Let’s face it. You aced nursing school and now you’ve started a job. You’ve hit the floor running, and you’re feeling good about yourself. Still, as the days pass, you start thinking you don’t know anything at all, like you didn’t learn anything at school. Nurses all over the world feel the same way. They feel that nursing school only minimally prepares you for the actual job. Here are 10 things that they didn’t teach you at nursing school.
1. School Didn’t Prepare You For How Nursing Changes You
At school, you won’t learn how nursing changes you. How you become someone more aware of his or her environment, more sensitive to pain and care needs. Nursing becomes a part of your overall personality and moves from being just a job to your calling.
2. School Didn’t Teach You How To Give A Good Report
School did teach you the basics of how to give a good report. But it’s only when you hit the floor and learn how to coordinate your brain and communication skills to deliver the right message that you understand. Giving or taking a report effectively requires you to be alert, on the point, in possession of all salient facts and confident. Only experience teaches you this.
3. School Doesn’t Teach You That You Have To Keep Up Or Be Left Behind
Nurses are a busy lot and cannot make time to mollycoddle a new recruit. You’ll have to hit the floor running and get on with the job. Your senior nurses will only expect you to do the job and work as a team with you. You’ll learn patient care, charting and the nuances of team work. If you don’t keep up with the pace, you’ll be left behind.
4. School Didn’t Teach You Good Time Management Skills
You have to manage a lot of duties within your shift. Charting is one such. Managing patient charts quickly, thoroughly and efficiently before your shift gets done is a skill that nursing school will not teach you. Only when you are a practicing nurse will you understand how to juggle your tasks and responsibilities to get everything done on time. Time management skills need to be learnt on the job, they cannot be taught.
5. School Didn’t Teach You To Multitask And Prioritize
Learning to multitask is part of the job description if you are a nurse. You cannot say that you have been assigned a task and you’ll take up something else only when task 1 is done. You’ll have to comply with different requests from staff and patients and manage to juggle them all efficiently. More important than multitasking is prioritizing. When you have multiple patients in your care awaiting medications, checkups, and follow ups and so on, you’ll have to learn to prioritize patient needs.
6. School Did Not Teach How To Manage Your Stress
Even in nursing school the enormous pressure to learn causes stress among students. Yet, healthy methods of coping stress are not taught in school. You’ll have to learn how to cope with your stresses on the job and pick up pointers via research and your colleagues. Either you learn to cope with your stresses or fall into the standard stress responses: overeating, under-eating, worrying, missing sleep and burning out.
7. School Did Not Teach You How To Deal With Death
Can anything prepare you for your very first patient death? As a new nurse, you might tend to bond with certain critically ill patients and not be prepared to watch them die. It takes a great emotional toll out of any nurse who has to watch his or her patient die. It’ll take you time, counseling by seniors and personal effort to learn how to deal with death in a professional and healthy manner.
8. School Did Not Teach You To Deal With Feelings
You’ll be exposed to all kinds of feelings in your nursing job. Feelings of joy, depression and excitement when the adrenaline courses through you. Bringing out all your efficiency in a pressured situation when your hands are shaking due to adrenaline is not easy. You’ll make silly mistakes, try to laugh it off and neither of these is acceptable in the professional scenario. In an emergency situation, you have to work without any regard whatsoever for your personal feelings or responses.
9. School Didn’t Teach You How To Deal With Doctors
School taught you many things but not how to communicate with ill tempered and impatient doctors. Doctors as a rule don’t have much patience with anyone who’s slow on the uptake. They are constantly on the move and need to get their things done, stat. In life and death situations, the stress levels are unbelievable and you’ll have to deal with doctors who never sleep, hate their jobs and see you as a nuisance.
10. School Did Not Prepare You For Wonderful Benefits
Nursing school also does not prepare you for the wonderful benefits you gain by working with core professionals. Working as a team teaches you coordination, the importance of a positive attitude, patience and timeliness. The learning of time management, effective interpersonal relations, multitasking and prioritizing skills is nothing but gifts. There are the other benefits as well, such as the wonderful and supportive friendships you’ll build. Nursing schools give you a basic foundation of knowledge. You build on this knowledge a lifetime of learning from your nursing experience.
This article was originally published on NursingUniforms.net
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