As a Nurse, It’s Okay to Say “No”

It’s safe to say that most nurses aren’t accustomed to saying “no.” It’s probably not in your nature — you’re someone who selflessly gives to others, day after day, and you’re a natural helper. But it turns out that saying “no” is sometimes a crucial skill that can benefit you and your patients in many ways.


Here are a few reasons why it’s okay to say “no” when you need to:

Saying “No” Prevents Burnout

When you say “yes” automatically to everything that’s asked of you — every patient request, every family member’s insistence, every coworker’s favor — you start to pile too much on your plate. It’s very important to remember that you’re only one person, and you can’t do it all. In fact, part of being a great nurse is knowing your limits. You can set those limits by telling others “no” when you don’t have the time to do something because there’s no shame in admitting you’re at full capacity. If you don’t set those limits and take on everything by yourself, you’ll quickly become burnt out, and that can start to impact your job, your career, and even your life outside of work.


Saying “No” Can Improve Patient Care

Having too much on your plate at once isn’t just bad for you. It’s bad for the patients under your care. When you’re tasked with everything under the sun, you’re bound to miss something. And in your healthcare facility, missing things can mean the difference between health and illness, and even life and death in some cases! Spreading out responsibilities amongst your fellow team members and coming at it from a united, collaborative front is a much better approach for patients than taking on every responsibility yourself.


Saying “No” Might Be the Right Thing for Your Family

Outside of work, you have loved ones at home that depend on you. If you’re away from home too often or the stresses of the job are affecting your family life, it’s okay to step away. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic — there are a lot of worries about transmitting the virus to family members at home and putting others at risk. It’s okay to say “no” if this just isn’t the right time for you to be at work!


Are you thinking of making a change in your career? BOS Medical can help you find the job that you want and deserve. Contact us today to learn more and get started on the search.

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