6 Bad Habits Nurses Should Avoid

Obviously, a nurse’s job description is to help people get healthy. However, for a career field dedicated to health, nursing has a few bad habits that many medical professionals can easily fall into.

It’s easy to get comfortable once you get the hang of things and become unaware of the bad habits you may be developing. Not only will it affect your patients, but those habits could impede your growth opportunities. To keep you ahead of the game, here are six bad habits you should avoid as a nurse.

A Poor Diet
It can get pretty hectic on the floor, and fitting in a meal is sometimes little more than an afterthought. There may be patients waiting for you or a pile of paperwork to go through, and you could simply forget to eat or only have time to scarf down whatever is in the vending machine. It happens. But it’s still important to eat something with good nutritional value.

Pack small meals from home or, at the least, keep a few healthy snacks accessible at all times while you’re on the floor. Also, make sure to give yourself plenty of time before your shift to have a healthy, satisfying meal. It can make all the difference in your alertness and attitude later on.

Procrastinating, Then Rushing
As with all jobs, there may be tasks you dread and keep putting off. But you’ll have to take care of them eventually, so why wait? Procrastination doesn’t help anyone, especially you. When you wait until the last minute, it begins to delay and disrupt your performance and raise your stress levels. In the end, you have no choice but to rush things out. The work may be complete, but the results are only so-so.

Prioritize your tasks and set strict deadlines for yourself if there aren’t any already. Managing your time well and dedicating yourself 100% to your job will cultivate a desire to serve your patients more, not just check tasks off on a to-do list.

Being Late To Work
The problem with this habit is that you waste much of your colleagues’ time. It’s understandable when emergencies arise, and life happens, but it’s a problem when others have to frequently cover your absence until you arrive. Staying past their shift might cost them some trouble or mess up their other obligations. Frequent tardiness can be seen as disrespect or incompetence, so always try to be on time.

Calculate all the possible unforeseen events you might encounter to avoid this problem, such as traffic. Be honest with yourself and make the necessary adjustments to your time.

Gossiping
Gossiping can be harmless and can liven up an otherwise dull workday. However, it can also create a negative work environment and come with many hurt feelings and misunderstandings if it is not kept in control.

Be careful about what you say. What comes from your mouth may mean a different thing to others. Find other ways to bond with your co-workers, sharing only positive news that you learn about those that you meet.

Disorganization
Some scattered papers and a couple of Post-it notes never hurt anybody, but a messy workplace can hurt your productivity and leave you feeling unfocused. Illegible writing, spelling errors, messy records, and disorganized worksheets can make the job for you and your colleagues even harder. Being disorganized will confuse what happened to a patient and make medical treatment even longer.

Remember, patients trust you enough to submit to your care, so it’s pretty essential to have all of your documents in order. File papers away and keep everything in its proper place. Invest in a desk organizer, paper trays, or plastic bins for more storage if necessary. A clean desk will minimize your stress and make your workspace seem more professional.

Wearing Your Emotions
As a nurse, you’ll face challenging patients, frazzled physicians, heartbreaking situations, and of course, your personal life can leak into your mood for the day. Sometimes, constructive feedback can even seem like a personal attack. While many of us know that we shouldn’t take things personally, it’s still hard not to think about it.

Keeping your emotions in check while remaining compassionate to patients is critical to maintaining personal control and control over difficult situations. When you take things too personally, you let other people overpower what you are capable of doing. Your patients look to you for reassurance, so your reactions are essential every day.

The more you try to overcome these bad habits if you have them, the better the chances of performing better at work. The care you provide to the patients will be of better quality, and your personal growth as a nurse will fill you with satisfaction.

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