Being a nurse is one of the essential roles in healthcare. You’re responsible for several patients at once, ensuring their safety and well-being throughout each shift. One way to take some weight off your shoulders would be by improving your work environment as it could make you seem more efficient!
Nurses work in unique environments, and many nurses have no control over their environment. But there are things you can do to improve your work-life! One way is to organize the room with drawers for each supply type to be more accessible when another nurse needs a specific item. You could also cut down on clutter by only keeping out what’s necessary during short shifts or working at home instead of storing everything permanently until it’s time for a cleaning day.
Another good idea would be to use color-coded labels on all medications that need refrigeration. Everyone knows which ones should not go above certain temperatures before being discarded after 24 hours. And finally, always take care of yourself – stretch, eat healthy foods throughout the shift (something spicy!)
However, if you’re agitated by your surroundings, you can underperform at work. A professional work environment only yields positive healthcare outcomes. Here’s how you can improve your environment:
1. Study More
The best you can learn more about your profession is by diving deeper into it. With added flexibility and self-paced learning, if you already have a bachelor’s under your belt. Then it would be wise to opt for online nursing masters to understand your prospects better. Post-graduation in any field helps you get a deeper insight into what your area lacks. Not only will you get a better understanding, but you will also do your job better. Advanced degrees help you tap into more opportunities as well as more senior positions.
2. Communicate More
There are times when your plight may not get noticed. Suppose you feel like the system could be smoother. Talk about it. You have every right to sit with the hospital dean and talk to them about the hospital. If you feel the hospital is lacking somewhere, bring it to their attention. You can even discuss if you think patients are not completely satisfied with the care they receive.
3. Collaborate More
If you work in a team, you will know your peers better. When you have a fundamental understanding, your patients will benefit from your care. Trust is also important in your profession. When you delegate someone’s work, trusting them means you won’t micromanage them. In the nursing career, you have limited time to work with patients. You can’t handle everything on your own and need to get along with your team. You will also enjoy working more when you have an effective team that helps you close cases.
4. Be Better At Making Decisions
One of the most important roles you will play as a nurse is the decisions you take. If you make swift and effective decisions, the hospital will benefit from it. Suppose you suggest that online bookings for appointments are better than routine patients waiting at the hospital. It will help them save time and calmly submit their details. As a result, you’re changing the picture of clinical care, making it practical and less crowded. You may even introduce new policies. These include how nurses can handle emergencies such as a breakout of an infectious disease. When the healthcare providers are in control, it yields more positive results. A proper system is what the sector needs.
5. Request For Appropriate Staffing
It is not unusual for a nurse to manage several cases at a time. The training they receive at medical school helps them cope with the work. However, doctors need to maintain a ratio of nurses to patients. Overworking nurses can cause burnout. Nurses may also mess up cases or not tolerate a patient. For the healthcare sector, that can be disastrous. Therefore, as a nurse, if you’re handling too many cases, request for more nurses. If you’re already pulling extra shifts, including the weekends, you get to put your demands forward. A hospital should never make you take on extra work just because you can.
6. Provide Timely Updates To Doctors
As a nurse, you should take advantage of technology. Charts are now available in electronic format. Communication between nurses and doctors is far more accessible now. So when you get updates on a patient’s condition, update medical charts right away. You should also notify the doctor in charge. If you work in a team, you can divide the work and ensure all doctors get timely updates. An efficient system can help nurses improve their work environment. Patients are also much happier when they effectively get the time and attention.
7. Increase Workspace Safety
Nurses are continuously in danger of getting illnesses. The pandemic of 2019 is a perfect example. Nursing safety equipment and supplies were scarce. As a result, they got consistently exposed to the virus. Hospitals need to acknowledge the role nurses play in keeping the medical sector in one piece. If they need more support and help, they should get it ready. That means hospitals should not hesitate to invest more into PPEs. Not only will nurses feel safer at work it will also take off unnecessary anxiety. As a nurse, you’re entitled to proper care and support to provide the same treatment to patients.
8. Regular Healthcare
Nurses are entitled to proper healthcare. The work you’re putting in at hospitals is not only stressful. It can take a toll on you. You also get exposed to different patients who are carrying other diseases. Regular health checkups will ensure you’re doing well and are healthy. It will also inform you if you have an illness that needs checking. Hospitals need to fund nurses’ healthcare more. The chances of you spreading the disease is relatively high. Suppose there is an outbreak in the hospital. Nurses should get care first.
9. Mental Health Advocacy
When you’re pulling long hours at work, it can stress you. Working in the healthcare sector entails long shifts with minimal rest. If your body and mind don’t get proper sleep, it will impact you. You may start showing signs of fatigue, anger, and even depression. There needs to be more healthcare advocacy for nurses. If a nurse is mentally struggling, they cannot provide excellent care to patients. Hospitals can bring in counselors to help take care of nurse’s mental health. These counselors can inform the dean if a nurse needs a break or needs extra care at work. It also helps hospitals design more humane schedules for nurses.
10. Develop A Standard Policy
Uniformity is the key to a good hospital environment. If the rules are haphazard, outcomes will suffer. Medical providers need to have a standard policy in making sure that everyone is pulling their weight. Doctors should not take advantage of nurses and shift their workload on them. Similarly, nurse practitioners should guide and lend their knowledge but not expect to shoulder every department’s work. Standard policies also ensure the hospital is not submerging into chaos. If there are no clear rules during times of emergency, the system might get disrupted.
Nurses work in a callous and disciplined environment. However, despite that, there is always room for improvement. As a nurse, you get entitled to a proper healthcare environment. You can help that by bringing forward your observations. If you feel the hospital lacks efficiency, communicate that more. Don’t hesitate to use your voice to empower teams, build a better structure or express your grievances. You should also help hospitals develop standard policies. You also deserve better healthcare and mental health counselors to ensure you get the care you need. In addition, as a nurse, you can push for more staff members.