Monday, September 12, 2011

10 Things Nurses Have GOT to Stop Doing at Work:

Here is my latest submission for publication. I would love any feedback! I'll let you know if and when it gets to print!

10 Things Nurses Have GOT to Stop Doing at Work:

1.  Stop gossiping about each other at work.
Gossiping can be fun when it is done all in jest. But when you are gossiping about a co-workers love life, job performance, ect, it is unprofessional and just plain hurtful. Remember, the one gossiping WITH you will be gossiping ABOUT you.

2. Stop wearing scrubs that don't fit.
Why in the world a nurse would want to wear scrubs so tight that just scream, "Yeast infection in progress!" is beyond me. And wearing tops that show the girls to everyone looking (willingly or not)! We nurses have a hard enough time with the way Hollywood is portraying us, without us reinforcing the "naughty nurse" image.

3.  Stop talking/texting in front of patients and/or family members
  We all live with our cell phones so we can be available to family while at work, but use some professionalism and common courtesy! A patient or their family members do not want to hear about your night out on the town or even (gasp!) if your own family members are sick. They are in the hospital/clinic to get better and need our full attention.

4.  Stop showing off those tattoos.
Believe me, as the proud owner of 8 tats, I still have all of mine in places that are neither vulgar or visible when wearing my scrubs. Even though it seems everyone and their granny has tats these days, the sight of them still project a  less than professional image. And for Pete's sake (and your own) don't get a tattoo on your face, neck or hands!

5.  Stop using street slang.
Even though young people get sick too, they are about the only ones that will understand you. It is unprofessional to talk slang to a patient. You bring down your I.Q. 50 points when you do this. (Yo, yo, yo--do me a solid dawg and start denudulating, aiiight?" Anyone over 18 is gonna to ask what language you are speaking. Just be professional! (Ma'am, you can get dressed now.)

6.  Stop eating/drinking/chewing gum while talking to people.
Yes, this even includes co-workers. Table manners have just gone out the window these days, and believe me, I know how rushed we nurses are to eat, but trying to educate a patient on anything while chewing food, or gum and slurping on a drink  is only going to allow the patient to remember how loud those onions smelled on your burger.

7.  Stop being rude.
One would think this would be an automatic, but apparently, like table manners, regular manners have also flown out the window. What ever happened to "May I help you?" Instead of "What cha' need?" Being polite leaves a much more profound impression on your patients and their family members. And when a patient is satisfied from being treated with respect, that makes you look good as well as your facility.

8.  Stop being "too cool" for others.
We all know we are going to have our personal cliques at work, but seriously, isn't it time we put the "nurses eat their young" saying to rest? If you are a new nurse, for God's sake, ASK for help. We have experience for a reason--we have been nurses and most likely been there, done that. On the same token, if you are a seasoned nurse, don't just stand there and smile at that know-it-all newbie when they are struggling. Offer some assistance. Be nice to them. You were the newbie once upon a time.

9.  Stop coming to work looking a hot mess.
We all know when that certain co-worker has a night out on the town planned (other than by hearing her blab about it on her cell in the hall) because she comes to work with that head scarf on to protect her 'do, has those claws for nails that  aren't allowed to be worn to work for infection control reasons, all blotchy faced from the face mask she had to do before work so her pores will shrink before the date tonight and so on. Your co-workers aren't all morning people, some don't need that kind of shock so early in the morning.

10. Stop being so hard on yourself.
We are nurses. That makes us human, and humans make mistakes. The last time there was a perfect person, he got crucified for it. So let's face it. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to learn from them. You are going to do better next time. So unless you actually, ya know, caused someone to do the death polka, learn to forgive yourself and move on. After all, if you aren't willing to forgive yourself, why should your patient?