The 2020 coronavirus outbreak has meant that the NHS and nurses have never been so valued in our society. People are relying on nurses to be with members of their family when they are unable to, continuing to care for people whilst under immense pressure. This article will look to tell prospective nurses what to and expect and how to succeed throughout their career.
What to Expect
Nurses are incredibly hard-working; balancing irregular shift patterns, patient information, patient treatment, and much more. This ability to successfully balance multiple tasks at once means that those in nursing careers should expect their time management skills to be regularly tested. You’ll likely have developed your scheduling and time management skills whilst completing your nursing degree, which should already put you in good stead for throughout your career.
Furthermore, your ability to communicate effectively will also be tested. You will be expected to speak to members of your nursing team, doctors and patients daily, and so learning how to adapt to each scenario is very important. Doctors require you to be precise and prepared. If a doctor is “doing the rounds”, they need as much information on a patient in the shortest amount of time, which is where your ability to communicate effectively comes in handy. Speaking to patients, however, is entirely different. Your patient will want to know the facts, like their doctor, but they also may wish to have a general chat, especially whilst loved ones are unable to visit them regularly.
New nurses should also expect not to find their specialism straight away. You may have an idea which department or healthcare setting you’d like to work in, whether that be intensive care, adult nursing, mental health nursing, or paediatric nursing, but many recently qualified nurses find themselves enjoying a department much more than they originally thought they would. Be open to working in varying environments, and you’ll find the career opportunities will present themselves in time.
Finally, nurses should expect to work on their professional development continually. Even experienced nurse practitioners or nurse specialists come across cases they haven’t seen before, and working with new patients each day means that there’ll always be opportunities to learn and refine your nursing skill set.
How to Succeed
Experienced nurses possess an incredibly large skill set. Throughout their years of working, they will have regularly been given the opportunity to learn more and expand on their previous knowledge. Newly registered nurses should always look to do the same if they wish to succeed in their career. Continuing your nursing education throughout your career is vital, and can be done many ways, for example:
By expanding your knowledge of varying cultures and religions, your ability to effectively communicate with patients and their families will increase greatly. It will enable you to assist people respectfully and professionally and will give you an insight into the lives and experiences of others. By keeping up to date with medical advances and new technologies, you will always be on top of your game.
You will be less likely to struggle if an uncommon patient diagnosis requires your treatment, and you may find that other nurses or healthcare professionals look to you for assistance or advice. Finally, by listening to the advice of others, whether senior or the same experience level as you, your chances of a successful career will improve. Everyone has a unique perspective, and you will find this comes in handy if you’re struggling at any point in your career.
Being a reliable colleague should never be underestimated. Making sure you’re up to date on your patient information and on top of any tasks you’re required to do during your shift is vital. As said previously, doctors need information quickly and efficiently, and if you’re to be a successful nurse, you’ll need to be able to give them that. Being reliable also means that you’re more likely to receive help from colleagues should you need it.
Overall, nurses should expect to learn plenty when they newly qualify and register with the nursing and midwifery council (NMC). There will be high expectations of you, and your time management and communication skills will be tested daily. You will also need to be knowledgeable about varying cultures and religions, new medical technologies and techniques, learn on the job, and consider the perspective of others on a daily basis.
If you can do all of this, you’ll no doubt have a successful career in nursing.
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