1. Verklan, Terese

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HOW was work today? Routine? Couldn't wait to get home? Or [horizontal ellipsis] It was super exciting-I cannot wait to come back tomorrow!!!! Have you ever thought about why your day was blahh or what made it stimulating? Routine gets old fast. It becomes boring. Same old thing, same old people, same old babies. I wouldn't want to work like that either.


How to keep that zing in your professional life is essential to having a successful, fun nursing career. You just need to look around you. There are challenges and wonderful surprises lurking behind every door. Instead of "groaning" when the difficult patient becomes very demanding (isn't it time for my break?), take up the challenge and determine what you can do to meet that patient's individual needs to promote the optimal health outcome. The satisfaction you will feel will send your spirits soaring through the clouds.


Perinatal patient care often requires a solid team whose members know when and how to help each other achieve success. Are you a leader or a follower? Circumstances will determine what position you play on the team, but you have to be ready to take on the role of a leader when needed. Gaining confidence and both personal and professional growth will help you mature into the role. The first time may seem to be a daunting task; however, your teammates will be there to assist in your achievement. Once that hurdle has been met, the next time gets easier. Before you know it, you will be helping the new team members over their fears with your encouragement and praise.


We should not forget the novice perinatal nurse who is probably wondering just why she or he chose this totally novel specialty-sure did not learn anything like this in nursing school. We were all there once. The thrill of learning about the fetus or the high-risk neonate, and then using that knowledge to guide your initial nursing interventions, was initially tentative, but has since become second nature. Remember your first smile back to your preceptor because you were successful in delivering your first baby or starting your first intravenous on a micropremie? Those successes needed encouragement, an environment where you felt "safe" to do something you never did before, and a team to give you a critique without criticism to help you improve.


The next time you are in the unit, take pause to think about how you got there and why you stay. It is being successful after all those trials and tribulations, and wanting to take on more. We each share the responsibility to help set out professional challenges to keep our team member stimulated to further their growth and promote excitement about the great careers we have. My colleague Dorothy A. Otto, MSN, EdD, RN, in an address to our graduating students, says it much better than I:



I challenge you to do what you wisely want to do;


to do your best; and to be proud of your accomplishments.


I challenge you not to criticize, unless you are willing to help.


I challenge you to think before you speak; to uphold fairness, integrity, and accountability.


I challenge you to have patience with the abilities of every person and with an individual's mistakes.


I challenge you to stand up for what you believe and to question what you know to be wrong.


I challenge you to continuously seek improvement of your world.


I challenge you to maintain confidence in your abilities, to uphold professional values, to be goal-directed and visionary, as you look to your future in nursing.


May success continue to be yours,


Terese Verklan