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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Learning from mistakes

Failure is a great teacher and motivator.  We are all afraid of making mistakes or looking foolish, myself included.  But I have to remember that no one tries something new and masters it on the first attempt, so why should I expect learning about blogging would be any different? 

I am no stranger to taking on challenging assignments. When I graduated nursing school I started out working in the Operating Room of a community hospital.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Many a day and night I was terrified I would make a mistake.  I did not have a preceptor and I was expected to figure it out.  After 6 months, the head nurse informed me my performance was sub par.  I had to agree with her, I offered that I was trying as best as I could to learn the job by reading OR texts and observing as much as possible, but without more support, I could not learn the job.  She agreed and with more support I was able to take on any assignment with confidence.  Eventually, I moved to Boston, where with support and experience, I mastered the role.  Several more times in my career, I moved into areas that required special skill sets. The key to success for me has been to get past my fear of failure and working hard to mastering new skills.  

I have lived through the dawn of electronic charting.  For those of you who have always charted in a computer, you may not be aware of the difficulty it was to transition.  Great and experienced nurses were reduced to tears and some even quit nursing.  Even for those of us with some computer skills, the software was poorly designed and did not take into account the needs of the clinician.  This was before Informatics Nurses and why informatics became a specialty.   About 5 years ago, the organization I work for  changed over to a new computer software package.  The leader in charge of educating all the staff in using the program had a saying “You have to make the same mistake six times before you can master it”.   At the time, I found that prediction to be very annoying, but unfortunately, she was right.   I would keep making the same mistakes until finally, I figured it out and it became second nature.  

So here I am, making the same mistakes over and over again.  This time, that prediction of making  mistakes  before mastery is more amusing to me.  It has helped me to be more patient with myself as I try to master the skill of blogging.  Just using the blog program is a struggle for me. The writing is easy and fun, but creating the page is a whole new skill set.  Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me of what is going on in nursing.  And for that I again thank The View.  If they had not started the firestorm over Kelley Johnson's monologue, who knows how long it would have taken me to discover all those great bloggers and try it for myself.

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