Once you’ve become comfortable working as a nurse practitioner, or have maintained employment with the same company for a period of time, it’s easy to let little things slide. You may not notice these bad habits creeping into your workday, but your coworkers, patients, and employer certainly do. Which of these slip ups do you need to watch for in your practice? And, how can you avoid making such indiscretions your MO?
The fix? Sit down rather than standing, at least at the beginning of the patient visit. Shake the patient’s hand and introduce yourself. Then, explain that you may need to take a few notes on your computer as the patient talks. This way, you have taken the time to acknowledge the patient and let them know you are engaged – even if you may be tapping away on the keyboard. Don’t forget to make occasional eye contact even if you’re typing madly as the patient talks.
3. Not Knowing Where You Stand
Tracking times, numbers, and productivity metrics is a growing practice in the medical world. Even small, private clinics keep track of the number of patients NPs see and the amount of revenue individual nurse practitioners generate. While meeting metrics may not be your favorite part of practice, its essential you know where you stand. Are you the weak link among the providers in your practice?
Being late, whether to greet a patient or to work in general, is essentially like giving your boss, patients, and coworkers the middle finger. Sure, traffic and bad hair days happen, but chronic lateness is a major bad habit. Arriving late to work is disrespectful of others’ time and sets a negative tone for the clinic as a whole. In patient care, in-person presence is a must, so be there. If you are chronically tardy to work, leave the house 15 minutes earlier. It’s that simple.
5. The “It’s Not My Job” Mentality
As a nurse practitioner, your job description is probably pretty straightforward. You diagnose and treat patients, document the encounter, review test results, and make a few follow-up phone calls etc. When the waiting room at the clinic is falling apart, nurses are struggling to keep up with patient volume, or the exam room trash cans are overflowing, it can be easy to fall into the “that’s not my job” mentality. The best NPs, however, go above and beyond.
Whining, complaining, griping, and gossiping, are perhaps the worst habits you can acquire on the job. Not only are these actions unprofessional, they poison your workplace. Do you really want to work in a negative environment? As a nurse practitioner, you are a leader. Stop complaining and your coworkers will follow suit. Like you mother says, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.
7. Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene
If you’ve got bad hygiene habits, they’re even grosser at work. Who knows what’s under the fingernails of a hospital employed NP?! For the sake of keeping staph away, stop the nail biting, cuticle chewing, face touching etc. You know who you are…
What bad habits do you struggle with as a nurse practitioner?