You must do your do best to leave personal distractions at the door once you enter the clinical environment. Personal, family and any other stressors or problems will impact the quality of care and nurse engagement needed for practice. Though difficult to fight through at times, recognize the detrimental impact to patient care when you are distracted and unable to focus on the patient you are caring for.

The other side of this coin is the importance of being able to leave work at work. Though certain patients and their situation are not easily forgotten when you leave the practice setting, the challenge that you may experience is the obsessive ruminating over what you could or should have done differently. “Did I forget to do that…” can haunt you at times and even be the source of bad dreams!  As long as you did the best you could have done with your knowledge and experience, this is the realistic expectation you must have and the grace you must give yourself as a new nurse.

The following is an excerpt from my new book: THINK Like a Nurse: Practical Preparation for Professional Practice/chapter 1: Foundation: The “Art” of Nursing