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25 pieces of advice you wish you knew when you started Nursing

25 pieces of advice you wish you knew when you started Nursing

‘The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself’ ‚ Oscar Wilde

Finding good advice isn’t easy, but when you find a piece that strikes a chord, you should cherish it like gold.

To get you started, we recently asked our amazing Nurses and Midwives to provide us with the best piece of advice they have received from one of their peers.

We’ve put this in easily digestible categories to help you find that piece of advice you seek.


On asking for help:

1. Never be afraid to ask for help

2. Always ask for advice if you’re not sure about a task

3. Don’t ever think you know everything; the minute you do, you should choose another career

4. Always remember you were new once – everyone has to learn

The only silly question is the one you don’t ask. Put the ego aside and ask away when you don’t know the answer. The patients’ safety is the most important.

On caring for the patient:

5. Treat the patient as if they are your own family

6. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes

7. Patients don’t care about what you know, until they know that you care

8. We all have a lasting impact on patients so make sure the impression you leave is a good one

9. Nurses nurse patients, we don’t nurse computers, paperwork, audits or form reviews

10. People get angry when they’re scared. Be kind and you’ll make them feel safe

11. Most people have problems/issues in their lives that we will never know about. Treat everyone with respect and don’t take things personally as a negative response is most likely not about you but as a symptom of something happening in their lives

12. The best way to understand the patient is to listen to them

The patient should always be the most important person in a hospital. The care of patients is at the heart of everything we do.


On looking after yourself:

13. Learn to look after yourself so you can look after others

14. You can do it

15. You’re a great nurse. Believe in yourself. You are smarter than you think

16. Don’t miss out on a meal break

17. Smile under pressure

18. Forget trying to do the impossible, just do the best you can

19. We are all human; we all make mistakes

20. When you are having a chaotic work day, step back for a moment and pause…. while you’re pausing, figure out what the high priority tasks are and do them first

21. Do your best and be the best nurse you can

22. Remember you can’t keep everyone happy. Just go home feeling you’ve made a difference in one person’s day

It’s important to have work-life balance. If we can’t look after ourselves properly, how can we expect to look after others?

On making your work great:

23. Be kind to everyone but especially the ward clerks and cleaners as they can make your shift so much better or so much worse

24. A team effort is an enjoyable experience

25. Prioritise, plan and always acknowledge the efforts of others

Most of us spend at least a quarter of our week at work, so it’s really important to make it a place we feel comfortable and enjoy coming to.

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Liked this article? You might also like ‘What do Nurses want?

If you would like to discuss your Aged Care Learning needs and how the HCA LMS might match your organisational requirements, contact us today.

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