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Nursing | Always Learning

Medicine is always changing as new research is done and technologies are improved. This brings about the need for medical staff (nursing included) to continually be updated on their skills and knowledge to provide the best care possible for patients.

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I have been missing-in-action (MIA) for the past month because I have been studying for my trauma nursing core competency (TNCC) certificate (among many other things). I was the only med-surg/tele RN among ED and ICU RNs, which was a bit intimidating. I even ventured and took the class at a hospital that I don't work at. Part of this was due to the fact that my schedule is very much "up in the air" because of school and work and because the upcoming classes in my area were already full for 2019! Crazy... I didn't realize how many people were interested in this certificate!

I know I got some weird looks too when I raised my hand to answer the course instructor's question "Does anyone work anywhere else aside from the ED and ICU?" But, really, does it matter that I don't work directly in trauma or in the ED or ICU setting? As long as I'm willing to learn and to improve the care I provide to my patients...isn't that reason good enough?

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Knowing I didn't have any ED or trauma experience, I planned ahead and spent a significant portion of January to study and prepare for the class. Two weeks of reading the class textbook (the chapters weren't long... I am just a slower reader and preferred to make sure I really understood what I read versus skimming), and one solid week of reviewing for skills every day. I also made sure to review the free online resources that were included with the course! It was very helpful for the special populations -- geriatrics, pediatrics, and pregnant patients. All of these together and my attention during the two-day lecture allowed me to pass the exam! And so, I am now TNCC certified!

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What having this certificate means to me is that I can learn anything beyond what I already know and that I can face any challenge with some diligence and discipline. It wasn't easy making time every day to sit and read and to really be present in trying to understand the information I am reading. And even with this certificate and my many years of schooling, I still can't say I know everything. There is still much learning to be done!

- Nicole G.


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