Re-direct your self-praise

Today during one of our many great discussions, someone made a comment (and I apologize for not remembering who to give credit) that got the wheels turning in my head.  The comment was something along the lines of how medical/nursing students need to change their way of thinking when it comes to performing something correctly or well during your clinical experience.  How many of us (I know I’m guilty) after we perform a procedure flawlessly for the first time or catch something during a patient assessment that no one else had, immediately leave the room thinking “way to go me!”  Now, I am not saying that this is not acceptable thinking, of course we should feel good about our accomplishments and progress.  However, our first, or at least very next thought should be about how you just impacted the quality of that patients care by being on your game and performing your best. THAT is what is important, the patient outcome, not how you should have extra dessert tonight because you did a full head to toe assessment without forgetting even one thing!

As students we need to begin training our mental processes into patient centered, goal directed thinking.  If we begin doing that early on in our education we will be better caregivers in the future.  Caregivers who are not thinking about how good THEY feel about their top notch performance, or good catch, but how it impacts the quality of their patients care.

This seems like a pretty obvious concept right?  And to some of you it may be something that you already practice.  But as a nursing student who is very focused on MY outcomes, MY performance, MY mistakes during clinical, this statement made me re-evaluate how silly that really is when, as a caregiver, our goal is patient centered thinking.  So, by all means, give yourself a pat on the back once in a while, take pride in your work, but don’t let yourself become preoccupied with self-praise.