- Posted by Emma Walsh
- On 30th May 2017
- 0 Comments
- dublin, dublin hospital, general nursing, hospital, ireland, mater private hospital, medical, medicine, nursing
So, you’ve made it through four years in university, you’ve completed many a week of night shifts (the first one of which will forever be etched in your memory) and you’ve seen more excretion than you ever thought humanly possible. You’ve successfully completed the exams, graduated with flying colors and received a job offer in the Hospital of your choice, congratulations! Now what?
Well now it’s time to begin your career in general nursing and although you may think you’ve ticked all the nursing boxes possible during placement, you’re about to discover that there’s always something new to learn when you’re practicing nursing. No one ever said it was easy, but it definitely teaches you a thing or two about life!
Check out 8 (of the five hundred million things) you learn as a general nurse below –
There’s Always Time For Questions
During your first year as a qualified nurse, everything seems a little bit scary. Hospitals are one of the busiest places on earth and the last thing you want is to slow someone down when you know they have a million and one things to do. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never learn. Never be afraid to ask questions – no matter how busy your supervisor looks.
2. Compression Socks Are Your Best Friend
Remember when you were younger and you always wondered what on earth granny was wearing on her feet? Well, those are compression socks and after a 12 hour shift on your feet non-stop, these babies will save the day. Not only do they have a comforting factor and reduce swelling of the legs, they also decrease the risk of blood clots and improve venous blood flow – all the while, reducing the painful symptoms of varicose veins.
3. Your Stomach Is Stronger Than You Ever Thought Possible
When working in a hospital or clinic, you see things that very few of your friends and loved ones ever have to see and as tough as that can be, it makes you, and more specifically your stomach, harder than nails. Between severe cases of scabies and incomprehensible bed sores to unholy amounts of body fluids, nurses quickly learn to brush these things off. And to stomach a lunch, no matter what they’ve seen that morning.
4. Avoid Complaining
When possible, of course. Everyone needs a bit of a rant every now and again to get things off their chest, but keep it to a minimum. Nursing is tough on the body – both mentally and physically and everyone there with you is in the same boat. To keep spirits high in your ward (one of the most important things for getting through the day), keep the whinging to a minimum.
5. Leave Work, In Work
It’s hard to switch off after a 12-hour work day. But it’s particularly hard if you’ve had a bad one where emotions were running particularly high or a patient you thought would recover, passes. It’s important to try leave your work in work and try switch your mind off from thinking about the events of the day. We strongly recommend exercises like yoga, incorporating meditation into your ‘switching off’ routine or chatting to a family or friend after a hard day. It’s the little things that make all the difference
6. Staying Calm Is So Important
For many people outside the industry, hospitals immediately mean panic and stress. But as a nurse, you quickly realise that staying calm under pressure and being able to prioritise the work is a skill that will stand to you throughout your career.
7. If You Don’t Chart It, It Didn’t Happen
Ensure that everything you do is made a note of so the next nurse or doctor on duty knows exactly what went on, what medication the patient took and what instructions they should be following. Also, if ever there is a case brought to the hospital, it will be important that all your actions have been noted and dated.
8. Knowing The Equipment on Your Ward is Vital
Every ward will have a number of similarities between them but each have their own specialties, their own personalities and most importantly, their own equipment. As a nurse starting out, it’s your job to figure out what equipment is most often used on your ward and get an understanding of how everything works