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I know better. I do better.

So whilst I have been completely M.I.A. from the blog writing, I can assure you all I have been keeping myself busy studying, studying, studying!!

As I mentioned in my last blog all the way back in FEBRUARY, I have returned to Uni this year studying post-grad Intensive care. We have now reached the halfway point with Semester 1 completed, phew! So have managed to sneak in a bit of time to finally write to you all.

I’m still finding it hard to believe that this time last year I was blogging about my first(s) as a grad! Fast forward a year and my recent first’s have included (*deep breath*) multiple transports with an intubated patient and my first haemo-filter. Who knows what this time next year will bring!

Recently I was doing a bit of light reading of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal and came across an article about education. It was headed with the infamous quote by Maya Angelou;

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better”.

This quote really resonated with me as it really describes how it feels through the journey of becoming a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN).

In our journey to becoming a registered nurse (RN), we are given the essential and fundamental knowledge we need to understand our professional role and to practice safely as a nurse within our scope of practice. It is not until we are thrust into the dynamic workplace that the majority of the learning is undertaken.

I’m sure everyone can remember and appreciate their first week(s) as an RN. When tasks would take you so much longer than everyone else and you would pray for the day it would get a little easier. After a few days/weeks/months and lots of practice you become better at “knowing how” to perform tasks and are able to perform them more promptly which is positive for time management and productivity.

Now as you increase in experience you also get just that little bit better at the serious things; such as recognising early signs of deterioration and seeking help early, prior to your patient meeting MET call criteria. These “knowing betters” will help patients have positive outcomes. With more and more experience, and of course further education and awareness, you find yourself knowing better and therefore doing better.

The reality of this quote has really struck me this year. Having gained so much knowledge this past semester, I have really noticed the change it has had on my approach to the care I provide to my patient.  Now half-way through the course I am finding myself questioning everything, finding links I never knew existed and having light bulb moments daily when things finally click. The only thing that I can attribute to this is “knowing better” through my increased knowledge and exposure and thus being able to perform better as a result.

It really highlights the importance of ongoing education, and how the patient care that you are providing can be improved. Everyday is a learning curve as a nurse, and with each day that we get better at something so too does our care that we provide to our patients.

We are lucky to be in a profession that is constantly evolving. But like the profession itself, nurses each day are evolving too. I only have to look at myself to see how much I have grown within the past year.  Each day you find yourself on a shift with a wide skill mix and it is important to remember the people still finding their feet and also remember to utilize those with greater knowledge to help you when you’re stuck.

What I have taken from this past semester in addition to a HEAP of new knowledge is the importance of ongoing education for all types of staff.  Pick an area you are passionate about, read about it, research it and tell someone else about it. It is amazing the amount of knowledge that can be passed on in conversation that you have with your fellow colleagues. And as for Maya’s quote, well I think it could not be more spot on for a developing nurse. I know that I know more than I did last year, last month and last week, and it certainly means I do ‘do better’.  

Take care everyone, happy learning!

One Comment

  1. Navpreet Kaur Aug 11 2015

    Hey Bianca..

    Really, this quotation is soo encouraging and absolutely true.
    I enjoyed reading your blogs, they actually makes me feel that it is absolutely normal that as a student who has just finished nursing a month ago, has number of knowledge and skills deficits But, the only key is the self reflection and ongoing learning that will ease our path to be a safe and competent nurse.

    Looking forward to hear more from you about your journey to be a critical care nurse…

    Good luck and Enjoy

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