The first day of work as a nurse introduces a new student nurse or newly licensed nurse to the complex world of professional nursing. Occupational nursing, working for a living in the field of nursing and medical care, is a different challenge than merely answering test questions and performing nursing tasks for a limited number of patients and cases in a minute capsule of time. Putting on a show for a teacher or clinical preceptor is not as tiring as doing nursing tasks all day for inconsiderate or indifferent patients.
For new nurses, all too soon, after their first day, the workday becomes a repetitive chain of days that some new nurses find daunting. Nursing school wasn’t this much work!
Practical experience is what makes the most difference, in career nursing, because people are behaviorally trained to do what they have done before. Therefore, a nurse is best qualified who has done the same thing, medically speaking, for patients, over and over again.
Volunteer nursing experience and even intern duty at clinics can count. A nurse seeking work will want to demonstrate the most diverse and complete work history they can. The most complete medical knowledge level, and the most important skills are the accomplishments that nursing facilities and hospitals look for. A nursing home or hospital ward has enough of one thing, they are looking to fill a gap in skills, time schedule, or bedside manner.
A nurse coming into their first shift or first week of work, must understand that they are now the question “answerers” than the question-askers. people depend on them not only to do the right thing, but to say the right thing, and write the right thing in the chart. Nurses should get the knack early of writing vitals details of patients on little memo books or remembering case details all the way to the end of the shifts when it comes time to chart the patient responses. Keeping track of several different projects a day, even per patient, is a norm that new nurses must acclimatize themselves to. No nursing day on the job will be the same.
The new nurse should take in the data and treatment information they are given. Follow a single patient until you learn their medication schedule and care approaches. Nurses should use this time to observe all the things they can’t know from a patient’s medical chart, such as patient personality, manner, typical responses to questions.
The new nurse should show a minimum of argumentativeness, resistance to the process, or possession of too much superior work knowledge. The new nurse should understand that all the nurses she or he is working with have all gone through the process of getting to know the workplace and getting to know the patients and the staff procedures.
A new nurse should be watchful or ways they can improve on present nurse performers. The facility has hired new staff for a reason. Either they have worked the present staff to death, or you many nursing personnel have left. Local hiring pools give rise to dips and valleys in talent, and nurses may be working other jobs and not be available for all the shifts they are scheduled to work. The new nurse should make it look as attractive as possible for the facility to schedule them as much as possible.
The myth of a “nursing shortage” has come about for a reason. The fact is, nursing work weeks are set up to give nurses a break between long and arduous shifts. The anxiety and stamina that takes its toll on a nurse during the work week needs to fade away. A nurse needs time, sleep, and relaxation to unwind. The biggest advantage that a new nurse can bring to the table is their youth. The fact is, new nurses with strength and stamina to withstand long shifts of repetitive tasks and minute details are in demand. These nurses don’t come around every day. The best nurses get snapped up.
But the mistake most new and experienced nurses make is to try and fill all of their time with the most number of shifts. And nursing directors know that a nursing job candidate may not be as frank about their availability as they would want. The result is a kaleidoscope of co-workers instead of a reliable schedule of teammates.
A nurse should not assume another nurse will always be there to do a certain tasks or them or deal with a certain patient so they won’t have to. So, nurses cannot rely on a close set of friends on any nursing staff to function as a crutch. Social niceties like chatting, telling stories, or having lunch together should come second to attending call light systems and patient monitoring. A new nurse should be able to perform their duties no matter who is supervisor or charge nurse per shift. Long-term care can often be lonely and hard.
The hiring manager for a long term care facility or nursing home is trying to improve services to the public at all times. It is for them to review your skill set and decide how many nursing hours you can handle. Overworked nurses get sick, lose retention, and have mood swings. Often, nurses have second jobs whose work shifts do not complement well with the ‘primary” work assignment. For the respect of your nursing co-workers, try reporting your availability as honestly as possible. And don’t make a habit of coming late and missing the endorsement handoff.
The new nurse should treat the first day at work as the first day of the rest of their career. This is the last day their time is all their own. The patients now come first. The first time a new nurse punches in the time clock, all their focus and attention should be on patient directives and medical care objectives. From this beginning time onward, the nurse’s hands and mind are there to function for the good of the patient. This is the vocation of a career occupational nurse. Anything less of a commitment lacks the merit of a fully dedicated professional nurse.