Tales From the Other Side: 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Nurse
Jun 9, 2023   •   Tim Henares
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Jun 9, 2023   •   Tim Henares
Not all careers are created equal. All of them have their good points and bad points. Here at the 8List, we interviewed experienced professionals who know their industry inside and out — and asked them about the 8 things they wish they knew about their industry before they got there.
Medical practitioners are known for the hellish hours they keep. Some of them can go for as long as 48 hours in a row before they take a break, and the sweet release of clocking out must be incomparable after that.
Except your mindset as a nurse never stops, even when you’re off the clock. From your ailing parents to making sure your siblings don’t overload on sugar to random friends asking you for medical advice, your entire life is almost one never-ending shift.
This should be obvious, but when lives are at stake, a small error can lead to disastrous results. All those mistakes you made as a student suddenly have real-world implications that are immediate and unmistakable, which is why the best nurses also tend to be the most perfectionist people you will ever meet.
There is such a thing as ego, and a nurse correcting the doctor they’re working with all the time is going to make things awkward real fast. So not only do you need to be good at what you do, you also need to be a world-class diplomat to not step on your doctor’s or your supervisor’s toes while you right any of their wrongs, often without them ever realizing it, much less appreciating it.
As the nurse, you will be answering questions. So many questions. So many questions, in fact, that you’ll begin to notice a lot of them aren’t medical questions. From the Wi-Fi password to playing mediator between visitors who can’t get along to God knows what else, you’re never “just” a nurse.
From the proper meds to dosage to time of administering, to lab results, vital signs, and pretty much everything else, you’re expected to remember these things, especially for the doctors you work with, who count on you to remember so they don’t have to.
We don’t need to tell you how much trauma, tragedy, and death you will be dealing with in this profession. What you need us to tell you, though, is that one of the healthiest ways to deal with it is to learn to laugh about it. When, where, and with whom to do it, though? Ah, that’s the art form in itself.
Make sure to eat either immediately before your shift. If not, eat while on your way to work. That might be the only meal you ever get to eat until your shift ends. Trust us.
Look: taking up nursing to find better opportunities abroad is a perfectly valid choice. We won’t even put a “but” in the next statement. One thing you might quickly discover is that you yourself, despite knowing this to be true, would still feel compelled to ply your trade in the Philippines. And this is because you know you can make a difference in the lives of the people you’ve worked with.
That being said, nobody has the right to fault you either way. Nursing is a noble profession, and whether you do it mainly for the money or mainly to help people, as long as you do your job right, then nobody has a right to judge.
What things do you wish you knew before you entered your profession? Tell us about it in the comments!
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