When you were studying to be a nurse, you might have developed an idealized vision of what a nurse is and what he or she does. Now that you’re in the field or about to enter the field, maybe you’re realizing that not everyone is a superhero when it comes to nursing. Inside of falling behind already, you can take steps to make sure you’re at the front of the pack. Whether you work in nursing yourself or you’re on your path to the career, it’s worth learning more. Here are just a few ways in which you can be truly extraordinary nurse.
Listen to Instructions
As you progress in the nursing field, you may develop your own way of tackling situations that you want to discuss with supervisors. This is to be expected and, in time, can be the mark of an exceptional nurse. In the early stages, however, the expectation is that you will follow instructions. Following instructions carefully while you learn your way around the trade can not only help you avoid some significant pitfalls, but will help you build your skill set to something above the norm. Some nurses stray from the instructions they are provided. Listening shows that you care about the facility, its policies and, more importantly, your patients. To help yourself become a truly extraordinary nurse, do your best to follow instructions carefully and completely when you are in the early stages of your career.
Advocate for Patients
Although you want to show that you are a model employee, you should never do so at the risk of the patients. You may notice a particular scenario happening that you know is definitely violating the ethical practices that you are supposed to follow. Even if it’s something as simple as another employee overlooking some simple or mundane practices, this can be dangerous Take the time to speak with a trusted mentor or supervisor if you notice something like this happening. Taking patient care seriously is the best way that you, as a nurse, can advocate for your patients. Simply ignoring what happens around you will keep you on good terms with all of your fellow employees, but it will prevent your path to greatness as a nurse.
Act as a Role Model
Since you are a nurse, you have the opportunity to act as a role model to the patients with whom you work. In this role you can influence patients positively, or negatively. For example, if you are constantly going outside for cigarette breaks when you are working with respiratory patients, you might not be sending the right message. This is not to say that becoming a nurse means you must give up or change your habits. Rather, do your best to be mindful of who is around you and how they perceive your actions. Thinking about how your habits at work can affect your patients can help you ensure that you are always acting as a positive role model. Getting into the habit of thinking this way can help you down the road as well when you find yourself in the position of an experienced nurse with newer nurses looking up to you.
Build Rapport with Patients
Many of the people whom you meet will be sick, sad, lonely or a combination of the three. While it’s true that your schedule may not allow you to stay with each patient for protracted periods of time, you can use the time that you have to build rapport. You can ask patients about their lives or how everything is going for them. When you see them next, you can ask follow-up questions to show that you were listening and paying attention. Taking these steps can make a significant difference in the lives of your patients. These are just a few of the ways that nurses can go above and beyond. There are thousands of truly extraordinary nurses out there, from the ones working with the UN on peacekeeping missions to the ones working in their local children’s hospitals. Acting as a truly extraordinary nurse can help you to feel more fulfillment in your own career. On top of that, you can create a better atmosphere at the hospital or office in which you work, and you can brighten the moods of patients. Advancing your own education through programs like an rn-msn online or in school can be a great way to help yourself stay as extraordinary as you can. Whatever you end up doing, remember that working in healthcare gives you a rare chance to impact people’s lives in a big way. As a nurse, you may not be performing surgeries on dying patients, but you will have the chance to lift and bless them in many, many other ways.