Nursing can be a very humbling career path. In nursing school, you’re constantly told how to do things and being corrected, and not always in the most gracious ways. And then when you get your big fancy nursing job, you feel like you just went from 8th grade, where you’re on the top of the world, to being a freshmen in a high school.. at the bottom of the food chain again. It can be very discouraging.. especially after enduring nursing school.
And sadly, some look at new nurses as prey. After going through it myself, seeing others endure it, and watching it unfold in front of my eyes, I think I’ve figured out how to deal with it.
Yes, yes, going to your manager/supervisor/etc is necessary at times. However, you have to learn and know how to deal with it in the moment. Right then. Right when they roll their eyes at you. Right when they sigh obnoxiously. Right when they glare at you. Right when you can feel them think you’re stupid and your confidence goes down.. all the way down.. down to the bottom of the bedside commode.
And don’t get me wrong, it’s not all nurses.. it can be people from different disciplines drinking that hate-orade. And we have to be able to deal with that as well.
I have realized that it is all up to you in how you receive it and deal with it. Hear what you want, young nurslings. If someone is being a jerk to you, talking down to you, or telling you how bad you are at something.. you don’t have to believe it. And just because you think something does not make it true.
You will screw something up. You will do something wrong. You will need to be corrected. And that’s okay. That’s a normal part of growing as a nurse. Anyone that tries to take that opportunity to belittle you.. well, sucks.. but also does not need to take over your thoughts/heart/soul.
What you do need to listen to are those patients that tell you that you’re a good nurse, even if you feel like you didn’t do anything right all day. Or those nurses and techs that are thankful for your help. Or those doctors/PA’s/NP’s that told you good job.
It’s really easy to let those negative voices be the loudest ones in your mind. You have to make a conscious effort to hush them and remind yourself of the truth.. that you’re a good nurse, you’re trying your hardest, and that you will do better next time.
Remember, just because you think something does not mean it’s true. Everyone has to fight against these negative voices; you’re not alone. And when you’re learning how to be a nurse, they can be pretty loud.
Check out this video.. I think it’s a great illustration of the mind-battle you fight for your confidence, happiness, and security as a new nurse.
GAH. How awesome is that? Makes you wanna go slam a #18 in someone’s hand with crappy veins. I love that commercial. It gets me so hyped up – I think about those times someone acted like I was clueless, and how they robbed me of my confidence and security. But then I realized that they only took that from me because I let them.
So the next time someone is a jerk.. don’t stress if you don’t have some great comeback, don’t feel like an idiot the rest of the day.
In the moment, say what you can, stand up for yourself the best way you know, but most importantly.. learn what you need to from the situation and don’t allow the negativity of that person to take over your mind and thoughts for the day/week/month. They don’t get to do that. And you will not let them. Just throw your Beats on and walk forward with your head held high… toward your next patient’s room, ready to give that Fleet’s enema like a rock star.