Being a Student Nurse is like being part of a club...we are all tired - we are flexing our mental muscles 24/7 and often on the verge of collapse - and we can all relate to each other as we move closer and closer to graduation. It is also a somewhat exclusive club...it is difficult to get into nursing programs, and difficult to maintain success in our nursing programs.
If being a Student Nurse is like being part of a club, then practicing as an Registered Nurse must be the ultimate team-oriented profession...right? RN's have all been successful in the challenges we are facing right now (just think of the insane late-night study sessions, the time management frustrations, and sudden obstacles life throws our way). RN's have already been successful in their programs, they have passed rigorous national exams to become licensed to practice, and they have interviewed for their current positions and been chosen! As we are learning as students, the work of an RN must be performed with a caring, TEAM attitude in place, and this is essential for the well-being of our patients. So it's not only the process of becoming an RN that is like a club, but also the mindset of being an RN.
Working as an RN is a privilege. We are providing for patients and advocating for them at some of the most tender and critical moments of their lives. In order to provide the best care possible, we must reach out to our fellow nurses when we need help, and be available to help THEM as well - but have you had clinicals on a unit where it did not feel team-oriented? I have seen it, and unfortunately not all hospital units have a solid "teamwork" foundation. Perhaps one of our initiatives as we graduate and move into the nursing profession can be to focus on this...be a part of a wonderful team! Contribute to your unit in a positive manner, and be the professional, dynamic, and helpful new nurse that everyone will know. You will be known for your positive attitude! Nurse Managers have a big part in creating this environment, but we are all responsible for our own attitudes...I just read a cute quote this morning:
"A positive attitude is contagious, but don't wait to catch it from someone else;
be the carrier!"
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