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7 Things to Learn from a "Lifer" Nurse

Prisca Smith | Scrubs Magazine


3. Nurses who have been around know when to admit they are wrong and take responsibility for their mistakes. They also rely on the nurses around them as sounding boards when things are questionable or difficult.


#4: Advocating for a Patient →


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    chcogefifi

    over 1 year ago

    2 comments

    I have been an RN Diploma graduate since 1956. I have worked full or part time since that year. My experience is vast as I have worked all departments in hospitals, physician offices, held staff development positions for hospitals for30 years, taught CNA's at the college level, been a rater for skills testing, 14 years as Staff Educator, in Skilled Care facilities and cared for church members in their own homes. I believe in critiquing in private and praising in public. I learn every staff members first name and use it consistently.
    The Mamie Porter 3 questions are my guidelines. Look it up on the internet under Mamie Porter. By the time you ask the last question you know what they know or need to know immediately. I love the residents, ients, , patients, or however they are referred to where I am employed. Patient advocacy is always on my mind. Being assertive, NOT aggressive, is using respect, dignity, and privacy for everyone I encounter, including physicians. I feel respected and try open and non=judgmental when listening. I am calm when in a STAT situation, ( I may cry later!) but pray every day to do God;s best through me. I have 3 grown children, a spouse of 57 years, and 6 grandchildren, and will continue to do what I can, when I can, and how I can. Creative fiction writing (yes, at 75) and quilting are my other aspirations. Just keep on and focus on what you can do and not what you can't. Live and Love Happily

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    cindyrn54

    almost 2 years ago

    2 comments

    Always be good to beginners. Nursing and Medicine are 2 professions where we eat out young. Smile at them, help them, be a mentor and tell them when they have done right. They will follow you around for the rest of your life. I know how I was treated and I vowed never to treat anyone that way. The first lifer who ever complimented me is my hero and when she retired I cried. She gave me confidence and a desire to become a lifer myself. The things you list in this article are so true. I believe the greatest thing you can do is take care of yourself outside the hospital. Exercise is key, relaxation and plenty of sleep are paramount to being able to take care of others. And remember whenever someone tells you you are worthless, for every wrong thing you might have done, you did a thousand things right. God bless everyone going into nursing, it is a monster job with great rewards.

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    cocotale9

    about 2 years ago

    2 comments

    A great article and I could not agree more. I am a nurse for one year. I find some nurse are unwilling to show you or guide you along the path, while others are kind and willing to help! I learn fast and know that one day I will be where they are and remember those entering the field and look out for them!

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    mermaids

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    I have been a nurse for 18 years and have worked in long term care. The stress level has increased because of
    the overall changes in healthcare. Healthcare is now a business and the nursing home I an employed at, is owned by a corporation. Profit is the bottom line. They want ten hours of work in eight hours. I find that working as a team lessens the level of stress and makes the work more pleasant. I help out the nurses I work with and they also help me when I am over whelmed. I also find that humour is the best medicine. Many stressful situations have a funny side.

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    joyrider

    over 2 years ago

    52 comments

    Guess what, lifers? I'm going back to school at 57 for my RN! I need some applause and support here because, frankly, I'm scared to death. (Don't tell my daughter. She just got her LPN in May and thinks I know everything about nursing). I'm too old for school but I've met all my responsibilities (3 kids grown and out of my house!!!!!, both parents cared for by me until their death, Dad in 2007 Mom in June of this year) so now it's my turn. Ya'll pray for me!

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    MarthaCarpenter

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I have been an RN since 1975. I have worked med-surg, supervision and have 31 years experience in the Emergency Department. I consider myself a lifer, but presently find myself unemployed for the last year and 3 months after my "job position" was eliminated. I have an illness called cyclic vomiting syndrome that is debilitating for about 24 hours then improves after another 24 hours due to increased fluid intake; needless to say, I have been labeled now due to absenteeism. My illness is now under control but I find no one is interested in hiring me or giving me a chance to prove that I am a competent RN without a mark on my practice and professionalism. I am not ready to retire as I am only 56 years old. I have worked with new and "old" nurses, been part of a great team of nurses and doctors that loved to educate other nurses and patients and I would love to get back into my area of practice. I still consider myself a LIFER! This was a helpful article.

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    laurad2129

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    This is a very helpful article for me, a new nurse. The "good" nurses are willing to take the time to show & tell you what to do, how to do it, and why, including the expected results or what to look for in a bad reaction. These are the "Lifers". They also have a way of encouraging new nurses and when I learned what she wanted me to do, she gave off an air of trust and faith in me that she knew I could do it. It made me feel more confident and in that, I was more confident and COMPETANT!!!

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    TravelNurse

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    You forgot to mention the traveling nurses. They are a part of the system and they have the same qualifications as anybody else. They just are a lot more mobile than the rest of the medical staff.

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    itsmewendylee

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I've been a nurse for 22 years, and was a nurses' assistant for 5 years before that. I haven't been with one employer all that time, but I'm not a nurse who has bounced from job to job frequently either. I've worked in pediatrics, geriatrics, and home care before settling into hospice nursing. I've loved it all and learned much. The skills you describe in this article are useful in all areas of nursing.

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    KellyBrooksRN

    almost 3 years ago

    4 comments

    How do I get into a hospital when I have minimal experience at a SNF/ Rehab, LTC faclity? I had a year there and am still having a hard time getting a hospital to give me my experience. I want to be able to stay at a facility to the long haul as well. I have a 2 yr old and want to be somewhere to raise her. Any adcice how to get my foot in the door to a hospital basically as a graduate RN. I have now been out of work, was laid off, for 6 mo + now and I am having such a hard time finding a job to take on a newer RN with little experience,

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    joyrider

    almost 3 years ago

    52 comments

    I, too, am a lifer. March 2011 I celebrated 34 years as a nurse. I have not stayed in one area preferring to try a little of it all but I seem to always float back to geratrics. There's something about those older folks that just makes my day. I would not change careers if I could go back 34 years. It's been a great ride!

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    horseloverRN

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Excellent article. I'm a true "Lifer", Graduated in 1979. I'm going to share this with the summer nurse intern who will be with me for 4 weeks starting tomorrow.

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    osose

    almost 3 years ago

    18 comments

    thiis is an all encompassing article. As a foreign trained nurse currently working as a CNA and preparing to take my NCLEX-RN exam soon, this article makes it obvious to me what is ahead of me as an RN and i am delighted to know that it will be a good responsiblity. I hope to be a lifer. Thank you for the good job. Please keep it on.

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    nursejanet

    almost 3 years ago

    8 comments

    I've been a nurse for 30 years; first, I was an LPN, then RN, then received a BSN. I've done home care for five years recently, and started out in home care, then went on to do other things. I think that lifers are less quick to react in a situation, giving it time to change or not. I am generally calmer than nurses who have not been in the profession as long as I have. I think that older nurses have a kind of intuition. One time I told a doctor that I thought the patient was going "sour". He didn't believe me, said there was no empiric evidence.. He lost that patient in a code the next day. I reminded him later; he said i was right.

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    casskemp

    almost 3 years ago

    4 comments

    most lifers I know do not have Masters degrees, they have 3yr RN diplomas and lived and breathed the hospital where they went to school and had a literal hands on schooling unlike today

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