Nurses pick up things on the job. There are habits that nurses learn from other nurses that can be good. And then there are habits nurses develop that are not so good.
While we as nurses do learn from our educators, during our clinical rotations and in nursing textbooks, we pick up most of what we become as nurse professionals from real life experience.
So what are the habits that nurses should develop? How does a professional nurse handle themselves on the job?
- Be Flexible. Nursing is a fast-paced career. Changes happen moment by moment. At any given second during your work day, POOF! Things can get turned upside down. A great nurse is flexible. Has their head on a swivel. Is able to adapt to a changing environment. The more you can stay nimble in your nursing career, the more success you will have.
- Help Out. Nursing is a team sport. Think about it. What nursing job is done alone? Completely and totally alone? I cannot think of one! If you can- please let us know what that nursing career looks like. Healthcare is about people helping people and working with other people. Nurses must interact with and work hand-in-hand with many team members.
- Show Respect. Human beings are unique individuals. Patients will come to you that you may or may not agree with. The patient or their family may have done things outside of the care environment that you do not like. Well, as a nurse you have to stay neutral and show respect. To your patients, their families, your colleagues… and guess what? Even to yourself! This is a human-based career and to work in nursing you have to expect diverse backgrounds and experiences.
- Listen. I love the statement about how we, as human beings, have one mouth and two ears. We need to listen more than we talk. As nurses, we can pick up SO much information… even outside of what the patient is actually saying. A great nurse listens to their gut reaction. Even when numbers or computers are telling you one thing… if you as the nurse think that something is off- listen to this! You will likely be right. And listen to what the patient is telling you, not telling you, and talking about even that does not pertain to their health. You will learn so much just from observing the people around you.
- Put Yourself First. As nurses we learn in nursing school to put everyone else first. It continues to our nursing career, as we precept in a new job. One of the common misconceptions in medicine is that the patient comes first. Well, if we do not take care of ourselves and give us what we need- we will not be able to take care of patients! Put yourself first and you will be able to give to others in a much bigger way.
What else? What did we miss? Would love to hear your thoughts on the habits that nurses should develop as professionals on the job. Leave a comment below and thanks for reading!
About the Author: As a keynote speaker, bestselling author and virtual conference host, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. In her bestselling book, ‘Nursing from Within‘, Elizabeth supports nurses to make those inner shifts that are required to more fully enjoy our nursing careers.