DEBBIE FRIDAY: New nurses should continue to question
January 03, 2013 11:00 AM

This is in response to the "Keep your job" article by Bob Lankard that appeared in Sunday's Gazette.

I read his column routinely and appreciate Mr. Lankard's expertise and knowledge about employment.

I have used his articles in my classroom on several occasions to reinforce what I am teaching my LPN students.

I am responding to comments that might make new nurses unwilling to voice their concerns when they find themselves in questionable situations of proper nursing care, procedures and skills.

The statement "They don't do things the way we were taught in school" made by the new LPN graduate to their employer concerns me for numerous reasons.

This should not come across to the nurse manager as know-it-all or not learning on-the-job expected procedures, nor a reason for a new graduate to lose a job or start out on the wrong foot.

This should be considered using critical thinking/nursing judgment, what we teach our students to use for competent nursing care and judgment for patient advocacy.

We as nursing instructors strive to educate our students in proper procedures and skills so they are competent nurses with patient safety as their main concern.

This phrase is one of the most common phrases I hear from my graduates: "Mrs. Friday, they don't do what you taught us is the correct procedure." One of the main procedures we hear this about is medication administration to patients.

I inform the students who call me with their concerns to follow proper procedures, chain of command and tell them, "You do your best for your patient while you are with them, follow correct procedures, follow chain of command and be your patient advocate."

Patient safety and being a patient advocate are always a priority of all competent, caring nurses, and we should be questioning unsafe practices and care. Many times a new nurse will remind us or give new eyes to situations that happen in health care.

So please, new nurses, continue to question those practices and procedures (using proper communication techniques and chain of command) that you know are not what you have been taught as safe patient care and competent nursing for our patients' lives and their safety.

Debbie Friday


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