Hi, David! Thanks so much for the feedback. Sorry for commenting here - but I had a lot to say and the site wouldn't let me post all my thoughts ;) To answer your questions:
1) I think one of the most significant challenges centers around communication, truly listening to patients and developing a professional image. #professionalism
, listening and #communicating
with patients is a learned skill. Also, I believe that #patients
will teach you more about yourself, clinical care and #professionalism
than ANY instructor, mentor or co-worker.
Here's my story: it was my first job out of nursing school - which comes with its particular challenges because I was a new #nurse
on TOP of being new to the critical care specialty - a double dose of a learning curve.
I was in the room of a patient, who was super pleasant, on the mend, and had many family members present. All of the sudden, the patient's heart monitor showed a substantial increase - and had a decreased blood pressure - which is not uncommon in these situations. As for the patient, the individual reported some dizziness but was essentially fine. Handling crises are part of the job, and well, I didn't handle it too well! I uttered an explicative, ran out of the room to get medications and help. - much to the family's dismay. In the end, we gave some medication to control the heart rate, and the patient was fine.
After things settled down, a family member approached me and who informed me that he was a commercial pilot for many years. In his career, he had logged many hours and dealt with various crises in the air. We discussed my reaction, and towards the end of the conversation, he told me, "you know what kills people faster than anything? Panic. And you looked panicked and made us all terrified - we were more afraid of your reaction than what was going on."
I still remember this conversation even after fifteen years as an #RN, and it rings true today. Controlling your emotions is a hard part of the job - especially when there is a human life involved. Eventually, you'll be able to do it and take these circumstances in stride.
2) As for next steps - I'd highly suggest shadowing a #nurse
at your local hospital. Being a volunteer at a hospital is a great way to get a little peek into the industry. You'll do pretty mundane stuff - but you'll get to interact with the hospital staff, and I'd use that time to see if you can shadow a nurse for a shift (most nurses work 12-hour shifts, but some still work an eight-hour day). If you're interested, I'd highly recommend you interview and get hired as a #nursingassistant
; this will help you TREMENDOUSLY in your transition in #nursingschool
. The other thing I'd say is to check out some nurse experiences online - I like a blog called freshrn.com; an excellent ICU RN writes it with a focus on nurses who have just recently graduated. Also, a book I love that gives a unique perspective is called "training wheels for nurses" - its an older book - but I feel still is timeless - gives a unique perspective from #experiencednurses