Serving and Nursing. (Nearly) One in the Same?

By Nursing Student and MidlevelU Intern Maggie Seros 

Standing between someone and their food can actually expose you to a vast collection of life skills. I have learned many skills working my way through school as a server that have prepared me for what I will be expecting as a nurse. Just because you may not have clinical experience in the hospital doesn't mean that your summer jobs haven't been preparing you for your future career. Here are three things from my experience as a server that have prepared me for work in the hospital setting.

1. Communication Skills. As a nurse, you spend every hour of your day communicating with coworkers and customers. Being a nurse is a very social job. My first job as a server gave me firsthand experience with handling complaints and being able to accommodate each individual and their needs. In addition, I have served many people, and one thing serving customers has taught me is that everyone has a unique personality and set of needs, and it is important to learn to adapt and accommodate each individual. Not to mention, teamwork with your coworkers based on effective communication, is a key to efficiency. I learned to work well with others as a server, regardless of whether I liked the person or not. 

2. Working Under Pressure. On more than one occasion as a server, I would attend work only to find we were severely understaffed, and I, along with my co-workers, would have to pick up the slack. Often times, the job tested the limits of just how much we could handle. Nurses work under pressure on a daily basis, and even though it may never be easy, having the chance to get a head start and learn how to deal with pressure definitely puts you ahead. 

3. Multitasking. As a server, I learned how to multi-task in a fast paced environment. Once sat with multiple tables, accommodating and remembering each request as well as managing drink and food orders, keeping track of refills and so forth, it becomes important to be well organized and ensure each customer is receiving an equal and quality experience. With so many things going on all at once, these skills help you prioritize managing your tasks and providing quality service which I anticipate will come in handy for my future as a nurse. 

And, perhaps the most important skill that translates from serving to nursing is the ability to run around for hours with sore feet...and doing the the Heimlich maneuver!

 

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