Nursing Voices

Friday, September 15, 2006

What I Learned in Nursing Boot Camp

Nursing school was boot camp. My classmates and I worked long, hard hours, learning how to take care of our patients. Another thing my classmates and I learned was the secret to nursing longevity. Our teachers said that if we followed three rules, we would stay in the nursing profession forever: Wear comfortable nursing shoes when reporting for duty, work together as a team when giving patient care, and live life to the fullest. Even Florence Nightingale knew how to have fun, and we all know what great things she did as a nurse. Here are some tried and true tips on preventing burnout, while enjoying your nursing career.

Does this look familiar to you? Look at these nurses putting out a fire. They are working as a team.

I worked yesterday evening and I all I did for eight hours was run around in circles, trying to keep the unit from falling apart. Everyone needed PRN medications, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, two psychotic patients tried running off the unit, and one staff member, a tech, went home without telling anyone he was leaving. We didn’t know he had gone home until a patient told us he saw the staff member leave the unit, carrying his backpack and coat. For the rest of the night I looked at the charge nurse and said,“I go home now, OK?” She bristled and then thanked me for at least asking before I eloped from the unit. We made it through the rest of the shift because we could laugh about what was happening, and we worked together as a team.

Life is a balancing act. I’ve learned to take time for myself during the day as a way of preparing for work. Do you remember that yoga class I told you about? I really love it. Yoga makes me feel twenty years younger and gives me more energy. If you want to get through your shifts without pulling your hair out, find the time to do things that make you happy.

Look, it's nurses gone wild! Ok, so maybe they aren't going wild, but they look like they're having a good time. Laugh with your friends and don't be so serious. So what if people think you’re a little crazy. Do what these nursing are doing, take a walk, climb a tree, and have some fun. Remember, life is too short to be normal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love, love, LOVE your blog! You're SOOO creative! Thanks for helping us to see the lighter side!

3:47 AM  
Blogger Ces said...

Terri, this is so true. Even though some hospitals may have primary care nursing, working together is the key to getting things done efficiently. Most nurses have a great sense of humor. They musr have just for getting selecting the profession alone and yes, those nurses, they sure can party! Wonderful post!

9:41 PM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Hi there. Thanks for your kind words about my post. Nursing is a team sport. Over the years I've learned that nurses have to work together or they hang separately.

12:10 PM  
Blogger jbwritergirl said...

Hey Girl,

I think that the sense of humor nurses have is definately what keeps them going in what is sometimes an ugly job, but one that has to be done.

I've only had to experience a hospital visit once, with the exception of having two kids, and I truely enjoyed toying with everyone who came into my room.

Never ever think that you are not appreciated, even by those who grumble and grown while visiting your workplace. Somewhere deep down inside I'm sure they are wishing they could say thank you for being kind and helping me.


10:15 AM  
Blogger kt said...

great post and just in the nick of time! i needed this reminder :)

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nurse Ratched
YOu really put the fun into nursing! I must say I wish I was a nurse from the way youdescribe it! And allof those nursing action photos! Wild and carefree!

YOu will survive as a nurse with your humor and with the wisdom you espouse, comfortable shoes, spirit of cooperatoin and teamwork, and having a life outside of work! Hey that sounds like a prescrition for good living that is universally applicable! LOL

I love hot yoga myself!


10:18 PM  
Blogger Marcia said...

Oh, my gosh, your blog is great. I am so entertained.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

I absolutely love it!!! LOL!

I plan on climbing my avocado tree tomorrow - seriously - there are about fifty good ones just out of reach...

It will be great for my mental health!

I can't believe your tech just split in the middle of a shift. Isn't that grounds for...uh....termination? : 0

10:01 PM  
Blogger Too Fat 4 Ponies said...

You are wise, funny, and I love your blog.

Your entry reminds me of my very first Med-Surg clinical.

We had been thrashed verbally during orientation. First day, we had a tube feeding. Fellow student tried to force Ensure down a clogged tube... *POP*... stern looking instructor with Ensure dripping from her eyebrows and hair.

Fortunately for us she had a good sense of humor.

Too Fat, SN

11:06 PM  
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