Hello friends.... I hope you're still out there because it's obvious I have not been as religious about updating this blog as I would have hoped. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes and that has definitely been the case this summer.
Great news- today is my last day of my clinical rotation as a NP student! Yay! To say that I am excited would be an understatement- I'm elated!
For the past 8 weeks I've been working with a NP who works for a group of general surgeons. She has been a wonderful role model and I hope to not forget the valuable lessons she has taught me. I'd like to share them with you so that if you're also embarking upon a career as a NP perhaps you will find this information helpful in your own practice.
1. Be thorough. Be thorough in your assessments and in your documentation. Do not rush through seeing a patient just because you want to finish rounds- take your time. Review all of the necessary info: vital signs, lab work, progress notes, imaging studies, etc. You'd think this would just be common sense but I've worked with providers who are careless in their clinical practice and just want to finish as soon as possible.
2. Spend time educating patients. Patients appreciate it when you take the time to listen to them and educate them about their management plan. Time and time again, patients thank my preceptor for her effort to explain things in a way that they can understand.
3. Play well with others. Again, common sense here but we all know at least 1 or 2 providers who have a bad reputation because of the way they treat other people. It is important to get to know your colleagues and to establish a good rapport. Medicine is a team sport- not one provider can do it all alone. We rely on each other in order to provide the best care possible to our patients.
4. Know your limitations. As a NP, and especially as a new NP, there will be things I just don't know. I know the learning curve will be steep. It's important to know my limitations and to seek help when I'm unsure about something. Just last week, one of the surgeons suggested to the NP that she place a catheter in a patient where a different surgeon on the same service operated. She told him that she was not comfortable with that and felt it more appropriate for a surgeon to perform this procedure in the operating room. Sure enough, a different surgeon agreed and took the patient to the operating room later that day for the procedure.
My preceptor has taught me a lot and I am very grateful for her as a mentor. I feel that I've learned a lot on this rotation about the role of a NP.
As far as my own job is concerned, I'm still on the hunt. For now, I'm just going to focus on finishing the program, studying for the board exam and enjoying the last few weeks of Summer.