1. Don’t Oversleep. Just don’t do it. Take precautions. Get enough sleep. Set multiple alarms. Whatever it takes!
2. Don’t Be a Wallflower. Speak up, smile, and introduce yourself.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask a question because you think you’ll be judged. Everyone else is probably wondering the same thing you are.
4. Don’t be afraid to answer a question because you think you’ll be judged. If anything, your instructor will positively judge that you are an actively participating student.
5. Don’t forget your patient is a person too. Tell them who you are and why you’re in their room.
6. Don’t forget to offer help. It is always welcome.
7. Don’t say “That’s not my job” It sounds bad. A good alternative is: “I’ll find the person who is better qualified to take care of this than me.”
8. Don’t take things that patients say personally. Patients are crabby from pain, frustration, and illness.
9. Don’t take things co-workers say personally. Health care workers are amongst the most stressed-out, wound-up group of people there are.
10. Don’t self-diagnose while learning about all these diseases and disorders in class. Well, not seriously anyways.
11. Don’t diagnose others while learning about all the diseases and disorders in class.
12. Don’t participate in gossip. What goes around comes around.
13. Don’t neglect to look something up if you’re not sure. Those are always the things that you get tested on, skill tested on, or given in simulation.
14. Don’t look down on the CNA. They might know a lot that you don’t know.
15. Don’t walk past a call light. If you can’t help the patient for any reason, see #7
16. Don’t ignore a ringing phone. For every unanswered phone call, there’s someone on the other end wondering, “Does anyone ever pick up the phone over there?”
17. Don’t get the cheap stethoscope. You get what you pay for. When it comes to stethoscopes, anyways.
18. Don’t neglect comfortable shoes. In-soles are awesome.
19. Don’t occupy a computer during a busy shift. You’ll get a lot of angry sideways glances.
20. Don’t leave your books laying around the unit. It’s just more clutter. Definitely leave HIPAA information face down.
21. Don’t act like you knew things already when someone corrects you. It doesn’t make you look more competent. Just thank them for the advice.
22. Don’t sigh. Don’t complain.
23. Don’t forget to bring a pen.
24. Don’t Give Up. As with many things in life, nursing school will get harder and harder…right before you reach success