Challenges I will Face as a New Graduate Nurse and Strategies for Solving Them
The shift from a student nurse to a professional nurse practicing in the hospital organization turns to be a new turning point for a fresh graduate (Chang & Hancock 2003). Actually, the initial four months possess are potentially the most stressful and challenging for the registered nurses (Chang & Hancock 2003). The first professional challenge that I will face as a new nurse is the long working hours. As a matter of fact, hospitals normally work for long hours - a factor that will make me work in the long shifts. In this case, I would be given shifts in a back-to-back manner, where one will follow the other (Theisen & Sandau 2013). As a result, I will be fatigued before the day comes to an end.
That fatigue might even sometimes make it impossible for me to have meals. I will also be exhausted by the feeling that I have been assigned several responsibilities with very limited time (Dyess & Sherman 2009). While on duty, I would be expected to oversee all the medications in the rooms that I will have to look after together with attending to the patients. Additionally, I would be responsible for doing paperwork and performing some treatments now and then. Doing paperwork and attending to the patients from time to time would be a great challenge to me since I will not be accustomed to such amounts of work (Ricks 2005). I will have trouble in treating and doing the paperwork due to the day’s fatigue. I will even be sometimes forced to doze a little bit due to the long working hours. Some workers and patients could even think that I am lazy. This will all be caused by working for long hours.
The first strategy for countering the challenge of long hours of work would be having a good plan (Theisen & Sandau 2013). In this case, I would plan my time well beforehand by organizing my duties and sorting out my priorities. Thus, during my off-shift, I will make sure that I am allocated adequate time for rest. Therefore, I will avoid all the unnecessary movements during my off-duty period (Theisen & Sandau 2013). I will also ensure that during that time, I will be completing all the small tasks in my house to avoid having a lot of work that would be hard to handle later on. The other strategy that I will implement will be organizing my tasks well during my shifts (Malik & RGN 2009). In this case, I will make sure that I attend to all patients within the scheduled time to avoid rushing when it will be already too late. I will also be preparing the prescriptions in advance for the admitted patients. In this case, I will be able to go and give the patients their medicines at once and, therefore, save some time (Malik & RGN 2009).
The other professional challenge that I will face as a new graduate nurse during my first four months will be the lack of respect (McKenna & Newton 2010). In this case, it will be shown by the doctors, administrators, co-workers, and even patients. Despite the fact that I will be working for long hours, I will still not be given the due respect that I desire as I will be seen as a young graduate from school who has little practical experience, but a lot of theoretical knowledge (McKenna & Newton 2010). Even when I will be attending to patients, they will underrate whatever I will be explaining to them (Mallik & RGN 2009). Some would even tell me that I graduated the other day and my medication may be wrong. On the part of the co-workers, they will not work or communicate with me. I can be seen like I am ever committing mistakes in everything that I do or say. Some co-workers will even be talking loudly about me when ensured that I hear and see them. Some of them will want me do petty jobs for them since they consider me as new and knowing little about medication. Disrespect will also be shown by my colleagues and patients through actions such as deliberate blocking of my way and duties.
The first strategy for meeting the challenge of disrespect by my colleagues, patients, and doctors would be trying to solve the conflict peacefully and quickly with the person concerned (McKenna & Newton 2010). In this scenario, I would talk to my colleagues who show disrespect to me. Then I would try to explain them politely that I am an employee and not an enemy. I will also tell them that I cannot work alone without their support, and they cannot also perform all their duties alone. I will try as much as possible to explain them the importance of respecting others as respect is never bought and is the advantages of working as a team in a peaceful environment.
I will understand the patients who will show disrespect to me but talk to them politely (Theisen & Sandau 2013). In this case, I will try to explain them the importance of showing respect to all the people that they come across in their daily lives. I will convince them to follow my advice despite their underrating of my age and experience (Dyess & Sherman 2009). I will also inform them that I will be helpful to them in all the issues that they might have. I will try as much as possible to counsel my patients as some of them might be behaving so due to their illnesses.
The other strategy of coping with the challenge of being disrespected will be informing the supervisor (Chang & Hancock 2003). However, I will use this strategy only to the reluctant people who will continue with their disrespect acts even after talking to them politely for several times. In this case, I will explain the situation to the supervisor and ask him to offer the necessary guidance to both of us. In addition, the supervisor might call a group meeting and advice the entire group or those who work together on the importance of respects and teamwork. Thus, the supervisor will act as a mediator that reconciles his team frequently to ensure effective and efficient services to clients.
The third professional challenge that I will face as a new nurse will be exposure to diseases (Chang & Daly 2012). As my duty will be looking after the patients, I will always be vulnerable to the diseases of those patients. The diseases might be communicable, and I might get infected if I will not take a lot of care. I will also be treating injuries and other exposed body parts of various patients which will increase my chances of becoming infected with the same diseases. That will mostly be the case if I will deal with broken body parts. Additionally, I will be at risk of catching contagious diseases through fluids of the infected persons. The smell of various medicines given to the patients might also can cause inhalation problems to me. Some medicines might also cause irritation to my skin after having direct contact with them (Chang & Daly 2012). The risk of getting diseases would increase through touching drinking water and foods with infected hands.
The first strategy for meeting the challenge of the exposure to illnesses is wearing protective clothing at the place of work (Chang & Daly 2012). As such, I will be wearing gloves when handling exposed body parts. I will also be wearing gloves when handling patients with various skin diseases. Additionally, I will cover my nose and mouth in cases where I will be handling medicines that produce strong smell. I will also make sure that I clean my hands thoroughly with soap before taking any food item (Ricks 2005). After coming into contact with any medicine on my bare skin, I will ensure that I clean it thoroughly with clean water.
The second strategy for dealing with the challenge of the exposure to illnesses will be reporting hazardous health issues to the hospital management (Dyess & Sherman 2009). For example, when I will see a particular medicine to be affecting me greatly, I will inform the supervisor so that he can take the matter to the management. In case the supervisor does not address the matter appropriately, I will take it to the management in person. Since the management has experience, they will advise me on the most appropriate action to take to avoid the interferences brought about by the medicine. Some medication can be easily substituted by others; therefore, when the doctor realizes that a certain medicine affects me, he or she can choose to subscribe many other options that work the same but do not affect me.
- Chang, E. & Hancock, K 2003, “Role stress and role ambiguity in new nursing graduates in Australia”, Nursing and Health Sciences, 5, 155-163.
- Chang, E. & Daly, J 2012, Transitions in nursing: Preparing for professional practice, Chatswood, N.S.W.: Elsevier.
- Dyess, S, M. & Sherman, R, O 2009, “The first year of practice: New graduates nurses’ transition and learning needs”, The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 40(9), 403-410.
- Mallik, M., Hall, C. & RGN, D. H 2009, Nursing knowledge and practice: Foundations for decision making, Edinburg; New York: Elsevier.
- McKenna, L. & Newton, J. M 2010, “After the graduate year: A phenomenological exploration of how new nurses develop their knowledge and skill over the first 18 months following graduation”, Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25(4), 9-15.
- Ricks, H 2005, The Lived Experience of New Graduate Baccalaureate-Prepared Registered Nurses Working in an Acute Care Hospital Setting, viewed on 15.1.2014.
- Theisen, J. L. & Sandau, K. E 2013, “Competency of new graduate nurses: A review of their weaknesses and strategies for success”, The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 44(9), 406-414.