DiversityNursing Blog

10 Pieces of Advice For New Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jun 14, 2021 @ 09:23 AM

nursesatstation1. Set your phone or digital watch to military time. In healthcare, the 24-hour clock is generally used in documentation of care as it prevents any ambiguity as to when events occurred in a patient's medical history.

2. Get to know your team. Don't hesitate breaking the ice, introduce yourself, others are probably wondering who this new person is! Once you get to know everyone, try keeping a close group of people you can rely on and talk to when need be. Every one needs a helping hand or shoulder to lean on time and again. 

3. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how small. It's better to not know and ask, than act like you know and risk a patient's safety. Listen, watch and learn from seasoned Nurses. Learning is a never ending part of the job. 

4. Seek a mentor. This one-on-one experience provides a safe space for new Nurses to ask questions and learn the social and professional inner workings of their profession.

5. Self care is important. If you aren't caring for yourself, you won't be able to care for others.  Be mindful of how you feel and recognize when you need to give yourself some extra love and attention. Even small 15 minute breaks during shifts can make a world of difference. 

6. Never stop learning. Invest in continuing education, keep certifications up to date and seek knowledge in places outside the hospital setting. 

7. Buy good shoes! Nurses are on their feet constantly so invest in a pair that are comfortable and durable. Also try wearing compression socks.

8. You may not be able to do everything yourself, but together we can do anything. Offer help when you can and accept help when you need it. 

9. Carry many pens with you!

10. Remember why you started. It will help you get through tough times or when you're feeling down or burnt-out. Nursing is stressful, but also rewarding. 

Topics: new nurses, new nurse, advice, Nursing tips, nurse advice

Tips Nurses Use To Help Deal With Difficult Patients

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 11:18 AM

20161006.jpgYou might be a recent graduate and are worried about what to do when you get a difficult patient or maybe you are an experienced Nurse and are looking for new tips or ideas to try. We created a list of ways Nurses avoid or diffuse challenging situations with patients.

1. Don’t take it personally

It’s easy to think a difficult patient is upset with you personally, but that’s almost never the case, according to Julianne Haydel, veteran nurse turned nurse consultant at Haydel Consulting Services.

Remember that the patient is dealing with unfortunate circumstances and likely isn’t in the best mood. Continue to do your job and don’t let their negativity get in your head. “Just knowing that the nastiness is not about you is a good start,” says Haydel.

2. Stay Calm

When dealing with trying patients, the best approach is to remain calm. Remember that the patient is not attacking you personally, but rather acting out on feelings of anxiety, a perceived lack of attention or resistance to what has happened to them. Remaining calm will allow you to keep control and address the patient in a way that will defuse the situation.

3. Show that you care

Sometimes difficult patients make a fuss about minor requests because they feel like no one is listening to them. Set aside your frustration with the patient and do what you can to meet their needs, as long as it doesn’t take away from other patients’ level of care.

Nurse Angelis recalls swallowing his pride and getting a second cup of coffee for a particularly irritable patient: “I stayed gracious and her whole demeanor changed. She just wanted to know that someone cared and she wasn’t going to be ignored.”

4. Set Boundaries

When it comes to difficult patients who make seemingly endless or unreasonable demands, a useful approach is to set limits. Let them know you will check on them again in 15 minutes or a half hour, and then follow through. In some situations, you’ll need to set boundaries to keep yourself safe. Doing so can help avoid escalating anger.

5. Realign Your Body Language  

Charlene Berube, chair of the undergraduate nursing program at Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences in Boston says, “When I start to get frustrated because I’m not making progress with a patient, I take little breaths." Berube also says, “We both need to refocus at that time. If the patient is becoming demanding, and I’m getting frazzled, those energies need to be refocused. And when you do that, your body language realigns.”

Patients come to nurses with mental health issues, mood disorders, depressions, anxiety and a host of other complications. They have lives or lifestyles that you may not understand or even agree with.  But none of that matters.  Each patient deserves the best nursing care you can give them. Remember that you need to find the calm in yourself, be objective and be honest with them. Showing empathy and giving them your undivided attention and time could make a big difference in their attitude and soften those hard edges.

If you have other tips or advice please comment below we would love to hear what you have to say!

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Topics: difficult patients, Nursing tips

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