I teach students and new nurses.
One of my favorite lessons, because it’s crucially important:
There are two career paths you can follow as a nurse. Just two. Let me explain:
On the good path, you learn how to get along with people and persuade them better and better, and you enjoy your job more each day, because your positive influence brings out the best in everyone around you and makes your work far easier and enjoyable.
On the bad path, you don’t learn those good path skills; instead you learn to hate your patients, your life, your work, and anyone who feels differently (e.g. students and newbies). You eat nurses’ young, and try your best to make all around you just as jaded and miserable as you. It only gets worse with time: every shift and every year. It’s arguably a form of hell on earth. Real or metaphor, as you choose: it’s ugly.
Far too many nurses (and others of course) go down the bad path. Over the years, their attitudes darken and progressively poison all around them, so that their work experience darkens as well. They bring their own dark cloud where they go. If you haven’t met them, you haven’t been a nurse, or a patient.
When it comes to the people we meet, we make our own weather. Few people figure this out; the rest often pay a price. Sad!
We all learn from experience, but only some of us learn good habits and useful lessons. Many of us pick up bad habits and attitudes instead, and learn things that aren’t true, as in “Patients are just like that. There’s nothing you can do about it,” and the like. Lies.
Learn from the young-eating mean and bitter cautionary tale nurses out there. I doubt many started out that way, if any. They drifted in a bad direction and pay an heavy price over many years. Learn from them and avoid their fate. Whatever you do, make good and certain to stay on the good path: learn how, for everyone’s sake, especially your own. Your fate and soul, your life and career, all depend on it.
Everything else is details.