How to Survive Your First Day as a Nurse

Updated: May 20

Dear new nurses, Congratulations! And Welcome to the Wonderful World of Nursing!


A world full of excitement, adrenaline and a variety of aromas.

Taking the leap from being a supervised student to a fully responsible nurse may be scary, but don’t let those butterflies in your tummy discourage you. You are about to start a new chapter in your life. One that will undoubtedly help you grow as an individual.


As you embark on your journey, you will come across various different tasks, and some might be rather challenging. So, the First tip to survive your first day as a nurse is: 


DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP


Working as a nurse will add an extra touch of responsibility, given that your work will directly affect the life of your patient. With this in mind, it is extremely important to ask for help or supervision when you come across a new task. Every single nurse started at the same spot as you, so they understand that you will not know everything. Most nurses will gladly show you the skill and explain it in detail. However, if you do meet a grumpy nurse who makes your life difficult, simply move on and find someone else who is willing to help.


The second tip to survive your first day as a nurse is basically the whole foundation of nursing:


EMPATHISE WITH YOUR PATIENTS


This line can NOT be stressed enough. The beauty of nursing is a perfect balance between the vast knowledge in the medical field and the ability to empathise with patients. Sometimes it is easy to forget that even the smallest of things can have a significant impact on a patient’s life. So, always try your best to look at the situation from the patient’s point of view. Keep in mind that some patients are in hospital for weeks, without anything to do and barely any visitors.


So always greet your patients with a smile, because if you don’t bring happiness than who will? And when you hear that nurse call, buzz for the millionth time from that really annoying patient, don’t get frustrated. Instead, go next to your patient, sit down for a minute and listen to what they want. A lot of the times patients want to be heard, and if you explain what is going on from your end, they will understand.


The third and last tip that you will need to survive your first day as a nurse is:


CHART CORRECTLY


 You have already heard this about a million times but charting in nursing is crucial. Let’s break it down.


  1. The Nursing Report is perhaps the one that encompasses everything in it. Once you leave your shift, the next nurse will acquire all the necessary information about the patient depending on what you wrote. So do fill out every single detail to improve continuity of care.

  2. The Parameters Chart will immediately indicate any deterioration in your patient’s condition. Refer to A Guide to Charting Vitals to better understand the importance.

  3. The intake/output chart will indicate whether your patient’s kidney and heart are functioning correctly.

  4. Lastly, suing the medical staff is becoming increasingly popular. And charting is the only thing that will save your ass!

Now that you have these three tips in mind, you are ready to face the exciting world of nursing. So put on your uniform, pull your hair back and good luck!


When is your first day on the job? Or perhaps you’ve already been through it?


Send me a message on my Instagram Account Nurse.Miriana and share your experience!


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