The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
What You Didn’t Learn In Nursing School
Most people become interested in nursing, not for the money, as most nurses soon discover how underpaid they really are, for the amount of work that is actually required of them, but because of the passion and desire to care for others, supervise, or be involved in saving lives.
Being a nurse can definitely be rewarding, but there will be times where a nurse may feel hopeless, overwhelmed, and extremely fatigued. While your fellow co-workers may be there to help you through your shift, they are also overworked and struggling to keep up with the demand of their jobs as well, so most of the time, they expect you to know how to do your job so they do not have to pick up any of your slack.
As you go through nursing school, there are a lot of things you may learn as far as training in the school is required, with many more things that you must memorize, and a lot of tasks that come with the repetitive routine. There will be other tasks and routines that are strict policy of your place of employment, and many more nurses who will oversee and guide you, possibly teaching you things you never would have learned in nursing school.
If you are a nurse, you already know how demanding your job is, and that it takes some disconnect and tough love in order to treat most of your patients, however, it is the nurses who cross those boundaries and really show their patient they really care who are most memorable.
As a nurse, you will see hundreds of new people every year. Most of those patients do not wish to be there and never dreamed about being in a hospital being taken care of by you. Unfortunate events may have happened that caused them to be there, and because of that, they are now in your care. You already know that nursing is not just about caring for someone, charts, schedules, giving medicine dosages at specific times, but customer service as well.
The customer service a nurse provides relies in the nurse actually doing their job for the patient, giving their patient a memorable, comfortable, and relaxing experience. While we might not want to think about the business of hospice, and it certainly is, a good experience ensures that the nurse not only receives recognition for his or her work, but the employer as well.
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What They Don’t Teach You in Nursing School
It’s one thing to learn how to nurse from a book. When it really comes down to it, nurses are at the front lines of every medical disaster. Here are a few of the things they don’t teach you in nursing school.
NURSING IS DEMANDINGS
Nursing is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.
Be prepared to wear a number of hats:
Prioritizing, Multitasking, Reporting
Learn to chart efficiently
- If it’s not charted, it didn’t happen
- Hours of nurse’s days are filled with charting
- Cover yourself by charting EVERYTHING
- If your patient roams the halls
- If they removed their IV
- If they’re disoriented
- Share observations on patients.
- Maintain a concerted front when dealing with a patient.
2) TOUGH LOVER GIVER
Key Skills: Circumspection, Strength
Patient: “The medical staff will fix me”
Many times the patient has to take the steps to cure themselves.
It gets better: Some days, you’ll just run numbers and replenish fluids.
While nurses normally maintain a professional distance from their patients, the most touching and memorable cases involve nurses or patients crossing the boundaries nurses set.
Tip: Patients on their deathbeds often want to be touched. A simple hug, hand or neck massage my do more than any painkiller can.
4) ADVICE GIVER:
Foresight, Interpersonal skills, Life knowledge
Think through what you’re saying to patients.
Unlike other jobs, there’s simply no way to be a good nurse.
It depends on the situation.
You can say:
“We’ll have to wait and see what the doctor says.”
Something to distract.
A creative answer to a tough question.
And you will have to answer:
Questions from young kids about death
Questions from old folks about sex
Questions about bodily fluid
And you’ll have to give:
Nice answers to people that are stupid.
5) JOB MANAGEMENT
- School didn’t teach you to deal with:
- Prioritizing and Multitasking
- Good, Fast Reporting
- Ill-tempered Doctors