Updated: Jan 2, 2019
So as I stated in part one of this blog post my friend Jas and I took on the Houston traffic in order to see the incredible Monique Doughty or as most know her as Nurse Mo! Guys this lady is like complete goalssssssssss! I had such a wonderful time at the workshop and took home all the gems. Also it was an opportunity to connect with nurses already in the Houston area. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo let me introduce the wonderful panel! Our host was Mike Kearse RN, CCRN you can find him on the gram at officialmursemike! Now for our panelists: Ashley Cockrell, MSN, APRN, CNM, FNP-BC, Toriquic Dunkley, MSN, APRN, A-GNP, Amber Gardner, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, Jasmine Betsey, BSN, RN, Krystal Beatty, MSN, RN, and Daysha Williams, LVN. You can find them on the gram respectively, ashleycockrell, tyreed23, unearthedamber, itzmizb2u, steadye6alating, and nursedaizy! So please go check out these wonderful people and follow their journeys!
After walking into the reception hall where the event was being held, we were greeted and checked in and were allowed to pick a group to join for the breakout session. The groups were: branding/entrepreneurship, furthering your education, travel nursing, I just need motivation, and the best one of all.....how to survive being a new grad! Obviously I wanted to go to them all but the latter was clearly the most beneficial for me. So walking in we saw they had a few vendor booths and refreshments. So we walked around and picked a table right in the middle so we could get the best view! Soooooooo the first 40 minutes we were allowed time to socialize, shop the vendor tables, eat, take pictures and of course network, network, network. Which if I do say so myself I did a lot of. Waiting in the line to take a picture with Nurse Mo, I met a girl that was from my hometown. She wasn't that much older than me but we didn't know each other in school. However, this goes without saying I made a new friend! The next 20 minutes was a little Ted Talk by Nurse Mo and Murse Mike, our most gracious host! During this time they went around and asked random people in the crowd why they wanted to be there. One girl introduced herself and she so happened to be a Soror so me being the Alpha woman that I am had to SKEEEEEE WEEEEEEE with my fellow Sorors! Back to networking after the event was over I met up with a lot of them exchanged numbers as we should. Moving on to the rest of the program........we broke into our groups that were previously mentioned. My group, the best group, the new grad group came up with 5 challenges that we as new grads face. Then we gave examples of ways to conquer those challenges or what those challenges were!!!!!
THE FIRST CHALLENGE
Networking el oh el! So things we decided to do to be a great networker was speaking up, being nice and gain relations with everyone, go to formal networking events and school job fairs and, last but not least, ALWAYS introduce yourself with confidence. So let me break it down now! By simply speaking up, being nice and introducing yourself can make a huge difference. You don't know who might be in the crowd and a simple hello can open the door for you to get a new job you may have been wanting or even the opportunity to gain a mentor (details coming soon about that btw😌). Also going for formal networking and school events can allow you to gain relations with hospital recruiters, educators and even managers and directors. So just remember you never know who might can give you your next opportunity so be polite!
THE SECOND CHALLENGE
Interviews and that darn resume! The keys to getting a job obviously! Some of the things we said to conquer this challenge were first and foremost go after what you want. If you know there is a job you want and you won't be happy anywhere else go after it. Don't let anything hinder that. No one knows exactly what's best for you except you. You have to listen to your heart. Whew......I had to get that off my chest! 😂 Moving on, when looking for jobs or new grad residency programs we said do your research to prepare for the interview. There are sites like indeed and glassdoor that you can find questions that people put there from actual interviews from different facilities. By looking at these questions it gives you the opportunity to prepare answers for these questions if you're like me so you can feel more confident about your interviews. Most of the interviews ask behavioral questions, they really want to see how you as a person react to situations. Most importantly to assess your clinical judgement and critical thinking skills. These may trip you up, they definitely have tripped me up in some of my interviews but the way I deal with being tripped up is by being myself. Interviews are not a test you have to pass to get hired and it took me a really long time to really understand that. Being yourself goes a long way because people want genuine people to work for them and remember just because you may not get a particular position don't give up on it. Managers remember that you made a good impression on them and may consider you for that particular position after you've gained experience!
We discussed job skills in particular figuring out your strengths and weaknesses to identify if you are asked about them in your interview. For example, some of my weaknesses are: I care too much and I don't like to ask for help especially when I know I can get the job done myself. But back to the event! Something I wasn't that familiar with was group interviews. They said the best way to do these are to listen to what the other interviewees are saying by being attentive, chiming in and agreeing with them, piggybacking off their statements and not trying to show them up because its a competition because it's not. The purpose of interviews like this are to see if you can work well with others. If you were to act snarky with the other interviewee, who's to say you won't act like that as a staff nurse and let's face it nursing does include components of individual work but ahem *clears throat* I WOULD BE NOTHING WITHOUT MY TEAM! Working together makes the nights go by smoothly! Last but not least, the most important thing about interviews is your attire! I plan to go more into detail about this on another post but the basics are as followed: nothing too tight or too loose, neutral colors: black, blue, brown, gray. Do not show cleavage ladies, do not sag men. Your mission is to get a job so dress professionally. Another tip was to not distract your interviews by wearing perfume/cologne or excessive jewelry. You want them to be focused on what you are saying and that beautiful brain of yours that nursing school has trained so well!
