From talking to doctors to dealing with patients, experienced nurses offer their insight.
“Learn to trust your gut instinct.” It’s a good tip for anyone entering any professional setting, but especially critical for new nurses, suggests one seasoned community mental health nurse. The Guardian recently compiled a list of helpful tips from nurses working in a range of healthcare settings. Here are a few more helpful suggestions from that article to guide nurses embarking on their career.
Don’t treat patients you don’t like differently. “It’s OK to not like some patients. […] Just be aware of yourself; notice that you don’t like the patient and make sure you’re not treating them any differently.” Elizabeth Cook, clinical charge nurse, south London
Talk about death with patients. “One of the best things you can do for a patient who is nearing the end of their life is to give them opportunities to talk about their death and how they would like it to be.” Christine Bushnell, advanced nurse practitioner, nurse partner in a GP surgery and trainer, Harrow
Don’t be afraid to question senior doctors. “We are our patients’ advocates and can protect them from potential mistakes. A good doctor will respect you for this.” Emma McLellan, staff nurse in the ICU, Manchester
Other tips include being kind to patients’ families as well as to colleagues – sound advice that can go a long way in setting up new nurses for success and respect. Read more advice from experienced nurses in the full article.