Every day, you learn something new from the nurses who surround you. You learn a great trick for priming that IV tubing or you watch in awe as a co-worker deals with a challenging patient with complete ease. Or you see them implement some great evidence-based interventions. But there are a lot of players in healthcare, and they all have something to teach, if you’re a willing and apt pupil.
8 Healthcare Professions Nurses Can Learn From
1. Unit Receptionists
Need the number to inpatient radiology? Your unit receptionist has it. Need to know the best person to reach on another unit to assist you? Your unit receptionist knows them. Wondering which new residents have the right mix of smarts and willingness to learn? Yep. The receptionist knows that, too. That invaluable person at the front desk knows the inner workings of your institution. They have eyes and ears everywhere. And they keep things running seamlessly. So well, in fact, that you might not even realize it unless you’re really paying attention.
2. Social workers
Social workers often are the ones who wind up dealing with some of the messier patient-related issues, like family dynamics and legal challenges. They are sounding board, therapist and counselor. They are skilled at having those difficult conversations that many of us shy away from. Learn all that you can from them. The education will take you far.
3. Respiratory therapists
Respiratory therapists have a high degree of clinical expertise. They know their equipment, they know when a patient is struggling, and they know how to intervene quickly and safely. Respiratory therapists are an essential part of a good code team because they’re trained to intervene quickly and safety. Although the ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation) may have had a recent rearrangement to CAB (circulation, airway, breathing), there’s no question that the utmost importance be placed on an open airway and effective breathing!
You can learn a lot from a good physician. Take this awesome pediatrician for instance, in a viral video that shows his ingeniously creative method for giving routine vaccinations to an infant. He’s clearly passionate about patient care. Physicians, especially experienced ones, have a rock-solid process for making clinical decisions. They’re well-versed in clinical research that supports the medicine they practice. They don’t apologize for doing what needs to be done. Great physicians are great teachers.
5. Child Life Specialists
A child life specialist is trained to help a pediatric patient through their illness and hospital stay. They can help you approach a patient’s needs in an age appropriate way. They can help children of families who are suffering. They take the time to play games, celebrate birthdays and, sometimes, they can help a child forget for a moment that they’re even sick.
6. Physical Therapists
Physical therapists are walking, talking anatomy textbooks! They can assist patients with all kinds of physical needs. They know how to push patients harder than the patients believe they can go. Get tips from your PTs on how to transfer patients easily and how to improve on their musculoskeletal abilities.
Spirituality and faith are such important components of many patients’ lives. Often we’re at a loss as to how to address spirituality with our patients, especially if their beliefs differ from our own. But although we might not ask or bring it up, it’s still a subject that weighs heavily on their minds. Chaplains are rigorously trained in theology and well-versed in how to service patients spiritually during illness and death. They can help you learn how to address those needs.
8. X-Ray Techs
X-ray techs mean business. Their job is to get the exact view of the body necessary. They work with patients of every walk of life. They must match speed with accuracy. Too rash and they won’t get the best picture. Too slow, and that screaming kid on the X-ray table will really start to lose their minds.
What professions, other than nursing, have you learned from? Do any of the above ring true for you? Any you don’t see that you’d like to add to the list?