Once a new student nurse gets minted into the professional health care world with a diploma, he or she can look for work in various institutions like hospitals, long term care, or home health. Once hired, nurses may notice that some nurses move through the ranks faster than others. This isn’t due to some unknowable formula, but success in patient care. This is true the world over in nursing environments. No other single factor will advance a nurse’s career than skills in direct patient interaction and patient care.
Patient feedback is a good way to proctor your progress as a working nurse. While administrators and preceptors are supposed to train new nurses, it is patients themselves who are the “customers”. In today’s healthcare systems, the daily tasks and medication passing routines lose sight of this fact. Even when charting, nurses should be mindful that family and conservators, and other nurses will read what medical information you write and inform a patient if you are contributing errors into the medical record. These are costly errors to make, and the price for such carelessness could be points against your nursing license.
A patient looks to a nurse for simple things. All of which add to their impression of their nurse. Is your name tag legible? Do you announce what your role is and what your nursing responsibilities are? Is your hair out of your face, do your clothes smell clean, and are your jewelry/piercing/tattoo sleeves arranged in convention with public healthcare norms? Are your scrubs clean and do your hands and arms remain clear of fungible odors or harmful bacteria? The patient-to-patient transmission of certain bacteria is becoming a more common method of patient infection every day. Patients know when a risk is presenting itself in the form of a nurse.
Infection control includes microbe-level cleaning to assist patient’s recovery and everyday well-being. Nursing staff should be guarded against other patients with medical conditions that can affect their patient’s own conditions. Housekeeping staff should notify nurses when regular cleaning routines are disrupted by the patient’s attending-physician consult schedule, appointment schedule, or sleeping schedule. Clean water carafes should be brought by nursing assistants with washed hands and/or gloves. Make sure the charge nurse during each shift orientation stresses the need for room checks and water and linen changes when the patient is usually awake.
A charge nurse must take his or her responsibilities seriously. A good professional nurse should review every aspect of patient care, especially with respect to infection control. If a patient is diagnosed with contamination or a new infection, survey the patient’s environment. Sloppy cleaning or inefficient housekeeping could be a health threat. A charge nurse can order the baths or showers closed and cleaned, completely disinfected. A charge nurse or desk nurse can order new linen provided for the patient, clean towels or pillowcase provided, even assistance bathing or grooming to put the patient in a better frame of mind.
Patient care when equipment and medication administration is involved should be perfect. A nursing student should think about bringing his or her own stethoscope, blood pressure monitor or “bracelet”, and a convenient way to take notes and remember statistics between desk visits. Charting ten or twelve patients at the end of the shift becomes easier or a nurse with notes to look back on. An around-the-neck stick-it holder can help. And many vitals-cart monitors are unusable or to sensitive for regular use. Think about the ease added to the job if you bring your own. A nurse should learn how to use her or his own equipment and derive reliable data from it across different patient samples.
Any hesitation or memory flop during a tube insertion or IV start should be assertively reported and a more competent nurse assigned.
Suctioning and wound packing, dialysis and needle sticks should all be rock-solid before putting the patient’s nerves or skin at risk. These procedures are too important to risk on a nurse that barely remembers the nursing school training or had a poor experience during practicals. Some nursing supervisors during nursing school barely look at what the nursing students are doing. This will not help the professional nurse in the working environment. Nursing students who know they are short on skills should find a way to polish them, rapidly.
Peer review and policing is a responsibility that nurses should consider part of their job. Good relations with oversight and compliance agencies demands fulfillment of these programs. Nurses should review the facility’s Policy & Procedure manuals to inform other staff concerning these norms. If a nurse should notice that Standards of Care Practice regulations are not being observed, the institution nursing administrator or facility manager can schedule an orientation to supplement staff training on the matter. Patient care remains the ultimate quality product in nursing service.