Nursing is easily one of the toughest careers out there. You will work outrageously long hours, while usually getting paid less than your peers despite doing twice the work for half the recognition. Despite this, it’s such a rewarding career, particularly if you want to do something that involves helping people. As a nurse, your entire career will be devoted to looking after others and helping people improve their lives. I know people who’ve had spells in the hospital, and through the kindness and support of the nurses, they managed to get through a really tough time in their life. You have such a long-lasting impact on people, and that’s the main reason people consider this career.
If you’re reading this, then there’s every chance you’ve recently started your first job as a nurse. Or, you might be coming to the end of your studies and will be in the working world soon. Either way, you’re probably pretty nervous, right? In fact, if you have just started your career as a nurse, then you’ve probably already had a few tough shifts and are wondering how you can cope. Don’t worry, everything will be a lot easier for you if you follow the advice in this survival guide for newbie nurses.
Become Part Of The Team
There are no solo jobs in nursing, and your days will be spent working as part of a large team. Now, your working life will be so much easier if you properly become part of the team. I don’t just mean you work together with them, I mean you become close to everyone. Forming friendships at work is a handy piece of career advice for anyone. It’s always helpful when you’ve got people to rely on working in the same place as you. Not least because it helps outside of work too. As a nurse, it can be hard to talk about problems at work as most people just don’t get it. But, if your friends are fellow nurses and medical professionals, then you can all rant and rave about your day, and everyone can relate. It’s a great way to let off some steam! Plus, it just makes work easier when you’re friends with everyone too. There’s no bad blood between you, and you’re all on the same team trying to help each other whenever you can. People might be more inclined to swap shifts with you if you really can’t work a certain pattern too, which is an added bonus!
Sleep Whenever You Can
Life as a nurse is predictable in the sense that it’s unpredictable. You can tell at the start of each week that you’re most likely not going to have a strict shift pattern. The only problem is, you could have no idea what hours you’re working. Not to mention any overtime hours you’ll have to work too. As such, it can be hard to put together a proper sleeping pattern. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nurses in certain institutions that do end up with a structured shift pattern. But, if you’re working in a hospital that’s open 24/7, you can bet your shifts will start and end at any time of the day/week. Consequently, my advice is to sleep when you can. It doesn’t matter where you are or what time of the day it is if you’ve got some free time; sleep! This will help keep your energy up and prevent tiredness if you’re working late at night or very early in the morning. In essence, you just have to accept that a proper sleeping pattern might not be possible, so grab some shut-eye at every opportunity you get.
Keep Studying In Your Spare Time
As a nurse, you probably won’t end up with a great deal of spare time. So, the prospect of studying when you’re not in work will sound like the worst thing you can do. On the contrary, it’s an amazing decision. If you studied the basic Registered Nurse qualifications, then you’re kind of restricted to what you can do at work. There will be certain jobs you’re deemed unqualified for, which may mean your days are spent doing the same thing over and over again. However, if you take something like an online RN to BSN degree program, you can boost your qualifications. As a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, your options are now wide open. You’re qualified to do more complex tasks, which should mean every day is more diverse for you. You won’t be lumped with all the bad jobs day in day out, and work should feel less repetitive.
Take Up Yoga
On the face of it, this sounds like a pretty weird piece of career advice, right? Hear me out, nursing is one of the most stressful careers out there. I imagine some of you might have worked in retail at some point in your life, perhaps during your studies at college? Okay, so, imagine being a retail worker on Black Friday, only times the stress levels by one hundred, and that’s your life as a nurse. There is so much pressure to deal with and a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Every time you go home from work you could feel incredibly stressed, which isn’t good for your health! So, by taking up yoga, you’ve got something to do to help relax your body and mind. Yoga involves a lot of deep breathing and meditation techniques, which is exactly what you need to create a relaxed state. It should help you handle the stress of your job, and ensure you don’t go crazy.
Firstly, I want to end this by saying a massive thank you to any and all nurses reading this guide. You’re doing an amazing job, and the country wouldn’t be the same without you. If it were up to me, I’d give you all a massive pay rise! Secondly, I hope this guide helps you survive the early days of your working life and makes things much less stressful for you.