Working as a newly qualified nurse can be scary enough without a global pandemic, so for those who have recently become nurses and are looking for work, it can be a very unsettling and confusing time. It is hard to predict what will happen in the future, but some things are to be expected when looking for work during a pandemic, and hopefully, this article will help clarify some of those things.
- You Will Be Thrown Into The Deep End
Wherever you are in the world at the moment, being a new nurse looking for work is a very overwhelming prospect. There is a rise in the need for nurses almost everywhere right now, which on the one hand is great for job prospects, but on the other hand, it is a very sad reality because it means there is a lot of suffering going on.
Prior to starting a job, it’s good to know how much training and support newly qualified nurses are offered in the hospital you wish to work in. Some hospitals will prioritize training more than others, however, things are likely to be a bit more fast-tracked these days as they need nurses on the frontline as soon as possible. As a result of this, you are probably going to find yourself in situations that can be scary for a new nurse. It’s okay to feel scared, talk to your seniors and never do anything that you are not comfortable doing.
- There Will Be Good Days and Bad Days
This may seem like an obvious point to make, but it is important that you really take in and accept that there will be good and bad days. Some days you may want to end up quitting your job. This is normal and to be expected. Working during a pandemic means that you are going to be exposed to a lot of suffering and death. Sometimes you will have to talk to families and explain why their family member has passed.
Learning how to give bad news to patient’s families can be hard but with the right training and support, it will become manageable. This is often a learning curve that a lot of trainee nurses struggle with. There are lots of tips available for delivering bad news.
As much as there will be bad days, there will be those good days that make it all worth it. You’ll be reminded of why you wanted to be a nurse. The feeling of reward when you are able to successfully help a patient will always outweigh those bad days.
- You Will Need Support
As a new nurse, support is going to be crucial to your wellbeing. There are training programs for new and aspiring nursing students learning on placement and in a school at the same. A notable program with Labouré College has their students learning out in the community, but they are not left to their own devices. They encourage their students to seek out and use support resources. Support is essential to aid your learning and it can come in various forms. For example, there are mental health counseling services that vary from 1-1 counseling to large group therapy sessions. However, other types of support can come from socializing with your peers, and those who are going through similar experiences to you. Go for a coffee with a fellow colleague or a friend, seek solace in one another, and try not to bottle in the feelings that can come from enduring those bad days.
- Expect Disruptions
Disruptions are to be expected in normal times, so as you can imagine, the level of disruptions that can occur in the medical field right now is unprecedented. The sooner you can accept this and work with it the better. It is easy to become frustrated when things do not go to plan or when things are poorly organized, however, unfortunately, this is going to happen. It’s not going to be easy, but you will adapt and become more resilient to these disruptions over time. Learning how to increase your adaptability is good for not only your personal development but also for your professional development.
The main thing to remember when looking for work during a pandemic is that your efforts and work are invaluable. There is a lot of support available to you to help you find work and then to succeed in the role that you do get. As cliche as it may be to say, expect the unexpected and then nothing can phase you!