Blog

Home > Health Guide > Other

Tips For New Nurses

Over the past few weeks thousands of people graduated college with a BA in nursing, and it’s not difficult to see why so many people would pursue a career in nursing.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for registered nurses was $64,690 per year, and $31.10 per hour.  There were over 2.7 million nursing jobs available in 2010, and as people age and require more medical care those numbers will only go up.

Nursing isn’t like the average 9-5 job most people work.  Many nurses have schedules that change every week, and for many of them 8 hour days are a luxury.  Twelve hour shifts when your medical facility is short on staff, and days off come few and far between.  Because of the physical, mental, and emotional strain on many nurses, it isn’t uncommon to feel stressed and worn out after some difficult days on the job.  Many new nurses that find jobs will feel overwhelmed during their first few days working their new job, and maybe even a little nervous having such a significant amount of responsibility for another person’s life.  When you start getting stressed during your first few days on the job, remember to keep these things in mind.

Never Be Afraid To Ask Questions

There isn’t a medical professional alive who goes through their career without having to ask questions when they’re on the job.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting some clarification on some of your tasks.  In these situations it’s always better to ask and know rather than guessing.

Always Pay Attention To Details

Sometimes a small change can be the sign of something very big occurring.  The slightest change in temperature or drop in blood pressure could mean that your patient needs to see the doctor.  Trust your gut instinct when you notice small changes, and never worry about getting a doctor to check out something small.

Realize That Some Things Take Time

Nursing school helped you learn a lot about your profession, but there are some things that you’ll only be able to learn from experience.  It can take time and practice to learn how to painlessly insert an IV tube, and it can take time to be able to learn the difference between the “classic” symptoms for certain illnesses.

Learn To Calm Yourself

You learned a lot about the proper bedside manner when you were in nursing school, but some people think that the true critical care test for nurses begins during their first night working the emergency room.    Reading about staying calm helping a gunshot wound victim is very different from having to actually experience it.  You’re at your best when you’re calm at work, and you need to learn to do certain things that can help you stay calm under pressure. 

Pay Attention To Your Beginning Shift Reports

The reports you receive at the beginning of your shift will be your greatest tool for planning your schedule.  You’ll be able to see which patients will need to be seen right away, and where you should start your rounds.  After receiving them for a while it can be easy to start brushing them off, but doing this will make your day a lot more difficult.

Kathy Longo is a CRN with over 25 years of experience in the nursing field. When Kathy is not on call, she enjoys blogging about nursing and current events in the healthcare industry.