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Thoughts | Mini Lessons and Affirmations for New Clinicians

San Jose, CA, USA

It has been about a month since I started my new nurse practitioner job and so far, it has been full of reflection. I am thankful to have a supervisor who is wise and willing to share the clinical pearls/words of wisdom he's gained from his years in practice as a doctor in primary care/community health.

I thought it would be a great idea to compile the lessons he has shared with me, a new-ish nurse practitioner/clinician myself, and to share the lessons with other new and newer nurse practitioners out there. For the nurse practitioner students out there, the lessons may or may not make complete sense until you're out there in practice. 

I think the lessons are akin to climbing up to the topmost floor. It takes time, and steps, and lessons learned. It's a growing process. Perhaps there will be times you'll need to stop here and there to catch a breath, but you eventually keep going. And before you know it, you'll be at the top (for my old workplace, it was the 14th floor...always a treat making it up there by foot). 

Without further ado, here are some mini lessons for new clinicians with words from my supervisor, mentors, and some from me, myself:  

Repetition and time is what it takes.

When you're starting out in a new field, a new role, or a new specialty, it takes time until you get used to things and have your go to's figured out. As you see things over and over again, you start to recognize patterns and things will get easier. You will get better at this. 

No job is ever "perfect."

Every job has its pros and cons. There are things you give up to get something else. Some jobs are at a reputable place, pays well, and gives great benefits. Other jobs may have toxic people, management, co-workers, lack of support, or very low pay. Some jobs are more aligned with your values and lifestyle, and some aren't. The grass isn't always greener on the other side, and there will always be a flaw in each job because no job is ever 100% "perfect."

But that isn't sustainable. 

That is a good way to prepare, but it isn't sustainable. The key to surviving is to do more of what is sustainable, more of which will help your clinic/work day go smoothly and controlling what you can so that there is time for the other things that come up. If you find yourself doing x, y, and z outside of work to prep for the workday...only to have to spend those hours doing it all over again to prep for the next workday, you have to think whether or not it's sustainable. Because, if it isn't sustainable, it will just burn you out. 

Choose your battles.

There are different types of patients you'll see each day. Some who want a quick and fast appointment so they can move on with their lives, and some who need more time spent because they need it. The key to getting through the workday is choosing your battles. Give those who want a quick appointment the quick appointment they want, so you can spend more time on those who need the extra time. 

They're in a different season of life. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in that comparison game or perhaps a recipient of advice that is sound but doesn't quite work with our lives. Something to think about and consider is that the other person may be in a different season of life. One may be settled and have a family to consider, and thus their advice and decisions are made in consideration of that. Not all advice is worth taking or acting on if it doesn't work for you or the season of life you're in.

I don't want you to ever feel like you're stuck.

It's easy to feel like you're stuck when it seems like there's a limit on things you can do, but I don't want you to ever feel like you're stuck. You have choices and options. There are different decisions you can make. The timing may not be the best, but there are good and better things out there if you want it or if you can wait. 


If you had a lesson to share with new clinicians, what would it be?

***I'll be updating this post with links to more lessons and pearls as I continue on in my journey. 


Share your thoughts and comments below!


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