talkative, and sensitive to your surroundings. You have a long journey waiting for you. Build your connections and keep them. Befriend and support your colleagues and other healthcare staff. Reach out to social media groups, you’ll meet a lot of professionals from your industry who share the same passion.
Open Your Eyes
Take advantage of every learning opportunity. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about a procedure – better learn something new than making a mistake. Doing so will benefit you and the other person you are asking – some questions can help them see things differently. Now is the time to learn things from experts in the field – open your eyes. Find yourself a mentor or role model in the facility, observe how others are performing a task, what measurements and tips are they using, hand difficult patients, how they are communicating with others, and you have a lot of things to learn from your colleagues. Learn to set priorities – what tasks are needed to carry out immediately and what’s not. See what works and what’s not. Look out for what changes you could introduce to reduce your tasks while improving patient outcomes.
Be confident in yourself and give yourself some time. An essential part of building effective teamwork for nurses is communication. Be precise and clear – patients are not very easy with medical terms and names, so educate them in a way that they understand what you are saying. Present your information in a basic tone. Improve your tone and body language. Body language is essential as well as your written and verbal communication. For a conversation to be meaningful, you have to be a better listener. Listening is how you can build trust and respect.
The Healthcare field is evolving rapidly. You can find new digital applications, medications, Artificial Intelligence, and treatment plans that are being introduced into the healthcare field every now and then. Advance your education by enrolling in any higher-level nursing programs such as an online RN-BSN program, BSN-MSN program, or any other advanced degree programs. It is best to opt for an online nursing program, it has flexible time schedules, much more cost-effective than a traditional program, and you can easily manage your work-study life. There is always a high demand for nurses who are both advanced by their experience and clinical expertise.
It can be overwhelming to be in your very first nursing job. You might find yourself tangled in those work-ropes and it may lead you to nursing burnout and stress. Take a break when you need it. Talk to your colleagues or listen to your favorite tracks. Take time to destress. If you think you think the work is too much for you, take a day off. Enjoy some time with people you love, do things that make you happy, sleep at least 8 hours, consume more water, eat healthily, and follow a strict healthy lifestyle. It will make you a better nurse.