A Nurse's Belated New Year's Resolutions

By Guest Blogger Anna Kadeg, RN, Aspiring CRNA, My Sister

It's that time of year again...a week into January.  Those who plan on taking down their Christmas lights already have, and those who haven't yet, I'm sorry to say, do not intend to do so. Or, to be more accurate, will intend to all year long until finally it's close enough to December again that "why it's be silly to take them down now!".  

Santa's have vacated their respective malls and street sweepers have cleared the soggy confetti leftovers from New Year's Eve.  Doomsday Preppers far and wide are busy de-bumper-stickering their cars and searching for receipts in hopes that their mountains of non-perishables were not final sale.  Most New Years resolutions adhere to a similar timeframe, so I encourage my fellow regulars at the gym to hold on just a little longer.  your Pilates class will be back to it's usual size soon and, I promise, you will not have to wait for a treadmill again until January of next year.

I have decided to share my personal list of resolutions this year in hopes that placing them somewhere slightly more public than the back of a grocery list, as proved very ineffective last year, will lend to better accountability.

My New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Quit Procrastinating.  This is a standing resolution of mine which, clearly, is going to remain on the list seeing as it is January 11th and only now am I making this list.
  2. Become more socially involved on my unit at work. I will drag myself to at least 20%...no, wait...10% (let's be reasonable) of all baby showers and going-away parties for people at work.  If my calculations are correct this breaks down to roughly one a week.
  3. I will avoid joining committees. They only create more paperwork and increase clutter in the break room with their juvenile poster boards.  I must continually remind myself it is worth the great amounts of effort I put into dodging clever recruiters.  I'm actually quite positive there's a Recruiting Committee.  Which I will also not be joining.
  4. I will take action to produce change instead of complaining fruitlessly.  Example: "Dear Netflix, would you kindly remove the movie 'Trainspotting' from the Comedy genre.  You have ruined my day off.  Best regards -Anna"
  5. I will learn basic medical phrases in Russian and Chinese.  Such as: "Where is your pain?", "No, you STILL can't have anything by mouth", "BREATHE", "What medications do you take at home?  Yes- including that large baggie of unlabeled herbs and supplements", "No biting!", "How much do you really drink?", "STOP getting out of bed, use your call light", "For the love of God STOP using your call light", "You put what, WHERE?!" etc.
  6. Be more sensitive and empathetic to patients and their families.  I'm still relatively new to the nursing game but I already feel I'm losing touch.  Apparently patients don't appreciate when you claim you can relate, then proceed to share about the time your cat had kennel cough.  In my defense, she almost died, it was very expensive and I had a hard time dealing with the pet insurance company, too.
  7. Improve my phone etiquette, specifically when leaving messages.  Example: Lead with "Hello, this is Anna, a nurse form the ICU.  So and so is doing fine, I would just like to clarify his home medications with you when you have a moment" instead of "This is Anna from the ICU.  Please call as soon as you get this message, it is regarding so and so."  The extra fluff saves me time in the long run, I've discovered, as it eliminates the possibility they will forego a return call and show up on the unit sobbing.
  8. And finally, give blood regularly.  I will also wear short sleeves so people see that I have given blood and think highly of me.

I hope this urges others who are late in the game to make their own resolutions.  If you're having trouble thinking of your own, ask a close friend or coworker to write them for you.  But please, either clear the area of sharps prior to reading their resolutions for you, or do not read them in the author's presence.  If a friend requests that you write their resolutions for them, I encourage you to be very honest.  It may be the best thing anyone has ever done for them.  I also encourage you to change your address and phone number, and get a preemptive restraining order.