One skill that one of the geriatric nurses mentioned was having the ability to care for those you don’t like as well as the ones that you do. I think this is really essential to being a nurse because patients are not in the hospital or other facility for fun. Some people may act out of character because of the stress of their situation. The nurse should not treat one patient differently than another, and should keep in mind that their role is always to care for others. I think this skill ties into having empathy for patient’s and acknowledging that everyone copes differently. Another skill one of the pediatric oncology nurses mentioned was being able to care for the family members in addition to the patient. In pediatrics, we have learned how to appropriately balance communication between the patient and the guardians across the different age groups. Thus far, I have not had the most experience with family members of patients with COVID related visitation restrictions. I have had some experience with family members at my nursing assistant job and a couple times at clinical, but I look forward to growing my ability to provide care for the whole family in the future.
A patient population displayed in the movie that I have not had the chance to work with yet is the Native American population. Some barriers to care include living in remote locations which can limit cell phone service and access to medical services. Having cultural awareness helps nurses take care of members of this population by empowering them to make their own decisions about their healthcare. Beliefs differ regarding western medicine vs. traditional healing methods. One nurse expressed that she does not push western medicine on someone who feels alternative methods are helpful, she just provides education and support. For example, if an infection developed that could be cured with an antibiotic, the nurse would educate about the option and support whatever decision is made. There is no judgement involved. In my own knowledge, I would love to continually learn about different cultural preferences and practices in order to take better care of all my patients. Understanding the differences can help me tailor my care to each individual patient and provide a more supportive, healing environment.
To prepare for an interview, I learned to be aware of the specific unit I am applying to and about the organization’s goals. After researching the unit/organization, I will be sure to bring any questions I have that can show my interest and help me learn more about how well I would fit as an employee. One thing that is important to me, especially for my first job as a new nurse, is to have a supportive environment. If I know current or previous employees of a place I am applying to, I would be sure to ask for their thoughts about what the atmosphere is like and how comfortable they felt asking questions or for help. I will also research common questions that may be asked of me to be better prepared.
One strength I have from my education at the University of New England is inter professional collaboration. This concept has been stressed since the very beginning of the program, and I feel I am strong in working as part of a team because of this. I have knowledge of not only the nurse’s role, but the roles of other members of the care team as well. This has helped me understand the resources I have as a nurse to get my patient the care they need.
I would say the biggest challenge I have is having the confidence in myself to be more independent. I think applying to a nurse residency program will certainly help me to address this and gain more confidence. A mix of orientation and classroom time would be a good fit for me as I take my first steps out of school as a new nurse. My confidence has grown tremendously since starting the nursing program at UNE, which I am very proud of, however I always see room for improvement in this aspect. I expect growing my confidence and having more experience through a residency program will help me to become a successful nurse after graduation!