6 Things I Have Learned About Being a Nurse

Happy Nurse week!
Nurses week is every year starting on May 6th and ends on Florence Nightingales birthday, May 12th. The first nurses week was celebrated in 1954 – 100 years after Florence Nightingale and 38 other volunteer nurses went to provide aid to British soldiers in the Crimea War and revolutionized the way sanitation and cleanliness was viewed.
This is the first year that I can truly celebrate Nurse Week and I am so thrilled to be able to do so. Being a nurse is the only thing I have ever pictured myself doing and I have loved every moment of it thus far. I take pride in the fact that I belong to the profession that has been voted the most honest and ethical profession for the past 16 years!
I have been working on the floor for 3 months now so in honor of Nurse Week, I wanted to share with y’all 6 things I have learned about being a nurse so far:
  1. Nursing school can’t possibly teach you everything. There will be a knowledge gap right out of nursing school but don’t worry, it will all come together. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know but will go find the answer. Accept your limited knowledge base and let the more experienced nurses guide you.
  2. Patients and Patience. The range of personalities among patients, doctors and nurses requires quick adaptation and patience. I quickly learned that shows like Jerry Springer are not all made up and some people have had some seriously insane life experiences. I have had to learn to be more tolerant and less judgmental of others in order to give them the best care possible.
  3. Be Kind to yourself. Like I said earlier, You can’t possibly know everything. Therefore, mistakes will be made. Triple check everything you do but know that those damn ofirmev bottles may stop running even though you were 100% positive that it was running before you left the room. Learn from your mistakes and don’t beat yourself up over them.
  4. Therapeutic Dialogue. Words and attitude are a powerful part of the healing process. Remember to maintain direct eye contact with your patient and ask clarifying questions to ensure that you and the patient are on the same page. Don’t assume that your patient knows what you are talking about. Conversations are vital to help patients feel at ease and learn how to best care for themselves once they are discharged.
  5. Care for the Caregiver. It is SO easy to forget about yourself but it is vital that you make time for yourself. You simply cannot give to others what you are lacking. I have really been struggling with this one. There is always something that needs to be done so if you let your to do list rule your life, you will never do anything for yourself. I am still trying to find the balance.
  6. There is nothing like it! Getting the help someone feel a little more comfortable in a very uncomfortable situation is very satisfying. You will wear the hat of an educator, an advocate, an interpreter, a comforter, a confidant, and a friend. Each day will hold something different. There are days when you experience the joy of getting to discharge a patient that has been on your floor for 43 days but later on that day experience the sadness of watching one of your favorite patients slowly trend downhill and have to transfer them to a higher level of care. The range of emotions you experience in one day is exhausting.
If you know a nurse, give them a little shout out this week and perhaps offer them a turkey sandwich with a cab voucher 😉

Are you a nurse? What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far? What do you love/hate the most about being a nurse?

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