Finding Your Way When Starting At a Busy Medical Center


When you’re just starting out, working at a busy medical center can be overwhelming. You may find no matter what you do you get lost in the hospital on a regular basis. Although you’ve mastered technology-or so you thought-you need help figuring out the type of  technology your new employer is using. Some of your coworkers seem almost hostile and no mater what you do someone is always needing more.

Welcome to the fast-paced and exhausting job of being a nurse at a busy medical center. But fear not. Even though some of the more seasoned and experienced nurses appear to glide seamlessly through their shift, moving from task to task, answering call bells immediately and charting with effect ease, they were once “newbies” too. Life at a busy medical center need not overwhelm you. Here are 7 tips to help you master your new job and become a valuable part of the team in no time at all.

Embrace Technology

Your job is often fast-paced, especially at a busy medical center. The only thing that moves faster is technology, changing almost daily.  It’s necessary to embrace the ever-changing word of health technology if you’re planning a career in a busy medical center, big or small. You can do this by jumping in with both feet. You’ll likely be privy to a training session at orientation. Seek out as much information and practice time as possible. Soon you’ll master the technological tasks. Probably just in time to learn an entirely new program!

Remember accessing patient records, adapting to a new medication scanning program, or learning a whole new way of charting electronically, don’t be afraid to jump right in and learn. After all, these technological advances are designed to make your work easier and more efficient. Take advantage.

Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Even as technology advances one thing remains true in a busy medical center: Change is constant. Whether you’re dealing with a unique patient presentations or new patient protocols, you must be able to call on your critical thinking skills as a nurse. You will constantly be faced with entirely new circumstances regarding patients, medical teams, and treatment. It’s up to you, as the nurse, to tailor your patient care accordingly. 

You already know that no two patient cases are alike. When working with your unique patient there’s much to be considered. Determining what’s best for your patient based on their needs, lifestyle, and available resources demands critical thinking skills. You possess the best as a nurse so why not use them to your patient’s advantage. 

Don’t Make it Personal

Nurses need to have a thicker skin than most other professionals. As a nurse you may disagree with a physician’s call, have insults and demands hurled at you by patients and their families, and exhausted coworkers may snap at you. Unless any of these scenarios interferes with patient care, learn to let them roll right off your back. It might take practice and a few deep breaths, but you can do it.

Communication is Key at a Busy Medical Center

You must develop excellent communication skills when working in a busy medical center. Learn to give concise yet thorough shift reports by taking notes throughout the day. When communicating with patients or family members ask them to repeat what you’ve told them as they understand it. Repeat your directives to patients and their families several times over if you must. And practice good listening as well. What a coworker, patient, family member, or physician is saying to you could impact the care you provide for your patient. 

Find a Mentor

Most busy medical centers have some sort of mentor program for new hires. You’ll benefit greatly from having a mentor and as your nurse mentor knows the ropes at your new place of employment it can be much easier to get in step and feel confident at your busy medical center.

Always Expect the Unexpected 

As stated earlier, you never know how your day will go or what adventures working at a busy medical center will bring. You may find the patient you cared for on your prior shift has taken a turn, or you may be faced with something else traumatic in nature. It’s possible that new protocols and procedures have been introduced to the staff and you feel as though you aren’t prepared. Whatever the case coping with the stresses of working at a big hospital or busy medical center is necessary to your health. Most larger medical facilities have someone on staff who can help you figure out how to deal with the unexpected, or difficult situations many nurses find themselves in from time to time.

Find Out Where to Learn

If you find you feel as though you’re having a much harder time adapting to your new job than you expected ask about repeating your orientation program, being assigned a mentor, or observe those around you and ask questions. Find out where you can take classes to develop skills you think you might need in order to advance. Whether a small clinic or a busy medical center nurses are constantly called upon to learn new skills. 

You have what it takes to be the best nurse possible because you want to be the best nurse possible. Use that desire to forge ahead and become an integral part of your busy medical center. Sure, you’re exhausted by the end of your shift, but you’re also fulfilled in the knowledge that you provided the best in patient care. Take a breath and remember these 7 tips to finding your way when you begin your job at a busy medical center.

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