Becoming a nurse takes hard work, determination, and a genuine passion for helping people. It is a career that requires a genuine love of learning along with the focus to retain vast amounts of knowledge, as the education does not end once you have completed nursing school.
If you have recently received your nursing qualifications, then be prepared to enter a whole different type of education – here are eleven lessons you learn as a nurse.
1: The Resilience of the Body
Working with the sick will show you how much strength the human body holds. You will witness even the sickest of people fight off diseases you thought incurable, and it will make you appreciate your body even more. Not many people get to see the human body at work like this, but nurses do every single day.
2: The Importance of Education
Education is an essential part of life, and this is especially true for nurses. All registered nurses must at least hold a bachelor’s degree, with many deciding to pursue further education and attain their master’s or doctorate.
As a nurse, you will spend a lot of time in education, and over the years you will come to understand just how important it is. So much so, that you might even decide to advance your career by going back to education. There are plenty of options for nurses, including BSN to DNP programs, allowing you to become a family nurse practitioner or a nurse leader.
3: How to Communicate Effectively
OK, so you probably learned a lot about how to communicate during nursing school, but you will hone this skill after several years on the job. Communication skills are essential for talking to co-workers, relaying important information, and speaking with patients. It is not just your voice, either – you will learn just how important your body language is, too.
4: That Even the Strongest Need Care
There are certain people in life who you can never imagine even suffering from a cold. As a nurse, you will witness these kinds of people needing your help every single day, and it will make you realize that no one is immune to poor health. You will help a wide range of people, from in-shape twenty-somethings to old and frail pensioners, and it will make you appreciate your health even more.
5: How Much You Can Handle
A nursing career is one filled with challenges and hardships, and there will be days where you feel you have pushed yourself to the limit. Then, another challenging day will come about, and you will push yourself even further than the last time.
Where you once thought you could only handle so much, as a nurse, you will soon realize that you are capable of facing so much more. In other words, nursing will show you just how strong you are as a person, and you will carry this with you everywhere you go.
6: To Put Time into Self-Care
Everyone engages in self-care from time to time, but as a nurse you will realize that it is essential for you to put real-time into it. Otherwise, you run the risk of overworking yourself and burning out, which could affect your health, your patients, and your career.
As well as learning how important self-care is, you will also learn what sort of methods work best for you, usually through the process of elimination. You might discover that the bath salts your friend raved about do nothing for you, but putting on a face mask and reading a mystery novel is the perfect way to look after yourself.
7: To Not Take Words Personally
Some patients are difficult, and sometimes, you will be at the receiving end of an unpleasant outburst. While this might negatively affect you at first, over time, you will understand that the words have nothing to do with you. You will realize that everyone has their struggles, and sometimes patients choose to take it out on the wrong people.
Not only will this help you in your nursing career, but you will see benefits in your normal life, too. The next time someone says something hurtful, you will have much thicker skin, allowing you to handle it with grace.
8: How Important Friendships are
It is difficult for a nurse to get through nursing school without friendships, let alone throughout their whole career. Nursing is a pursuit that requires back-up, especially on hard days, and you will come to realize just how important friendships are.
When you form strong bonds at work, you will be their rock and they will be yours, and sometimes, that will be what gets you through the day. Your non-nursing friends will prove essential, too, as they will give you an excuse to lift yourself out of the nursing world for a while.
9: That Learning Comes from Lots of Sources
As much as you will appreciate the traditional education that you received, you will also discover how most of what you learn comes from the most unlikely of sources. The best pieces of advice will be casually dropped into conversation, a patient will tell you something you had never even thought about, and you will discover more and more about healthcare through your ongoing research online.
10: How Inspiring Humans Are
Nurses witness the most delicate parts of humanity, and seeing into those intimate moments will show you how inspiring human beings are. When you witness someone pushing through their illness to talk to their loved ones or someone lifting another’s spirits even though they are suffering, it will teach you that people have a lot to give.
While many people enjoy talking about the worst sides of humanity, you will understand that most people are emotional, sensitive, and kind at heart.
11: That Most People Could Not Do What You Do
Throughout your career, you will come to the conclusion that being a nurse is reserved for only the most resilient of society. Most people could not do what you do every day, and you will feel proud to be able to provide care even on your hardest days.
Throughout your nursing career, you will learn life lessons that will both inspire you and motivate you. Take in as much knowledge as you can, and one day, you will pass on your own wisdom.
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