What Nurses Really Want for Nurses Week

Nurses Week13 Things Nurses Want, Every Day of the Year

By Onward Healthcare staff

Nurse gifts, trinkets and luncheons for Nurses Week may be nice, but what do nurses really want?

Hard-working nurses often mention these 13 things on their “most-wanted” lists:

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Nurses are already the most-trusted among all professionals in the annual Gallup polls, but some feel they still lack respect from some of their medical colleagues. Nurses deserve to have their education, skills and understanding of patient care acknowledged and appreciated.

2. Safe nurse staffing. When there aren’t enough nurses on the unit, it raises every nurse’s stress level, short-changes patient care and increases the possibility of a medical error. Travel nurses are often brought in during staff absences and census fluctuations to address this very problem. 

3. Greater job satisfaction. AMN Healthcare’s 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses found that the majority of nurses are happy with their career choice, but have mixed feelings about their current nursing jobs. Luckily, the field of nursing has more career paths and options than most. [READ: 5 Reasons Travel Nurses Love Their Jobs.]

4. Realistic expectations from staff. Nurses who are new to the unit, including travel nurses, may be expected to hit the ground running. But after your orientation, it may still take a couple of days to get your bearings. A little patience from your fellow nurses can go a long way during this time. If you are ever unsure of how to proceed, reach out, ask questions and take the time to do things correctly.

5. Realistic expectations from patients. Some patients think you can diagnose all their symptoms, while others act like they should only talk to a doctor. And some treat you like a waiter or waitress who is there to fulfill their every need. In this age of health care consumerism, just remember to smile, follow best practices, and continually strive to supply the highest level in patient care.

6. An extra dose of patience. To deal with patients. And their families. And doctors. And other nurses. And the general chaos that is nursing.

7. More training. When your hospital adopts a new EMR system or new equipment lands on your floor, do you know how to use it? Most nurses agree that super users and tech assistants need to be more widely available. If you’re interested in supporting EMR projects as a travel nurse, ask your Onward recruiter. 

8. A never-ending supply of clean scrubs. Stuff happens during those long nursing shifts, right?  Learn how to get rid of the nasty stuff with our guide on cleaning tips for your nursing scrubs.  And keep an extra set of clean scrubs at work, just in case.

9. Consistent shift scheduling. Whether nurses work day or night shifts, they need to know when and how much they’ll be working. Onward’s travel nurses can often count on guaranteed hours, yet shift schedules could potentially change during an assignment. Just ask your recruiter to clarify the details of any contract you are considering.

10. Patients who have not researched their disease/illness/injury online. Fifteen minutes on the internet and everyone thinks they are an expert. Self-diagnosis is never a good thing. Here is where a nurse’s skills in listening and patient education really need to shine.

11. Supplies, when and where you need them. If everything was where it belonged, and within reach when needed, nurses could knock a few steps off that 4-5 miles they walk during a typical shift. Does this ever happen?

12. No leftover tasks or messes to clean up from previous shifts. Again, does this ever happen?

13. A simple “Thank you.” Any word of gratitude from patients, families, supervisors, administrators or other staff is always appreciated. And not just during Nurses Week.

The entire staff at Onward would like to thank you, nurses, for all you do—every day of the year!

ONWARD HEALTHCARE is recruiting talented, caring nurses to fill travel jobs across the country:

•   SEARCH current nursing jobs;
•   SIGN UP for job alerts in your specialty; or
•   APPLY TODAY to start working with an Onward recruiter.

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