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Tips for New Nurses Starting During the Pandemic

You’ve completed your training, and now it’s time to enter the nursing workforce.

Entering the healthcare workforce is already intimidating because you need to remember all the medical information and techniques you've learned from schooling.

You need to act confidently in front of patients to earn their trust while questioning if you’re doing everything right.

Being a nurse newbie is undoubtedly challenging, but add a pandemic and the challenge is almost indescribable.

If you are a new nurse in the medical field—whether you entered right before the pandemic or more recently—you have a new layer of stress to face with the cloud of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

While there are more precautions and PPE available to keep you safe, you need to take extra measures not only to protect yourself from the spread but your family, too.

Understandably, you may feel anxious when entering the medical field during these days, but you could make an impact on saving lives.

The trick is not to let pandemic fears overwhelm you when beginning your new frontline role.

There are some strategies you can follow to keep yourself focused while adapting to your work setting.

Make a Positive First Impression

When beginning your new position in your healthcare setting, you may feel inclined to be a wallflower around your fellow experienced nurses and staff.

You could be shy and nervous about embarrassing yourself around your new coworkers by saying the wrong thing, but you will have less access to guidance from experienced peers by remaining quiet.

When first introduced to fellow nurses, make a strong first impression by using positive body language (uncrossed arms, eye contact, smiling) and sharing a little about yourself to break the ice.

Bond With Coworkers

Your coworkers are a helpful resource while you start your new position.

They will guide you to find the necessary tools and resources located in your workplace.

You could also gain insights on patients and hear advice on adjusting to your new work setting.

Through conversations during lunch breaks, before or after shifts, you can find out how your peers managed the stress of working on the frontlines during the pandemic.

They could share what you should do to thrive during these times and what to expect from coronavirus conditions.

To build a connection with staff members, you can start with being polite, kind, and holding small-talk about non-controversial conversations.

Don’t limit yourself to connecting with nurses only.

The more positive interactions you can establish with your peers, mentors, administrators, supervisors, cafeteria staff, sanitation staff, etc., the better you will feel during your shifts.

Your workplace will become a positive environment, so you are in the right mindset when helping patients.

Ask Questions

While your learning is fresh and you will want to prove the quality of your skills when starting in your new role, remember you are still learning.

There are plenty of opportunities to learn tricks and new methods from your peers and mentors.

Do not hesitate to ask for guidance when doing specific procedures for the first time or if you’re confused by any information, especially about COVID-19 and other safety measures.

Finding answers will not only be helpful for you but for sharing with your patients.

They may have several questions about this new virus, what they should expect after having it, or how to prevent it.

As more research is still being conducted on the virus, you and your peers need to be open to receiving information about COVID and how it will impact your workplace conditions and patient care.

It’s best to ask questions and avoid mistakes rather than pretend to know everything.

By asking questions, you are also demonstrating your humility and willingness to accept more information from others.

This is a display of eagerness and ambition as you want to gather insights that will make you better.

Take Care of Yourself

While starting your new nursing career, you may want to say yes to everything to prove your commitment to the profession.

You could end up working frequent double shifts or covering other nurses’ shifts, which will leave less personal time for your wellness.

You could think this will impress your employers, but it could lead to some trouble.

Since the start of the pandemic, nurses have been overloaded with more patients and staff shortages.

Not only do you have the anxiety of adapting to a new fast-paced job of treating people who are suffering, but you now risk becoming sick from COVID-19 when working on the frontlines.

By adding more and more work to your plate when continually saying yes, these stresses will intensify exponentially, which could damage your mental and physical health.

You must allow yourself time to process all the new information you are taking in when beginning your new position.

By putting your wellness on the back-burner, you could find yourself unable to focus during shifts.

You may end up more irritable, which could impair your relationships with team members and patients.

The lack of free time will likely impact your diet and fitness routine, which could make you more susceptible to illness in the long run.

So, learn to say no when appropriate, get enough sleep, take breaks, eat well, and move your body to keep yourself healthy and your mindset positive.

Keep Learning

Now that you’ve completed your schooling and are in the field, you may think your learning is complete.

What differentiates an excellent nurse from the rest is the openness to continue your training while in the field.

With ProMed certifications, you can complete your ACLS, PALS, BLS and CPR, AED, and First Aid training from the comfort of your home.

Through the online learning platform, you can pause and pick up where you last left off so your training will fit into your busy nursing schedule.

ProMed is unlike any other online medical training platform, as you can receive your North American-approved certifications with a 100% money-back guarantee.

That way, there’s no risk and only high reward.

Make an impact in your field and enroll in your ProMed courses today.

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