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Nurses Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Nurses Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

As mentioned in my previous article, my father developed a serious heart condition this past year. Despite his recent decline in health, he has remained surprisingly positive about the situation. I’m convinced one of the main things that’s helped him through this rough patch of life is the amazing care from the nursing staff at the hospitals he’s been in and out of.

The quality of care he has received from nurses has been a breath of fresh air. These events have really shown me what nurses are capable of, and how working that job must be very exhausting, mentally and physically.

I’m happy to say that medical staff, especially nurses, have saved my dad’s life multiple times this year. What sets nurses apart is that they pay attention to the little details. They leave no stone unturned.

They are compassionate, despite stress

People get scared in the hospital, because it’s a stressful and unpredictable place. Nurses handle stress with grace because they face more demanding situations than the majority of humans. In matters of life or death, split second calls makes all the difference.

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Nurses have always kept their composure in my experiences.

I received three spinal taps a few years ago. In spite of the doctor stabbing into my spinal tissue with a massive needle, the nurse in the room kept me positive through the errors and intense level of pain. She helped talk me through it, and pointed out the benefits of the procedure to my long-term health. The nurse held my hand and comforted me through the entire process.

And that’s exactly what nurses do best.

They put themselves in the patients’ shoes

Nurses understand and relate to their patients. They realize that a hospital stay is no walk in the park. When patients are at their lowest, nurses are able to identify this and grasp the patient’s perspective. Nurses converse with patients in a way that makes them feel safe and cared for. This helps put minds at ease and keeps spirits lifted.

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Realistically, nurses are extremely mindful people. They use caring words and avoid discouraging actions.

They comfort everyone in need

When I stayed with my father in a hospital several hundred miles away from our home, the nurses treated me as if I were a guest in a hotel. They did everything within their power to help me stay positive and feel welcome. Whether it was helping me find a place to sleep, getting me extra pillows and blankets, or chatting with me about the situation at hand, I felt comforted by the nursing staff at the hospital. They checked in with me regularly to see how I was coping with the stress and fear at hand. This type of behavior absolutely meant the world to me.

They possess a strong emotional IQ

It’s one thing to possess intelligence, but what’s even more impressive is emotional intelligence. A previous Lifehack article points out that emotional intelligence is determined by our level of ability to:

  • Recognize and understand our emotions and reactions (self-awareness)
  • Manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses (self-management)
  • Harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take appropriate action, commit, follow-through, and work toward the achievement of our goals (motivation)
  • Discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions, and utilize that understanding to relate to others more effectively (empathy)
  • Build relationships, relate to others in social situations, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team (social skills)

Emotional IQ is considered to be just as valuable as standard intelligence in workplaces. In the world of nursing, this is evergreen and essential. Nurses possess important technical skills and balance those with a high level of emotional understanding.

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They always account for human emotion.

They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty

Nurses have to perform many duties that no one wants to do, but they don’t let it show. Helping people is their number one priority, no matter what the job, no matter how dirty or stinky. The fact is that nurses have a genuine desire to assist people with recuperation, and become what many would describe as “beautifully desensitized.”  Basically, this means that they will help no matter how disgusting the scenario may seem, and they look past things deemed disgusting by most.

It all comes down to is a genuine desire to help those facing times of dire need. When a catheter needs to be removed, a nurse will be there. When a patient is bleeding all over the place, a nurse will be there. And when bodily functions are no longer controllable, a nurse will be there.

They will be there, and they will never make you feel embarrassed or ashamed.

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Nurses don’t sweat the small details and intricacies of their job. They are always there for their patients, and that’s why it takes a very special person to fill the role of a nurse.

Featured photo credit: Bradley University Online via onlinedegrees.bradley.edu

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Robert Parmer

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Published on October 8, 2019

How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

1. Define What Success Is for You

There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

7. Pick Up Some New Skills

Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

9. Make Yourself Indispensable

Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

10. Get Off the Fence

People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

18. Join a Professional Organization

The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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