• Alexandra Maye, BA, RN

I'm back and off orientation!

Hi sunshines!! It has been a while since the last time I blogged. The transition process from newly registered nurse to working nurse has occupied the majority of my time. Although learning how to thrive in a fast pace environment, honing new skills, and understanding all my new coworkers' idiosyncrasies was challenging at times, it’s been an exciting experience filled with lots and lots of growth. I was blessed to have nice and helpful coworkers and a patient, genuine, and big-hearted preceptor. They have been key in providing me with a firm foundation and increasing my confidence throughout my orientation. Now that I’m officially off orientation (#newbeginnings), I want to share some key things I’ve learned thus far.

Below are the 7 key things that I’ve learned in my 14 week orientation:

1. Come to the unit with a positive and non “know-it-all” attitude! This has made my co-workers more willing to provide assistance and more open to my questions.

2. If you don’t know – ASK. We worked HARD to earn our nursing license, and patient safety is super important – having a firm understanding of what you’re doing makes all the difference.

3. Speak up – I really wanted to hone my IV insertion skills during my orientation – I constantly spoke up to ensure that I received the practice and guidance I needed.

4. Decompress and cry when you need to & learn to leave work at work. – This is an ongoing process for me. I’m learning that even as super nurses, we are still HUMAN. Each patient’s diagnosis/illness may affect us differently – it’s okay to take a few minutes to get a tear or two out in the bathroom, or just deep breathe on side when we need to approach the situation with an extra layer of armor.

5. Have fun with this new world/process! I thought I learned a lot in nursing school – I’ve been learning 21 times as much on the floor. It’s such a beautiful process to apply the knowledge and concepts learned in nursing school to real life -- especially the ones that didn’t click 100% in school.

6. Find a mentor, or two, or three, or more lol. I’m filled with so much gratitude towards my mentors of all specialties within my hospital, professional organizations, and friends. I found it important to receive advice from those outside the unit who can provide input on some of challenges I was going through.

7. Work on having a good work-life balance. Remember no amount of overtime pay, holiday time and a half, and extra shifts can make up for time spent with family, friends, and loved ones. I constantly remind myself that there is a life outside of work and time is something that I can never get back.

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