As Nurses Month comes to a close soon, we will continue to celebrate 2021 as the Year of the Nurse. It’s also graduation season and we welcome new nurse grads to the world of nursing. This past few months has been one of the most difficult times in history for nurses and all health care workers especially. If we have learned anything, it is that together we can get through this! As we emerge from the pandemic, the world will be forever changed in so many ways, but we will have survived. We must continue to work together and build the best for everyone!
It’s time now to embrace the new breed of nurses who survived nursing school during one of the most trying times. They will need more support and care and even more education than ever before, but they’re ready for it. They have withstood multiple challenges to get to where they are and they will always be some of the strongest and most versatile nurses yet. They have also been sheltered and protected from most of the struggles in order to keep them safe and well. But they have been exposed to the new norms of standard precautions and the added stressors of everyday nursing. We will need to help them sort it all out as they settle in to their new profession.
Bring your A game!
My wish for all of the new nurses this graduation season and beyond is to bring their A game and to constantly seek knowledge and personal growth. I hope everyone will bring to the table a new enthusiasm for nursing and healthcare along with an open mind to all of the challenges nurses and patients will face as we build a new norm post COVID-19. Thrive to be open-minded and supportive of patients. Strive to avoid labeling anyone non-compliant.
Look for ways to help educate patients and family members in ways that ensures healthcare makes sense to them. Peel away the layers and get to the root of the resistance before giving up and calling someone uncooperative and non-compliant. If the patient is an auto mechanic or an electrician, explain the cardiovascular system and its failures in terms he understands. Explore what he knows and what myths he embraces and explain those away. Help him to discover the fact that he can embrace lifestyle changes and accept and incorporate taking medicines and following dietary restrictions without losing his dignity.
Myth busting and education provide the powers
Fear spreads like wildfire and rumors and myths become truths that should be avoided at all costs. Nursing is about helping people and part of that is finding ways to educate even the most stubborn. But sometimes, it has to start at the beginning, and that may entail starting over and forgetting all the myths.
Learn and embrace self-care
After long difficult shifts, learn to rest and recover. Prioritize YOU! Self-care is an essential part of being a nurse and surviving the crazy world of nursing. If you use up all the strength and power in your tank, you won’t be able to be the best nurse you can be, and your personal life will suffer as well. It isn’t something likely learned in nursing school. But on-the-job it is a vital new tool to learn and embrace. Help your family and friends to understand and respect this as well. They’ll all be better people for it and you’ll find the love and support you need to continue what you trained for.
Enjoy the rest of Nurses Month and the Year of the Nurse 2021!