Top Ten Things 'They' Don't Teach You in Nursing School...


Recently, I was reminded of a commencement address that I gave to a group of graduate nurses a couple of years ago.

The Top Ten Things 'They' Don't Teach You In Nursing School...

You can be a hero to someone every day. It is your choice. Do not under-estimate the impact of a glass of water, a blanket or a few minutes of your undivided attention and how that can make a difference in someone's life.

Doctors are people too. Even the cranky ones. Include them in the staff dynamic. Most have spent too many hours in the lab to develop decent social skills. And feed them on occasion. They have been known to respond well to food.

You are a nurse. You have a keen intuitive sense. Trust your gut-instinct. If it 'feels' right...most likely it is. The same applies to if it 'feels' bad.

To ask a colleague for advice or with problem-solving is to honor them. It is not a sign of weakness.
Remember that you are not alone. Consciously identify who your resources are daily. When you feel your world is about to sink, you'll be glad you did.

Mentally unstable people can be sick too. Reserve judgement. Just do the right thing. Accept that human beings are fragile. And never even think about arguing with a drunk. You will not win.

Mistakes will happen. Own them, learn from them and share your experience with others so that they may learn from them as well.  Stop beating yourself up. It really won't change anything and it will get on your co-worker's nerves.

In the event of equipment failure...begin troubleshooting with the patient, then work towards the machine.

When conflict arises with doctors/nurses/dieticians/physical therapists/ pharmacists ...whomever...always focus on what is best for your patient.You can't lose.

Happiness is often about choice. Honor yourself for having the skill, intellect and compassion to make a difference in someone's life every day.

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