It’s possible to use your ability to find problems with the world to do good by channeling that skill into becoming an expert nurse consultant.
What is an Expert Nurse Consultant?
While there are many specialties in nursing that you can specialize to become an expert in, the basic gist of being an expert nurse consultant is having a specialized knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge quickly in new situations through feedback and action plans. In short, you’re able to offer constructive solutions to problems and complex situations.
How I Discovered the Difference Between Complainer and Expert Nurse Consultant
Throughout my informatics, nursing and pre-nursing career I have worked with a variety of people. In this time, I have found that that working with different groups of people has allowed me the opportunity to experience different ideas about the way things should be done. Sometimes people can work well together when they differ in a opinion and sometimes not so much.
While I’ve always been of the opinion that everyone is entitled to an opinion, there were times in my life when I haven’t expressed this as gracefully as I might now. There were times in my past that I might have come off as more of a complainer than a problem solver.I saw huge flaws in processes and policies and would point them out readily but didn’t often a solution to the problem anywhere near as often. Part of this had to do with the fact that I was growing and learning how to communicate effectively, but another large portion has been the role I’ve been in when I notice a challenge.
When I worked on the floor I was always trying to find ways to make things better. I had gotten past my hangout on just finding the problems and had moved onto creating solutions. But I was in a position where I wasn’t taken seriously and my ideas were not something that the organization I was employed for considered valuable. This was devastating to me. I saw similar things happen to other nurses who tried to take initiative to make something better only to be shot down by other nurses or management and be told: “This is the way it’s always been.”
Can I just say that I HATE the phrase “This is the way it’s always been.”
Nurses are in a role where we see problems and we think of ways to solve them. One day it might be difficult would the next it might be the staffing on the unit. Our brains are just wired for problem-solving because beat this into us in nursing school. So why aren’t are problem-solving abilities leveraged for more than task-oriented patient responsibilities? Why aren’t we being taken seriously when we have the solution to serious problems?
Fortunately, there are some nurses that find a way to make a difference and solve problems. While you might moan and grown because a new initiative related to evidence-based practice, these are the very solutions that make patient care better.
As an informatics nurse, I feel that more than ever I am that I am valued for the opinion and experience. I get to utilize my problem-solving abilities to help with process improvement to improve patient care. It’s so awesome that part of my job is making someone else’s job little easier and helping to make technology enhance the care they provide.
Recently I came to the realization that even though I had great ideas when I worked the floor I didn’t have the years of experience or title = to be taken seriously. All those years I spent on the floor making suggestions and trying to make things better and I was never seen as problem-solving. I was always seen as complaining. The only thing that has changed since then was a few extra years of experience and the addition of a title and an office in IT. I still have the same ideas, the same personality, and the same outspokenness.
I want to leave a legacy of improvement and innovation wherever I go. When I was on the floor I was really seen as a nuisance.
I still don’t really understand why. I mean, I do, but I don’t think it’s right.
Why are nurses supposed to silently bow in line and peacefully do exactly what we’re told? Why can’t we be the ones to solve the problems? Why can’t we be taken seriously when we have ideas that are bigger than us? Bigger than a single nurse a single unit or a single hospital even?
There are tons of people who see its problems and solve them and they’re not called complainers. They are consultants and they are valued for their opinions and experience. But if they were a nurse on the floor and they were doing the very same thing they would just be called complainer.
I encourage you that if you are a problem solver and you’re called a complainer don’t let that discourage you. Find a way to elevate yourself and grow your career and one day you’ll be seen as an expert. One day you will appreciate what you are doing. Refocus your attention and your energy making sure that you are not seen as a complainer, but instead, are seen as an expert nurse consultant.