It's important to take a step back and to see the whole picture

23 March 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 6


In the third of a series on the early steps of a newly qualified nurse, Heather George, Critical Care Staff Nurse, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, reflects on the need to take a balanced look at the situation

Working as a nurse has gone from being a terrifying new undertaking in life to being a normal part of life's routine. I am almost 4 months into starting my first job as a nurse and every shift continues to bring new and often fascinating learning experiences, but I have definitely noticed a change with the passing time.

When I started this job, I was constantly learning and absorbing so much new information. Now the rate that I am learning things has slowed down considerably, and I find myself starting to refine this newly acquired knowledge and using my own intuition to think outside the box and be more proactive. Don't get me wrong, I still continue to encounter brand new situations every shift, such as protocols like the diabetic ketoacidosis care pathway, which put a strain on my brain while deciphering it during one recent night shift. I also continue to gather ‘fun facts’ such as: when the arterial line tracing has a swing it indicates that the patient could be dehydrated. I am often still faced with tasks that seem like they should be simple and straightforward, but then turn out to be irritatingly difficult or just plain awkward. For example, simply loading a syringe into a syringe pump has had me cursing to myself quietly behind my surgical mask.

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