September 27, 2019

Don’t Let Your Expertise Narrow Your Perspective | Quick Huddle # 1

I've been a nurse since 2011, and I've worked in the hospital setting the entire time. I have met and continue to meet many people, from different walks of life. And I've noticed a small segment of nurses who know so much that it eventually limits their perspective. Their perspectives are limited because they lose the ability to understand that medicine is forever evolving. You might know all there is about sepsis right now, but next year things might change. I remember being in nursing school, and Xigris was THE sepsis drug. It was crazy expensive and was thought of as a wonder drug that cured multi-organ failure related sepsis. Months after I graduated, the drug was found to have the same effect as a placebo. Another example is elevated lactic acid = sepsis, and every patient needed massive quantities of fluids without further workup. Meanwhile, interventions of this nature led to inappropriate used of antibiotics and patients with heart failure histories experiencing severe pulmonary edema and volume overload.

The point being, what you know to be true now, might change. You might be an expert now but don't depend on aging evidence to sustain your knowledge base throughout the years. You have to remain diligent and up-to-date of your education and evidence-based research in nursing. This is why I never really understood cocky nurses or nurses who would shame new nurses. You only know what you know to be true right now. You have learned what the research states are beneficial and safe in this timeframe. Don't pretend that this game doesn't change minute by minute, just like the stability of our patients. Don't assume you know everything, don't assume you will always know everything. Changes are constant, and that is what makes nursing so exciting.

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