Nurses and change 

I’m headed out of town for a travel nurse conference in Ye Ole Las Vegas. Nurses like to have fun and travel nurses more so. Can you imagine a ton of fun-loving travel nurses in Sin City? 

Don’t even try! You can’t handle it. Lol

What I wanted to discuss was change and how nurses handle it. 

We are funny creatures, nurses. In the length of our profession, it’s easy to see how much things have changed. 

There was a time many nurses didn’t wear gloves when they interacted with patients. Where we stood when the Doctor entered the unit. Where hand washing wasn’t standard in safety. Where the thought of computer charting wasn’t even something to fathom as a part of patient care. 

We don’t wear caps, dresses, or capes anymore. And while I’m bummed about the capes, scrubs are much more practical. 

Many of the changes are for the best. For safety and sanity, gloves are a must. Many changes have led to the improvement of the health of the patient population. Some are a pain and can detract from care (computer charting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!). Overall, the profession is in constant flux in how we conduct ourselves and how we care for our patients. 

I try to keep my finger on the pulse of evidence based practice for obstetrics because I know the things I’ve done when I started will change. I use peanut balls now, am an advocate of delaying baths, and love what walking and position changes can do for laboring moms. 

Even with all those changes, nurses still balk when they happen. We whine, we stomp our feet, we push back. Why? Because we like how we practice now. Why change what’s good? Why get a new computer system? Why use dry erase boards in the OR during sections? Why can’t we do what we’ve been doing for years? 

Well, Nurse Nancy, just like all the other changes we’ve been through, maybe this change will make us better. And who doesn’t want to be better? 

Travel nursing has made me a little more flexible with change. I mean, I do enter a new hospital environment (with different policies and practices) every 3 months. I either bend or I get rolled over. 

We always adapt though, don’t we? The computer system/practice/policy becomes rote. Nurses usually settle in after our initial irritation. Why? Because we know it’s typically a change for the better and we are nothing if not adaptable. We work short staffed regularly so of course we can roll with it. 

Nurses may hate change, but we handle it better than anyone. We deal in bodily fluids and change. Superheroes, the lot of us. 

Travel on, road warrior 


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