As fast as it came, the Christmas holiday is entering its final stretch, and just beyond December 25th lies January 1st-with the promise of a new year, a chance to improve our lives, and a chance to improve ourselves. But writing down those New Year’s resolutions takes time, and if you’re a nurse around the holidays, time is one gift you probably aren’t able to give. So to help out, here are a few resolutions written specifically with nurses in mind. Feel free to claim one (or all) as your own, and let us know how they worked out for you!
Say Thank You – Nurses have one of the most underappreciated jobs in America, so we know what it’s like to not get a “thank you” for our efforts. So resolve to break the cycle in 2017 by showing gratitude to everyone you can-be it your doctor, hospital staff, maintenance crew, or even just the patient who was remarkable calm and even-tempered in an emergency situation. Work “thank you” into your daily vocabulary, and watch the positive effect ripple outward.
Be Better Today Than Yesterday – RN Shelly Lopez Gray wrote a fantastic blog about the many things she’s resolved to do better as a nurse in 2017 (far too many to list here), but if we had to boil it down to one thing, it would be keep moving forward. We’ll never be perfect in our roles as nurses, so instead of resolving to be “the best”, pick a more attainable goal and simply resolve to be “better”. Be a better nurse today than you were yesterday.
Drop The “But” – Whatever your resolution (be more patient with patients, be more positive, smile more, save money, eat better), what usually prevents us from keeping it is a “but” hidden somewhere nearby. For example, we want to spend less on takeout, but that sushi place is amazing. We want to be more positive at work, but that one colleague is always complaining about something. Then, instead of resolving to accomplish the big, overarching goal, dedicate next year to eliminating that specific “but”. (There’s a whole article breaking down the process here.)
Resolve to Listen – So many problems come down to a lack of communication, and so many of those problems could be avoided if we were better listeners. In the chaos of a hospital or clinic, listening isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but when we force ourselves to stop and focus on what’s being said (or just as important, what’s not being said), that’s when we catch the information that might just solve a problem, open a door, or save a life.
Treat Your Goals Like Patients – In other words, be flexible. Don’t expect instant success. A patient might improve, then decline, then decline again before his or her treatment succeeds, and you don’t give up on them the first time they take a downward turn. If something isn’t working, you take a step back, analyze, and come up with a new approach-occasionally bringing in outside help (doctor) to some additional insight. Pursue your 2017 resolutions with the same dogged determination that you pursue better health for your patients, and next year could bring some amazing results.
And of course, if you aren’t currently a nurse but you’ve made a resolution to become one, we can definitely help with that resolution. Give Unitek College a call today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about program schedules, costs, courses, and more.