Nurses face challenging moments every time they come into work, not knowing what the day can bring also adds stress and anxiety. The way nurses deal with these moments is what will really define them and their core values. There are many core values that can influence nursing practice, the four that influence me the most are autonomy in decision making, commitment, honesty and individual and professional competency.
In my professional life as a nurse I have encountered many challenging experience’s, but one of the most significant ones was when I was working for a company as a prn nurse, and I walked onto my shift not knowing anyone or anything in this facility.
I was given three of the most critically ill patients on my unit because we were short staffed and had holding in the emergency room. As I was getting report I could feel myself getting overwhelmed with all the information that was given to me at once. Not only did I have a ton of tasks to do, I was also preparing myself for my first day shift as an ICU nurse, which consists of multiple family visits, appointments with occupational and speech therapy and rounds with doctors and charge nurses. Many of the nursing core values were challenged during this shift.
To begin with, individual and professional competency was tested to the maximum ability. Not knowing anyone on the unit, I felt like I had no support when caring for my three patients. I was determined to use my nursing skills and think critically about each situation, I would even look things up on the internet if I had to. Asking questions was a backup option, but unfortunately this unit had no team work and this didn’t seem to be a good option.
Many lessons were learned from this day at work, some of the few which include, justice, commitment, sympathy, honesty and human relationship. I walked out very late from this shift but I can say I walked out having accomplished everything I came to do that day.
I was able to feel sympathy for a family and my patient and they loved me for understanding them. Even though I was drowning with task to perform, I was able to be committed and loyal to my patience and to their care. The lessons learned in this experience have helped me become a better nurse overall. “As master’s-prepared nurses practicing in any setting or role, graduates must understand the foundations of care and the art and science of nursing practice as it relates to individuals, families, and clinical populations within an increasingly complex healthcare system” (AACN 2011).
Not only do I have a better understanding about nursing but I am not scared to speak up and be an advocate for my patient care and safety. I am able to incorporate my core nursing values into my patient care every day.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Retrieved from http://www. aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/Publications/MastersEssentials11.pdf