As a new graduate nurse, I had tremendous mentors that directed my path to success. Oftentimes, they imparted priceless trinkets of nursing knowledge that shaped me into becoming a better nurse, and I am delighted to pass along their insight. Without question, Pearl Uhomba, BSN, RN and Yolanda Ferguson, BSN, RN were beacons of light throughout my first year. These extraordinary leaders in the nursing profession taught this fledgling to arrive to work at least 30 minutes prior to clocking in. I understand that this sounds very intense, but there’s a method behind the madness:
- You can get a feel of the atmosphere.
- By arriving early, you can visualize whether the shift is chaotic or smooth. As a result, you can appropriately adjust and prepare for your shift. Sometimes, you have to acclimate your mind and body to the madness. As a preparation routine, I would sit in the break room and listen to my favorite playlist. As one that has experienced the madness of the trenches and lived to tell the tale, I encourage you to develop a stress-busting plan that gets you through the difficult shifts.
- Your shift assignment is posted.
- You have scored a huge advantage. Now, you can delve into your patients’ charts with a fine-tooth comb. Also, you can prepare a well-developed strategy and layout of your patients’ goals and plan of care. Most importantly, during the shift change, you have successfully developed per se a colorless image of each patient that you will care for. Then, the off-going nurse will bring your image into Technicolor!
- You have 1st round dibs on the BEST C.O.W., which is lovingly known as the Computer On Wheels.
- For those that have endured the sometimes arduous task of selecting this essential and sometimes temperamental teammate, you really want a C.O.W that is agile and can turn on a dime without tipping over. Now, you won’t have the worst teammate that is infamous for shutting down during the most important medication administration.
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