Depending on your personality type, being the new person can be difficult at times and you may shy away from making waves or voicing an opinion and having that sort of mindset will only make it harder for you in the long run. So what should you do as start to find your footing at your new travel nursing assignment?
There are two ways to handle being heard, and one of them will get you nowhere and will probably only happen once. It’s one thing to be forward in your approach and another to be more cordial about things. The latter will definitely lend itself to more situations where peers and doctors will take the time to listen to your statements and opinions regarding patient care or general issues within the facility.
If you want the respect of others, you first have to respect them. The best way to accomplish this is to be assertive, not domineering, and exude confidence in the way you carry yourself. So if a patient has a problem with their treatment or what have you, don’t back down, don’t yell at them and don’t just pass on the issue to another nurse or doctor for them to handle it. No, instead you must show you’re confident in the way you’re handling the situation, look the patient in the eye (or anyone you speak with) and when listening, do the same.
Being assertive shows you have leadership qualities and you are leading the conversation, but you don’t want to use this as a way to be condescending to anyone. Try and get level with whomever you are speaking with, use words they can understand instead of just talking the talk like you know more than they do, especially when dealing with patients. Think ahead to what you want to accomplish with this conversation and you’ll be well on your way to smoothing things out without hurting peoples feelings or alienating yourself as rude or arrogant.
You may not have all the answers and that’s okay. If you’re unsure about anything when dealing with patients or hospital protocols, ask. It’s better to get the facts than just let your emotions rule. When dealing with other personalities, especially the strong ones, it’s best to just take a step back and remember first and foremost-it is all about the patients. However, when you find it time to speak up-speak clearly and stay on task. Don’t be long winded, don’t be accusatory, for the more you talk the less you’re probably heard. Be conversational, not confrontational.
On the other end of speaking up is listening. This can go a long way, especially when dealing with patients. There’s nothing more they love than to be heard, respected for their opinions. Before you reply, it’s best to start by rephrasing their last statements as acknowledgement that you’ve heard them and this may put them at ease and more open to your suggestions.
It’s more than okay to be assertive and speak your mind when the time calls for it. Being assertive is part of communicating and can help you have a voice wherever your travel nursing jobs may lead you. Respect is all you seek and by following these few tips, you’ll be a part of team as a opposed to being apart from a team.