Working in a medical field is a career many find meaningful and rewarding.
However, when you’re a new nurse just starting out your career, the adjustment can be quite challenging.
To help you make the transition, we wanted to share 15 tips for new nurses that will make your life better easier.
Let’s jump in.
1. There’s a Learning Curve
If you’re a new nurse, you might be extra hard on yourself when you make mistake.
You need to remember there’s a learning curve and you’re not going to know everything from the start.
It’s normal to feel disappointed and upset, but remember it will get better once you get more experience. Learn from the mistake and move on.
2. Allow Yourself Time to Acclimate
Going from being a student to working long shifts is an adjustment. You might find it difficult to jump into it full-speed while still maintaining your lifestyle.
Allow yourself some extra time to get used to your new job. Try to catch up with sleep and relax. Ask your family member for support during your adjusting time.
3. Learn to Chart Efficiently
The sooner you learn how to effectively and efficiently do your charts, you will avoid many headaches down the line.
If your job uses electronic charting, make sure you do your best to learn how it operates from the beginning.
Partner up with a seasoned colleague to learn how they do their charts.
4. Find a Mentor
Depending on your job, you might be partnered up with a mentor to help you in the transition.
However, if your job doesn’t offer a mentorship program, you might want to find a mentor for support.
Make sure you ask your colleague first if they’re willing to mentor you.
5. Always Do Your Homework
Homework doesn’t end when you’re out of nursing school. Although, once you’re working the homework will change slightly.
Make sure you continue to educate yourself on things that are more particular to your department and brush up on other skills you fear you might lose.
6. Find a Routine that Suits You
It might be difficult to do at first because every shift might be different, but you will really benefit from establishing a routine early on.
If you find a way to control certain aspects of your shift, you will be able to deal with the unexpected in a smoother way.
A routine will help you stay on track on the clock and off the clock.
7. Ask Your Supervisor for Feedback
In the medical field, it’s necessary to be as precise as possible because you deal with so many lives.
Asking your supervisor for honest and constructive feedback will allow you to continue growing and improving at your job.
Ask your supervisor specific feedback about your performance.
8. Be Prepared for the Inevitable
Whether you like it or not, you will have to deal with body fluids and blood as a nurse.
The better prepared you’re for it, the easier these scenarios will be to deal with.
Start by always having another set of scrubs within reach. Keep them in your car or your locker, so if you’re caught in a code brown situation you’ll be able to change right away.
The right scrubs are essential when you need to have long-lasting and comfortable scrubs, check this out for more info.
9. Learn to Give Detail Reports
Before your shift is over and you have to pass off to your co-worker, you should learn how to give detailed reports.
Make sure to include important information you think might be important to pass on. For example, does the patient prefer a certain type of pillow to feel more comfortable?
A few key pieces of information could help facilitate their job.
10. Get to Know the Team Well
You don’t have to know their private life or become best friends with the team, but you should still build great rapport with the team.
You should know the team beyond just nurses, get to know the people in the lab, doctors, and other staff.
11. Learn Tricks to Deal With Strong Smells
As passionate as you are about your nursing job, dealing with strong smells could be quite challenging.
If you tend to be sensitive to strong smells, you should learn a few tricks for dealing with strong odors.
Some like to use a double mask and add toothpaste or essential oils between the mask to minimize the smell.
Keep other items on you to help you deal odors when needed such as vapor rub, a baggie of coffee grounds, and even cough drops.
12. Try Military Time
Since nurses have to do charting using military time, it will be helpful to set your watch.
This will get you used to it and military time will turn into second nature to you.
13. Stock Up for the Day
Before your shift starts, it’s a smart idea to get all of your supplies ready.
Stock up on items you use the most so you don’t have to take time away from your busy shift to do so.
14. Hydrogen Peroxide is Your Friend
As a nurse, whether you like it or not, blood will get on you.
However, the last thing you want is to have dried blood stains on your scrubs. Blood stains are not pleasant reminders.
To get rid of these stains use hydrogen peroxide. When you get home, simply wet your clothes and add some hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the stain.
15. Take Care of Yourself
The most important tip is to learn to take care of yourself. You won’t be helping your patients the way you want if you’re exhausted.
On your days off try to get enough sleep and even make time to pamper yourself.
Try These Tips for New Nurses
Being a nurse is a rewarding career, but for new nurses, the transition could be quite difficult.
Always remember to give yourself plenty of time to adjust, find a great mentor, and take care of yourself.
Did you enjoy these tips for new nurses? We have more where these came from. Visit our blog for more healthy living and life hacks.