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5 Expert Tips All Nursing Students Should Know

5 Expert Tips All Nursing Students Should Know

The nursing industry is changing, and much of this has to do with the growth in the industry. This has forced the profession to adapt to the growing trends by offering more courses, better technology and ways to accommodate those entering the industry very soon.

Even though the transition has been efficient, you still have some issues which are costing taxpayers millions of dollars. For example, future students are simply having problems with the workload, dealing with the practical examination or even communicating with other colleagues. Though these might seem like major problems, you have the luxury of knowing they can be solved easily by making a few adjustments in your life.

The expansion of the internet has helped us understand the nursing industry better, and others have written extensively about the common problems. These same people provide us with practical tips and/or advice to help us become more comfortable in the medical environment.

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Today, we’ll be exploring the 5 best pieces of advice for future nursing students.

1. Stay Organized Always

In nursing, it’s important to stay organized from day one because you’ll have several things you’ll be required to do. The only way you’ll learn all of them is by staying organized and creating a systematic way of doing each of them. The more systematic the process, the easier you’ll learn how to accomplish everything on your agenda.

I’ve known many people in the nursing industry, and one thing they complain about is NOT knowing how to take care of the tedious tasks. I asked a professional nurse why this is the case, and she stated: “you must stay organized so even the tedious stuff seems to be well-organized”. I thought about this statement for a while and realized we create a cluttered environment so can unclutter too.

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Going forward use a paper or electronic calendar to keep track of all your assignments. Use the same tool to keep track of your schedule so you don’t miss any of the important training or meetings. At this point, we all have mobile phones and can download handy apps to help us keep track of all the above. If during a training session you are learning something which you think you’ll forget, then use a voice app on your phone to create a “note” or “review sheet” for yourself. The main objective for you is to stay organized as soon as you enter the profession.

2. Ask A lot of Questions

In this industry, you’ll be responsible for many people especially those with sensitive health concerns. We all know when it comes to health that you must know what to do the first time around. A small error will be catastrophic so you need to make sure you are on point always. In nursing, if you don’t know something then ask a lot of questions because there are people who will help. Some people on the floor are there to help you learn while you perform sensitive health duties.

When you don’t understand, it’s important to ask right away so you don’t forget. If you can’t ask then & there, you should write down your questions so you can ask them later.

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3. Know Material Before Hand

When you get involved in a professional career like legal, medicine, or even architecture, it’s important that you know the material beforehand. This is especially true since you have so much of it available online for free. I’m surprised at the amount of people who don’t take the time to research online and find the study guides available. By studying ahead of time, you are becoming familiar with the material and know what to expect going forward. Head over to Google and do a quick search with the following –

  • certified nursing assistants
  • nursing examinations
  • free CNA practice test
  • cna study material
  • what to expect in nursing school?

All of the above search queries will help you find the right material that will prepare you before entering the profession. The more you are familiar with, the less anxiety you’ll feel when in the environment.

4. Learn from Your Mistakes

If you keep making the same mistakes, you’ll have a hard time surviving in an intense industry. However, if you take the time to learn from your mistakes, you’ll do the job right which can be very gratifying. The good news in the nursing profession, you’ll have no shortage of people willing to help you out. They rely on a great network of people to make sure the job gets done right so are more than willing to help you correct your mistakes.

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I’ve often heard that nurses are like a big family which has your back, provide support, and help answer any questions you have along the way.

5. Great Network of People Around You

In nursing, you’ll only succeed when you have great people around you. You should surround yourself with people willing to help you understand the profession, and provide support during your tough days. However, when I thought about the concept of “networking with people”, I realized it’s the same no matter what profession you’re involved in…right? It doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer, nurse, businessman, etc because you need a strong network of people around you to guide you through the tough days.

I think you should make it your priority to connect with others in your class or the floor so you have a bunch to rely on if things get hectic. These same people should answer your common questions, help you every day, and understand the stresses associated with being a nurse.

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Rizvan Ullah

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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