As a healthcare worker myself, I have learned that there are many benefits to working in healthcare. However, there are certain tips that you should know in order to do a good job. Every healthcare organization runs differently whether it’s a nursing home, hospital, rehabilitation facility, etc., but these ten points should help you succeed in any healthcare field you choose to go in to.
1. There are MANY options available within healthcare
You don’t have to be a doctor, a surgeon, or a Registered Nurse (RN)! There are so many possibilities in the healthcare field such as Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Physician’s Assistant (PA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Dietician, Nutritionist, Nurse Practitioner (NP), etc. There are so many people involved in a single patient’s care team that you don’t even realize how many different positions there are and how much goes into each person’s care.
2. Patience, patience, and patience
You will work with many different people on a daily basis along with caring for your patients on long shifts without sitting. That could make anyone a little cranky, but you need to keep your cool because everyone is just trying to get their stuff done on time and provide the best care they can for each person. So don’t blow up at a caregiver or a patient because you are overwhelmed. Just step away for five minutes or ask for help. Even if someone else is being rude or exerting their emotions on you, don’t react negatively. It could escalate the situation for no reason.
3. Teamwork will make everyone happy
Going back to my last point if you’re feeling stressed or pressed for time don’t be afraid to get some help. Similarly, if a nurse or another CNA delegates a task to you within your scope of practice and you’re not doing anything, try to help out and make things go more smoothly.
4. Communication is your biggest ally
With patient care you need to report things that are abnormal as soon as you get them. It can mean life or death for a patient. So make sure you communicate with everyone what you’ve already done and what you’re going to do because effective communication can eliminate errors and save lives. In fact, 250,000+ patients die a year from medical malpractice and it is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer. So if telling a nurse that the blood pressure of one patient is slightly elevated could save that person’s life, you better do it.
5. Write down as much as you can
You won’t always have time to go from one person’s room to the computer/ book to document. So be very specific about what you did or what you measured and write it down somewhere you’ll have access to it and then come back to it when you have time. For example, I’m a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) at a hospital and what I do whenever I take a set of vital signs is write down the time I took it and specifics about the position the patient was in, whether they were resting, and other important facts such as shortness of breath or elevated/low numbers.
6. Time management is a pretty important aspect of the job
This cannot be stressed enough! You’ll have an entire list of patients that have their own routines and like things a specific way which can be time consuming. Try to multitask best you can because it’ll save you time and help you get through each person’s routine. Of course you’ll get this experience on the job, but it’s something to keep in mind.
7. It’s NEVER going to be pretty or easy
You are going to see many bodily fluids and gross excretions and it’s not going to be easy, but your job is to never make the patient feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about it because they might not be able to help it or they may already feel self-conscious. There is a big physical and mental component with this job as well, so you’ll be lifting heavy patients, be moving around all the time, etc. This isn’t an easy job nor a pretty one, but if you keep these things in mind then you’ll be a little more prepared for the job.
8. It’s a rewarding profession
This job will make you realize that you are making a difference in patient’s lives and they appreciate every single thing you do for them by making their life a little easier. Whether it’s asking for the TV remote or helping them get to the bathroom, you make them feel cared for and respected. You will feel the appreciation from them too which makes your job in healthcare much more worthwhile.
9. Own your responsibility
If you forgot to do something, take responsibility for it. Take ownership for your mistakes because it makes you seem more responsible and chances are that you will remember next time not to do it or to do it. Also, no one is going to yell at you or reprimand you for your integrity, so be truthful to yourself, your team, your patients, etc.
10. Positive attitude
There are going to be days when life is going to happen and you won’t be the happiest person coming into work, but that doesn’t mean you can take it out on your patients or coworkers. You leave your problems at the door of your work place because you become a caregiver the minute you swipe into work. It’s not always easy, but it’s doable.