THE THIRD CHALLENGE
Nursing skills! You spend so much time in clinical and lab learning all these new skills but if you don't use them, you what.................................lose them! The main skill we talked about was understanding EKGs. Personally, I hate them. I swore they would be the death of me because I sucked at strips in nursing school. If it wasn't NSR, ST, or SB I could promise you I didn't know it! The main thing we discussed was getting with a group or person in your class or cohort for the people in residencies, who is the strongest at reading and understanding the qualities of strips. For my current job I had to take an EKG class and made a chart describing the characteristics of each type of rhythm that I will share at a later date so....................SUBSCRIBE! Another skill I've noticed I struggle with from working is inserting ivs especially on patients with rolling veins. But shout out to my preceptor because he got me right. You have a preceptor for a reason use them to your advantage! If you are having trouble with skills as a new grad, pull out your textbooks, skills books, watch YouTube videos, etc. Do what you have to do to be the best nurse you can be!
THE FOURTH CHALLENGE
Transitioning from nursing school to the actual workforce! Being in nursing school and being an actual nurse is definitely different. When you're in nursing school you are doing things under your clinical instructor's license and the liability insurance of your school. As a nurse baby boo you work on your own license and liability insurance! YOU'RE AN ADULT NOW! (Adulting post koming soon!) Anyway, a new job will definitely put you in an uncomfortable position but like my mom says you go to a job to do your job. You've trained for this and passed NCLEX to become a nurse so believe in yourself because you can do it! So some tips on transitioning are: step out of your comfort zone, learn your unit, tell your preceptor your learning style and make a list so you won't forget things when you're learning to chart and such. For example, one of my preceptors gave me her charting worksheet and it works best for me! It includes everything we are required to chart on and I can scratch things off as I go. My learning style is if I watch you do it first, ask my questions, then perform it while being observed in case I mess up, I can usually perform the task without help the next time! Luckily my night preceptor's teaching style was the same way. When I had my initial interview at the hospital I work at I took a tour of the unit with the manager so when I started I was a little familiar with where supply room, med room and break room were. I suggest asking the hiring manager if you can take a tour of your perspective unit on the interview in case you are hired you have an idea of where things are! Step out of your comfort zone at work and especially during orientation. Don't limit yourself because you think you can't do something. If your unit requires you to float, that will put you totally out of your comfort zone. Your unit is like home and wherever you go will not be home so while you're on your home unit and have the help of your regular co workers, get uncomfortable! Take that 6th patient while on orientation if you think you can handle it. Don't be afraid like I said you have this and you will succeed!
THE LAST CHALLENGE
Time management! This is probably the thing that most new grads struggle with. I know I do and have to constantly remind myself of the time. Unfortunately when we got to this topic we were winding down time so we only talked about cluster care. Gathering all your materials before going into a patient's room is so beneficial. So for example, I work nights. When I have patients that have diabetes and they have to have their blood sugar taken it's usually AC/HS! So when I go to give 2100 meds I bring the meter in too. Now I cannot tell you how many times I have left the meter outside at the nurses' station. It takes time to commit everything to memory but it does help when clustering care. It saves so much time!
After returning from the breakout sessions, me and another girl were chosen to present our challenges to the entire room. At first, I was like yes I'l do it but guys after I got in front of all those people my mind told me to run because I was scared lowwwwwwwwwwkey but I told myself I had to do it for myself. I always start with stage fright but I honestly love to hear myself talk so after the initial fright I'm good. But guess what after all the groups presented, the presenters were given a MDF stethoscope! From there we had a break to meet new people and take more pictures before the panelists answered questions from the audience. Some of the questions I remember were about furthering your education for the FNPs, questions about travel nursing and assignments and just general advice for us new nurses. One questions that really stuck with me was asked by a seasoned nurse from Dallas. she basically stated that she is bored and felt stuck in her career and what could she really do about it. The reason this stuck with me because we have all been there whether it be in careers or life. The advice she was given was so inspirational. I remember Nurse Mo telling her to think about what she hates and to do something as far away from that as possible. That makes you think about things in a different light. Some other advice given was to go for what you want to do! As you all know I want to be a midwife so no matter what I'm going to keep working towards that goal!
Following the lit Q&A Nurse Mo gave her "With Love" keynote speech! It was phenomenal! Since I was avidly listening I only took down three mantras from her speech and here they are to share with you!
I am a caterpillar. I may not fly as high as a butterfly, but I am sure as hell grounded!
My intentions are clear. I find value in every season. I am walking into my purpose and conquering my life with love.
Their insecurity is not my responsibility. Their limiting beliefs do not alter my journey and their fear doesn't affect my faith.
What did I take from this you ask? It's simple.......my journey will not be like anyone else's. I have to keep my faith in myself and God and go from there! With God, my family, and friends by my side anything is possible! Until next time........
XOXO... The Klassic Nurse 💋
Footage from the I am Resilient Workshop.......SUBSCRIBE TO NURSE MO!!!!!!
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