Friday, February 6, 2015

Why I Love Charge Nurses

When you graduate from nursing school you have a few months that you spend with a preceptor, but then you are released and are virtually on your own, or so it feels much of the time. During my orientation, I was intimidated by my charge nurses. I erroneously thought that they were too busy and important for me to bother. Boy was I wrong! If you need help or simply have a question, your charge nurses are your biggest resource. I love all of the charge nurses I work with. They each have their own special gifts, and all are extremely helpful.

Charge nurses typically have many years of experience and are the "experts" Patricia Benner describes in her book, Novice to Expert. They are the nurses you can call when you need a second opinion before you call Rapid Response to come for a nurse consult or page your physician about a change in patient status. As a new grad, I know that I, and other new grads, sometimes need this second assessment by a senior nurse to validate our own assessment and give us confidence before we recommend the physician to escalate care.

My advice to recent grads in the December 2014 class who are becoming the latest proud group of RNs to graduate from Liberty University is to make friends with your charge nurses. Your charge nurses are the ones you can call when you are swamped with STAT labs, meds, patient care, and have no way of getting it all done yourself. Charge nurses want you to succeed as much as you do. Don't be afraid of asking for help. One of the most important lessons you will learn as a new nurse is, when you need help, ask.

No comments:

Post a Comment