Isn’t it exciting wrapping up your nursing school days and finally putting all that you’ve learned to practice? It is. However, most nursing graduates assume that the difficult part is over and about to step into the easy phase which isn’t true at all. It is at this point that you will discover that you’ll need all the advice for getting through the first year as a nurse you can get. Lucky for you, other professionals who have been in your shoes before have come together to make your experience less stressful through this tangible guide.
How to Get Through the First Year as a Nurse
Examine Their Turn Over Rate
One thing that a professional will tell you is to check the turnover rate of the medical institution that you are going to work for. This will tell you how new nurses are treated and how the previous ones handled the challenges. A high turnover rate means that you’re on murky grounds and would have to work extra hard to stay afloat. A low turnover would mean that new nurses are well received and offered proper guidance to blend in.
Take the Lead to Familiarize with your New Environment
Some facilities see to it that their new nurses have access to a preceptor. As a teacher, a preceptor will help you familiarize yourself with the procedure and routine during your shift. Besides answering your questions, they also come in handy with helping you to make critical decisions when it comes to your patients.
In addition to this, always ask questions. It takes a lot of courage to do this and in time you will understand that it is way better than assuming and getting things wrong, inconveniencing your colleagues and putting your patients’ lives at risk. Besides, asking is a guaranteed way of getting acquainted with the new environment and executing your duties as expected.
Opt to work in a Specialty Unit First
The best advice for getting through the first year as a nurse is to specialize then gradually move up to general areas. Most nurses say that they wish that they had opted to work on a specialized unit as opposed to a general unit. This is because a specialized unit, such as the pediatric unit or the labor and delivery unit, will give you an easier time hence allowing you to gather momentum on your new job.
Organize Yourself During Your First Year as a Nurse
Nursing is one of the most tedious jobs there is hence a series of burnouts. This shouldn’t be a turn-off as it is highly rewarding as well, especially for people who are passionate about saving and transforming lives. You should take some time to study your worksheet and prioritize your tasks. Start with the highest in priority and trickle it down to the least important tasks to achieve. You will realize that the most important tasks will take up lots of your energy as they demand your full attention and commitment.
Remember to take rests in between your shifts when the opportunity comes up. You are likely to deliver better services with a sober mind as opposed to when you are fatigued or burnt out.
These pieces of advice for getting through the first year of nursing will give you a fair fighting chance in this field. Although you may find your first days difficult and even unbearable, remember to give yourself room for mistakes and growth. After all, it is one of the surest ways of learning and getting better.