One thing growing up that my parents not only taught me, but were an example of, was a good attitude! Later on in life, I never realized that this tool would mean more than any degree, any position title, and letters behind my name, any….ANYTHING. Our attitudes are everything!
I went to public school my whole life. I believe that I got a decent education, but could have been challenged a lot more. I don’t have a big vocabulary. My grammar is mediocre, and I made C’s all through college and nursing school. I even failed a class called Adult Health! YES! I FAILED A CLASS IN NURSING! Getting through nursing school was not an easy task for me. Lots of setbacks along the way. As time went by and I endured the program, one thing became very apparent. The professors at my program did not have the best attitudes. They were not very professional at all. This wasn’t every teacher, but most were quite gossipy about students and in my opinion, they didn’t really love what they did! It was all about pointing out the wrong and criticizing, rather than building up the students and using constructive criticism.
I kept my head up the whole way through school and took the time in my clinical rotation to take care of my patients and build relationships with them. I also kept a good attitude! Nursing school is hard! It’s emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. If you went through with a bad attitude, it just made it a lot worse! I later came to realize this about real life nursing! It is also emotionally, physically, and mentally draining! Coming on to a 12 hour shift, receiving report, and then taking care of MD orders, procedures, admissions, assessments, medications, and whatever the day throws at you, it can absolutely wipe you!
Nothing gets to me more than when a nurse who comes to receive report drills you about orders that may have not been carried out just yet, or x, y, and z, that hasn’t been done. The response I want to give involves slamming my clip board on the ground and getting in their face and saying ” OH HEAAAALLL NAH… have you tried day shift?!?!” Fortunately, as a professional nurse, I am able to contain myself and continue report. ( And for the record, I was a night shift nurse for 2 years). Day shift nursing can be a lot like trying to run and pass medications on a moving freight train, to different carts with a bunch of people in your way, asking questions, trying to jump off the train, getting new orders, and its your responsibility to feed them, heal them, save them from jumping, clean them, and if you don’t, you’re fired. Oh and don’t forget to document it all! And if that was confusing and didn’t make sense, that was intentional. Because sometimes that’s what our days are like! The worst is when you receive a bad attitude about the difficult patient you’re giving them, like it was my fault! Real life: some days you’re going to get the hard patients. Some days your total patient load is harder than others. THIS IS NURSING. Having your bad attitude influence your reaction to it is hurting yourself and it’s hurting me! We all know this job is hard. Day shift, night shift, red shift, blue shift…..it’s ALL HARD! The one thing that is going to make a hard assignment or situation easier is having a good attitude about it!
People are going to be more likely to reach out to help someone who continuously shows a good attitude and respect. This can result in a better work environment and quite honestly, better job satisfaction. I worked a Part Time job that paid quite well, but the people and management I worked with were awful! The employees complained about everything and management was extremely unprofessional. I could see that it would be easy to fall into that “bad attitude” hole if I was around it long enough! “ Bad company corrupts good character.” That’s biblical people! Even if you don’t believe in the bible, that statement is truth! When you are surrounded by negative people, you will become like them in some way shape or form.
As a float nurse, there is a floor that I know no matter what, I am going to have a good day. It’s probably one of the harder floors to work as far as patient acuity goes, but the staff is amazing! Everyone is in good spirits. Everyone lends a hand. Everyone picks up where the other left off. And everyone has one thing in common: a good attitude! I will pick up an extra shift to help out on this floor whenever I can! Because I know that I will have a good day regardless of the patient load. EVERY floor has the potential to be like this! Sometimes I wish our hospitals invested in motivational speakers to give talks about team work and positivity rather than wasting money on silly things which I could list but will save my self the smack on the hand 😉 My point is, people want to work, and do good work when its in a positive environment.
Do yourself and everyone else a favor. Keep a good and positive attitude. And as for nursing, go the extra mile for your co-workers. We all know what it’s like to have a crazy crappy day, and then have a nurse come on and drill you about what you didn’t do. Pick up where they left off. Please. You will want that favor returned to you. Even if its not from that person you get the return, it still builds good character and people around you see that. Working with positive people at the dump could make working at the dump a pleasant experience! Not such a “crappy” job anymore 😉
I will end with this…. I am not perfect. I struggle with grumbling. I sometimes feel overwhelmed from my days and when people ask for help, it’s easy for me to want to shoot it down. It’s an internal battle, but I try my best to do it with a good attitude. When people are continually looking out for one another and sacrificing their personal work time to help each other, it builds a work environment that you are going to want to work in no matter how busy or hard it can be. Not only will your co-workers and yourself benefits from good attitudes, but your patients read into your attitude and whats going on outside of their room. It ultimately effects them. Now you just have yourself in a downward spiral. Realize we ALL have stuff going on outside of work. Some worse than others. Nurses can be some of the most amazing people to work with. We all came into this profession because hopefully we all care about people. We have a work environment that has the potential to be one of the best for our hearts. It’s not perfect every day, but practicing a good attitude is everything! Let’s build each other up! Life is too short and unfair for us to contribute to it negatively. Your attitude is everything!