Don’t complain—problem-solve. That’s only one of several bits of advice on how new nurses can counter some of the surprises of real world nursing:
Surprise #1: Presenting problems to your supervisor
New nurses often say, “I’m overworked. I don’t have this, and I don’t have that.” Instead they should be more straightforward: “Here’s the problem, and here are some of the resources I might need.” Or “Can we talk about some resources that are available?” Or “Is there another way of doing it?”
New nurses should approach problems as people do in business. It’s all right if you don’t have the answers, but don’t complain—instead, problem-solve in a professional way.
Surprise #2: Enlisting the help of seasoned nurses
Seasoned nurses like to be recognized for their knowledge and experience, but often new nurses don’t know how to ask the right questions. For example a new nurse might ask the seasoned nurse, “Where’s this?” Or, “Where’s that?” “How do I get to this?” Or, “How do I get to that?”
But new nurses should be more specific: “Mr. Jones has such-and-such issue. How would you do this? Can you guide me? Can you give me feedback?”
When you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t learn from the seasoned nurse’s expertise and knowledge. When you approach somebody with humility, assuming they may know something you don’t and being appreciative of that, you’ll get much farther.
Surprise #3: The difficulty of delegation
While delegation is discussed in school, it’s a different story to actually do it. Nurse techs can offer a lot of assistance, but they have to respect you—and you have to respect what they can do. Be willing to work with them, helping them out and making them part of your team.
And don’t be afraid to ask for advice from a tech: “What have you noticed? Did you see anything? What do you know about this person? What do they talk to you about? Are there any problems that I haven’t had a chance to talk with them about?”
Everyone should be your colleague, and they should be respected for what they know and contribute.