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8 Rules for Happy Hour

8 Rules for Happy Hour

Jeff Hindenach | NursingLink

June 15, 2010

At the end of a hellish shift, it can be fun to go out and have a few drinks with your favorite nursing friends. But drinking with your colleagues isn’t like drinking with your friends on the weekend. The same rules just don’t apply.

No matter how laid-back your hospital may be, your actions always reflect on your professional nursing persona. So what kind of behavior is appropriate? Check out our happy hour etiquette guide for smooth sailing!

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Pretend You Are Still at the Hospital

What happens at happy hour doesn’t necessarily stay at happy hour. You don’t want other nurses at the hospital to gossip about your drunken texts, or post an embarrassing photo of you in the staff room! Keep your wits about you when joining other nurses for drinks. Act like you ’re still in a professional setting, and that all the usual HR rules still apply. This should give you a solid guideline of how to act.

Treat Your Boss Like You’re Still at Work

Just because you’re sharing a pint doesn’t mean you’re now BFFs. Going over a patient’s file with your supervisor while he’s trying to enjoy his Pilsner is not going to gain you any brownie points. Not to mention a privacy issue! Chances are he’s not going to remember what you talked about the next day anyway, so why are you trying so hard? As with your other colleagues, keep the conversation light and superficial. Definitely avoid speaking in <a href=“ jargon and don’t start quizzing other nurses about proper ”">patient education methods.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

Having a few drinks after your shift with fellow nurses is fine. Closing down the bar with them is not. The drunker you get throughout the night, the more likely you are to embarrass yourself in front of your entire staff. Don’t even think about showing up to your next shift drunk. That’s a patient liability suit waiting to happen!

But if you do find yourself stuck at the bar until last call with other nurses, remember to avoid the following …

Next Page: Hospital Relations Are Off Limits →

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