When candidates consider becoming nurses, they often don’t know what to expect. They see the commercials on television, and they think that nursing is a certain way.
While it is true that nursing is a rewarding and powerful job, there are some aspects of it that are not as obvious to the general public, and therefore, not as obvious to potential nurses. Even with extensive research, they may not be obvious.
This is an attempt to outline just a few of the most important skills you will need if you decide to undertake nursing as a career. You will need to know these things to help you make the decision if nursing is right for you.
Multitasking is job one
Nurses must multitask. You will be asked to assess, pass meds, answer the phone, and then drop everything for an emergency.
It is also very important to be able to stop mid-task, handle something else, and then be able to come right back and pick up where you left off. These are not easy skills to master, and not everyone has them.
Unfortunately, multitasking can lead to errors, and many hospitals are working on phasing this part of nursing out. It is still a huge part of the job, though, and if you want to be a nurse, you should know that it is expected of you.
Life will be disjointed
Nurses work all shifts, especially new nurses. You may work nights one week and then days the next.
It can make your head spin, and this can add to the stress of an already stressful job. Of course, it doesn’t help that you will not have three consecutive days on or off.
You may have some shifts here or there. It can lead to a feeling of always working and not being able to do much of anything.
When you are working shifts all over the place, you will feel like you are cut free from the normal world, and you will have to work hard to connect with family and friends. As this is a normal part of nursing, it is a skillset that should be cultivated while you are in nursing school.
Delegation is your friend
Most people find it hard to ask others to do things for them. They don’t want to seem lazy or like they are bullying someone else around.
You are going to have to get over that if you want to become a nurse. Nurses must delegate if they want to get anywhere in their career.
This means that you have to ask for help, and you have to rely on others to do part of your job for you. Delegation actually dovetails into multitasking.
You can do less multitasking if you delegate the things that distract you. When you are in nursing school, take some time to think about how you will ask others to help.
Of course, you don’t want to be “that nurse,” but you still need to ask for help. Find a happy medium, and learn to delegate before you enter into a profession that demands it.