For just about anyone starting out in a field they’ve trained for, the first day on the job can often feel foreign. Sure you’ve gone through all of the necessary coursework, but that doesn’t mean you actually know how to work as a registered nurse! These types of realizations and thoughts are quite common, and new nurses can feel like they’re a bit overwhelmed when the time comes to start your first assignment. Here we will discuss some things they don’t teach you in nursing school — things the pros know and the rookies wish they did!
5 Things They Don’t Teach You in Nursing School
1. Nursing Will Change You
You may have learned just about everything there is about basic assessments and changing beds, but it’s hard to get a grasp on just how much the nursing profession will change you personally. It’s hard for many people to become more sensitive to the pain and care needs of patients without having direct experience.
Aside from developing the technical skills that you’ll use throughout your career, it’s often understood that nursing becomes a part of your personality once you really dig in. Just like many things in life, finding your true calling as a professional becomes the lens through which you view the world.
2. You’ll Hit the Floor Running
As organized and reserved as your nursing educational experience may have been, you’ll quickly find that most facilities won’t hold your hand from day one. As brazen as it may be, your feelings aren’t as important to seasoned professionals as the life and death of current patients. In fast-paced environments like hospitals, you’ve got to keep up with things to the best of your ability or you’ll simply get left behind. Yes, it will be a bit stressful but if you can push through you’ll eventually find your groove and start to thrive!
3. Can you Multitask and Prioritize?
Balancing many tasks at once is definitely one of the things they don’t teach you in nursing school, even though you may have been doing this all along! In most cases, learning to efficiently multitask is one of the job requirements to become a nurse, whether it’s stated or not. Complying with different requests from both staff and patients while juggling your own tasks is possible only through learning to prioritize these tasks properly.
Based on your training and medical knowledge, you’ll hopefully be able to make the call as to which patients can be treated first — just remember the ways you can work as part of a team to have the greatest impact!
4. Managing Stress Effectively
Of all the things they don’t teach you in nursing school, managing the stress of day-to-day work is integral to maintaining a fulfilling career. Although you may try to just “power through” the toughest days and nights, everyone has to stop and ask themselves whether they’re dealing with stress in the right ways. It’s an age-old issue, but nursing burnout is something you need to avoid — especially at the beginning of your career. To start, you can learn ways that your peers and colleagues deal with stress while understanding the particular responses you have to prolonged fatigue.
5. Are your prepared for great benefits?
To end this on a high note, one of the positive things they don’t teach you in nursing school includes the amazing upsides of working in such an impactful and in-demand field. Being part of a nursing or medical team is the best way to reinforce the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, patience, and timeliness as a professional. Having the support of other nurses and doctors is something you have to earn and maintain, although the bonds you’ll form can run very deep. Truly learning to build professional relationships through shared knowledge and experience is one of the most critical aspects of making your nursing career the best it can be!
What are some things they don’t teach you in nursing school that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!