These are incredibly challenging times for everyone working in the NHS and even more so if you’re just starting out.
Whether you are an Aspirant Nurse or a Newly Qualified this is not the start that we envisaged for your career in nursing. Some will be excited and can’t wait to be involved but others may feel nervous and anxious. What is certain is that these are unprecedented times which are changing all the time.
Although the fundamentals of nursing will always remain the same, I have adapted my top 6 tips to reflect COVID 19 and hopefully offer some advice to new colleagues.
- Keep calm you’re a nurse! You have a wealth of knowledges, skills and experience to share. Your contribution to the nursing team during this time is immensely valued. Believe in yourself!
- Pick a role model in your workplace. Choose someone who you really aspire to be like and try to mirror their behaviours and practice. Look to Leaders who are adaptable to change, keep a happy emotional state and spread hope among the workforce.
- Nursing friends are the best friends. As much as your family and friends love you dearly, they don’t really understand what it’s like to be a nurse. It’s a unique profession where joy and sadness come in equal measure. No matter how resilient you are, friendship and peer support will prove vital throughout this challenging time. Look after each other.
- Stay Safe. Meticulous and regular hand washing and donning and doffing correctly are the most important procedures that you will do on a daily basis to keep yourself safe.
- Delegation is key. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as newly qualified nurse is to try and do everything yourself. Remember you’re not Super Nurse. Don’t be naive enough to think you can manage a team of acutely unwell patients alone. You’re part of an amazing team where each member plays an integral part in the recovery of a patient. Utilise everyone’s skills and remember this wider team isn’t just nurses, it includes doctors, physios, occupational therapists, ward clerks, domestic staff and many, many more. We all share the same goal.
- Be proud. You are playing a vital part in helping this country respond to the COVID 19 crisis and our work has never been more widely recognised or appreciated. It’s a privilege to care for people during their most vulnerable time and especially so during this time of crisis.
In years to come you will tell the younger generation that you served your community and your country, and that the nation clapped and cheered for you every week on their door steps.