When you’ve worked hard to achieve your nursing qualifications, and you’re finally able to embark on your career, you’ll feel all kinds of different emotions. You’ll be relieved, excited, and nervous, and perhaps you’ll also feel ambitious. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s good to want to do more in your career, even if you have only just started.
Of course, the best thing to do is to gain as much experience as possible, as this will open up many doors for you. However, there are other things you can do to achieve more at work that, when combined with experience, will take you as far as you want to go. Read on to find out more.
Don’t Be Shy
It might be that you’re a more timid, perhaps introverted person, but if you want to achieve more as a nurse, you need to come out of your shell somewhat and be more confident. You don’t have to suddenly turn into an extrovert overnight if that’s not in your nature, but you do need to be sure about your skills and knowledge, and you need to speak up when you know something or feel there is something to say. Doing this will help you get a lot further than if you were to keep quiet and just go about your duties.
Not only will being a little more confident help you in terms of your career, but it will also help you to make friends and be a bigger part of the team. This will ensure your nursing work is more enjoyable, and that will also help to push you further.
One of the best ways to get ahead is to ask as many questions as possible. Don’t be afraid that it makes you seem as though you don’t know much; no one knows everything, and it’s far better to ask and get the answer than to wonder and be concerned that you’re doing something wrong. Don’t forget; even the most dedicated and experienced of nurses will need to ask questions from time to time, especially if they have moved from one department – or even medical facility – to another where things are done differently. Asking questions is helpful not just for you but for your colleagues and especially your patients.
If you want to boost your knowledge even more and gain qualifications that will enable you to move forward in your career, it’s a good idea to consider going back to school to work towards additional certification. You could look further into RN to NP programs that will move you up the career ladder and help you achieve all your goals. It depends on how far you want to go, but there are qualifications to obtain along the way, and if you can find a college that offers flexible, online studies, you can work at the same time and gain the experience needed as well.
Take Care Of Yourself
As a nurse, you’re sure to be keen to help your patients as much as possible. You’ll want to be there for them, ease their pain, make them feel better, and treat their medical conditions. This is a nurse’s job, after all, and if you want to do well and make the most of your career, patient care is crucial.
Yet the patient is not the only person you need to care for; you also need to look after yourself. If you only focus on other people and your work, you’ll become tired. Then you’ll become exhausted. Finally, if you don’t do anything about the workload and stress you’re under, you’ll suffer from burnout. This is a serious physical and mental condition that could leave you unable to work, either temporarily or permanently.
This is why, if you want to achieve more at work, you need to make sure your own health is a priority. When you do that, you’ll be much more able to take care of others because you’ll be physically, mentally, and emotionally in the right place to do so.
Some of the ways to ensure you are taking care of yourself when you are a nurse include:
- Getting enough quality sleep
- Eating healthy food
- Having downtime to relax – perhaps you’ll have a hobby, or you might want to go out with friends. Even staying at home and enjoying a TV show or listening to music, for example, is enough to help you unwind.
- Staying clean and tidy – this protects you from germs, but it also means your mind will be at peace, and you won’t subconsciously be worrying about the housework when you should be focusing on other things.
Don’t Take Things Personally
It won’t be easy, but it’s a good idea to try not to take things too personally when you’re a nurse. By ‘things’, we mean what patients and their families might say, or even how colleagues might ask for something. This is a high-pressure situation, and although most people will be kind and caring, sometimes fear and frustration can get in the way of a polite tone, and things could be said that, in most situations, would be upsetting.
As a nurse, you need to learn to rise above this. In most cases, those people aren’t focusing on you as an individual; they are scared about a loved one’s health or their own health, or they’re in pain. Perhaps they’re grieving. Although it’s no excuse for cruelty or unkindness, it is, perhaps, understandable.
If you were to take everything that someone in these circumstances said to you personally, you would become very upset. You might even decide not to continue in your career, and you would certainly not want to put in the work to achieve more and get further. This is why you need to develop what some might call ‘a thick skin’. In this way, you can simply get on with your work, helping people as much as possible.
Remember, if you can do this, you might still be affected, perhaps without even knowing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a therapist if you need to; they can help you unburden yourself and help you achieve more.