Day 6 of the #NurseBlogger challenge.
What are my fears in the future of nursing? Considering I am new to the profession of nursing and working in health care in general, this one was tough. When I think of what my fears are in the profession of nursing, they are completely personal. As a student who will be transitioning to a brand new nurse in less than a year, that alone is a terrifying thought. As far as the future of nursing goes, it’s hard to think about what the struggles will be days, months, and years from now. Nursing is always changing. We just have to be able to adapt ourselves to the new things that healthcare brings our way.
What is fear?
According to Mirriam-Webster dictionary, fear is “an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”
As I’m writing this I’m thinking about how scared I was when I first had to do chest compressions on a dead person. I’m thinking about how scared I was when I first had to draw blood. I’m thinking about how scared I was when I saw my first trauma come in, knowing that despite everything we were doing, the man still might not live. I’m thinking about how scared I was when I saw a man come in with his tongue so swollen that he was literally choking, struggling to take another breath.
What am I most scared of for being a brand new nurse?
1. “Nurses eat their young.” Why is this a thing??
This phrase has been around a long time and I’ve seen it first hand. Some nurses who have been in the field a long time treat brand new nurses and nursing students poorly. It’s basically bullying inexperienced nurses. Experienced nurses tend to give the newer nurses and students a hard time. The last thing I need when I’m going to clinical or work trying to do my best to save my patients life is feeling incompetent and stupid from my peers. This profession is dedicated to caring and compassion, so why nurses feel the need to have such a lack of it towards new nurses?! PLEASE EXPLAIN. Everyone was a new nurse once, and no one deserves to feel incompetent and stupid at any stage of their career. As a new nurse, if I’m struggling, I want to be able to look to my peers for help. I want to feel like my peers are there to help me grow and be on their level, not give me a hard time because I don’t know everything my first week on the job. It’s a legitimate fear of mine that as a new nurse I will be eaten up by my peers instead of be welcomed as a new nurse. We are the future of nursing, so why bring us down?!
2. Making mistakes.
The first mistake you ever make is going to be scary, embarrassing and it’s not going to feel good. Just last week I made a mistake because I made a bad judgement call. Luckily the mistake I made wasn’t life threatening but it could have been much worse. My judgment threatened my patients safety. I was embarrassed and I didn’t feel good afterwards. So what did I do? I went to the nurse, asked her about it, and moved on seeing it as a lesson learned. Don’t dwell on it. Look at every mistake as a lesson learned. Even the BEST nurses make mistakes! I guarantee that the mistakes you make will help you to be a better nurse and you will never make the same mistake again. Take a deep breath and move on, it’s okay.
HOW DO I OVERCOME MY FEARS?
1. Embrace it.
Firstly, just because you are a new nurse does not mean you know everything. I’m saying this and I’m not even a nurse yet! Working in a hospital surrounded by critical care nurses who have been in the field for years, I listen to what nurses pet peeves are when it comes to students and new grads. I’ve heard many times “as soon as they pass their boards they think they know everything.” NO. I’m the first person to admit that I know nothing compared to the knowledge some of my nurses/techs have. What that doesn’t mean for them is that they can belittle me and make me feel incompetent. But, it also means for me that I can’t be cocky and act like a know it all just because I passed the test that makes me a nurse. Passing your boards means you have the *basic* knowledge to care for a patient. You will not know everything. I love coming to work because I learn something new everyday. I find pleasure in learning from the people around me so I have better knowledge to effectively communicate with my patient, treat me patient, help diagnose my patient, and provide the correct information to me patient about their diagnosis/care. Unfortunately there isn’t really anyway that you can avoid being “eaten up” by the experienced nurses. Ask questions. Look at every patient as a learning opportunity to better effectively care for the next one. Eventually you will get better and more confident. Maybe one day you will be the one teaching the next new nurse! Figure out ways you like to learn and be taught and keep it in the back of your mind so you can eventually teach others once your skill set is built up!
2. Understand that fear is normal.
It’s okay to be scared. Somebody’s life is in our hands. We are what stands in the way of our patient going to their grave. That was not to scare you even more! You just have to be aware that being scared is completely normal. But don’t let it control you. Be confident that you know what to do in order to care for that patient, and carry that little bit of confidence you have around with you. It’s okay to be scared! Just don’t let that be the thing that shines brighter than your confidence in your abilities.
3. Translate your fears into desires.
Am I scared to be a nurse working on my own? Hell yea! But it is what I went to school to learn to be and I want it! It’s okay to be scared. Translate those fears into desires! I watch the nurses I work with and think “I want to be able to do THAT.” I’m very passionate about what I do. I don’t just want to be a nurse, I want to be good at what I do! It’s a desire of mine and I refuse to let me fears of the profession get in the way of that because I know I am capable of being a bomb-ass nurse!
Moral of that story: It’s totally okay to be scared and nervous. Embrace it. Ask questions and learn how to overcome those fears. Do not let those fears overcome you, you have to overcome them so the good people & workers that we are shines so gosh dang bright.
Follow me on: Instagram