Nurses - 6 months ago
You’ve reached your goal to become a nurse; congratulations! You’ll know from your studies and work experience so far that you’re set to face some challenges along the way. That’s why MCM Medical has pulled together some valuable tips to help you survive your first year as a nurse, ensuring you take the best care of your patients and, of course, yourself.
Give yourself a break
No one is expecting you to remember absolutely everything you’ve learned, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Never be afraid to ask questions, whether that’s asking senior nurses or your fellow newly qualified colleagues. No one will judge you for double-checking things, especially given the nature of your work and the importance of not putting your patient’s in danger.
You’re going to make mistakes. Even the most seasoned nurses do. An error doesn’t have to turn into a problem as long as you come clean and ask for help as soon as you know it’s happened. Speed is of the essence which is why it’s so important not to sit on something that you know requires action merely to save face.
Working on a busy ward or out in the community for the first time can be daunting and overwhelming. You need to protect your mental health in that all-important first year, which is why it’s crucial you share any concerns or insecurities you have with fellow professionals who can offer support, guidance and reassurance when you need it the most.
Pay attention to your physical wellbeing
You need to be healthy and alert in your first year of nursing as you’re still absorbing vast amounts of information and learning on-the-job. No matter how busy your shift is, you must make time to stay hydrated and eat properly. Getting enough sleep is also key, so make sure you plan bedtimes, limit your screen time and try not to consume too much alcohol which can dramatically affect the quality of your sleep.
Due to the nature of the work being never-ending, being organised can help you prioritise tasks and keep your head in more stressful moments. Arrive on-time or perhaps early so you understand what needs to be done straight-away and you can try to structure your shift.
Invest in good shoes
Most employers will have clear guidelines on what footwear you can and can’t wear at work but if you get to choose then do so wisely! Given the amount of time you’ll be spending on your feet, they need to be extremely comfortable, lightweight to minimise the stress on your legs and back, and provide you with good all-around protection. Shop around until you find the right ones.
We’re in this together
Stay tuned to the MCM Medical blog for more tips and advice for nurses and healthcare professionals.