By Lucy Osborn MACN (ENL)
This column, The Scrubs that Fit, is all about the highs and lows of being a junior nurse, from the perspective of an ACN Emerging Nurse Leader. The aim of these blog posts is to help ease the transition from university to grad years and beyond. Find Lucy on ACN’s neo and on Instagram @aussie_nurses.
As nurses, we are so lucky to work in a profession where we have such a big impact on people’s lives, we are on the front line for the best and worst moments of people’s lives. We leave a big mark on people and for this reason, we must adhere to the highest possible standards of professionalism. In this Scrubs that Fit collumn, I’d like to highlight some of the ways nurses of all levels and experience can achieve this standard in their daily working lives.
Respect those around you
From a very young age, I was taught to treat everybody with the same respect. My family raised me with the belief that we are all humans with different strengths and weaknesses and to never undervalue someone from their appearance or socioeconomic status. I have carried this onto my nursing career. Access to safe and non-judgmental health care is a right, not a privilege, and as nurses, we have the responsibility to uphold this.
Get out and talk to people!
To be a professional nurse, I believe you need to be well-rounded with an abundance of experiences. These can be gained through talking and listening to those you meet along your journey. I believe that you should have personal gain from everyone you meet and if you don’t, you have either rushed the conversation, didn’t have time to delve deep enough or you weren’t listening. Every person you talk to will have a unique perception, a marvel of ideas and wisdom from another perspective. You may not always have something in common with everyone you talk to but take into account their thoughts and feelings and challenge your own.
Recognise the success of your peers
Showing unwavering support to those around you who are thriving and doing ‘good’ is another great way to show professionalism. It is apparent to me that not enough of us are putting in the small amount of effort required to show support to one another. We are surrounded by a collection of Australia’s brightest and best nurses and sometimes I don’t think that we give them the response they deserve with the amount of work they have done. To ensure we are all productive and continue on these epic nursing pathways we need to be supporting and congratulating each other on our amazing achievements. I think this is particularly important in professional friendships and cohorts.
Dress to impress
You can’t talk about professionalism without mentioning etiquette and appearance! What you wear is a great way to showcase the most authentic version of yourself and BE YOU! Dress- code wise, I like to put a modern-day touch on business sleek, with the help of my fashion gifted housemate. Its neat business that is 100% my style (I love pink ) but you can see within my peers our difference in style and personalities through our clothes and I think that uniqueness is really important.
Nurses must bring energy to their work and networking to act professional. Something I get told when I attend conference around the world is “it’s a breath of fresh air seeing young faces here”. We aren’t meant to sit in the shadows and fit in, we are there to stand out and grow, it’s such a great skill to be able to take your enthusiasm and turn it into respectful contributions in any setting.
To conclude, I’d like to highlight some key takeaway points:
- Everyone has a story or advice that will help you grow, learn how to extract that from everyone you meet
- Never overlook someone when networking, you may not have a connection on values or opinions but theirs will open up a new avenue of thinking for you to consider. Reflect and grow from this
- Be yourself because you are awesome. (I know this because you’re a nurse)
- SUPPORT EACH OTHER