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Photo credit: Shaina Perpetualites

All things are new and amazing when you’re in nursing school. What you seem don’t exist will be taught to you from peculiar diseases to absolutely appalling surgeries. You will believe every piece of information from your preceptor assured that it would be good enough when you get to the real world.

After years of nursing school, I don’t think about the past or bemoaned about the things much these days.

The real world of nursing is rather, flabbergasting. And somehow, I wish I should have known these things when I was in school.

Some of it a teacher supposedly has mentioned and I was just not paying attention or these points did not stick in my mind anyway.

Here are the 7 things I wish they taught me in nursing school:

1. Real learning starts in the hospital

You learn a lot of theories and principles in school. And you learn it the hard way– achingly tedious hours of lecture you can’t forget. However, once you are exposed to the hospital, I came to realize that there is so much to pick up in order to be a bona fide nurse. There is definite application of principles and learning which is much more colorful and astounding.

2. Doctors are not scary

We’ll never admit but once in our lives as students, we were aghast with doctors.

Our knees quiver whenever they utter the most difficult questions because we don’t have any idea what they’re talking about (or we just didn’t study enough). They appear to be stern because they wanted us to learn. Soon you’ll find that they can be lenient too and awesome colleagues in the future.

3. A simple “thank you” can make your day

Surely, I was told that we should be appreciative. However, it feels unlike when a patient expresses gratitude through a simple “thank you”. We have pains too and no matter how terrible our day, a thank you can wipe away the aches we have in mind.

4. Mistakes and failures are good too

Oftentimes, we are afraid to make mistakes probably because of many reasons. We dreaded to be scolded in front of our classmates and most of all, in front of our patients.

We thought that committing mistakes may be the end of the world.

Actually, it is not.

Being fearful limits one’s capacity. It makes you try less and less things.

Success in life happens from being persistent despite mistakes and failures. Failing is all part of learning. Don’t be overly occupied with what people think. Keep in mind that there are opportunities in just about every experience.

5. Shifts usually extend for hours

I learned about shifts in class but nobody told me that shifts do outstretch for hours.

Surprisingly, I reckoned that you can’t have all the time in the world to finish your nursing care.

Even if you don’t bring your work home, you’ll just recognize yourself running late by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground in an instant from your post-work commitments.

6. Procedures can be very easy

Remember the first time you have to do injections or when you have to give tube feedings? We conform exactly to the way our instructors perform procedures.

Isn’t it difficult and awkward?

We used to lack dexterity with the use of our hands. And the result? Spilled fluid all over and needle-prick injuries.

Believe me; life would be much effortless once you discover your own technique.

It’s just a matter of practice until you get things right.

7. Your attitude matters most

Back then, we tried so hard to know everything. But the thing I’ve discovered is that your attitude counts a lot than what you know or have.

A great nurse does not only have an excellent foundation of scientific knowledge but also, a good attitude.

Remember that your attitude can change reality. It can see the things and viewpoints which were turbid and invisible. It can establish enduring and timeless relationships.

Being a student can be so much fun. What are the things you wish they taught you in nursing school? Share them with us!

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Janine Eleonor V. Jambaro is a young nurse writer who has great passion for service. She believes that nurses can touch hearts and transform lives. By writing, she is able to inspire others and express thoughts, feelings and experiences.