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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing
Practical

Practical

We received many practical tips from health care support workers on how to shine in the role. We’ve included some of our favourites here.

Practical star tip

Star tip:

Always keep spare pens, because you never know when they will be needed.

Practical

Practical

Moisturise

Whenever you're on a break, put some moisturiser on your hands. It’s the only way to prevent skin breakdown from all the hand washing and sanitiser. If they're really bad, pop some moisturiser into a pair of cotton gloves and sleep in them.

Practical

Document

Documentation, documentation, documentation. Keep it clear, concise and to the point. This ensures we keep ourselves and our patients safe. Remember, if it is not documented, it didn't happen!

Practical

Be comfortable

Wear a comfy pair of shoes: however awful you think they look you will not regret it.

Practical

Manage expectations

If patients, carers, relatives or staff members ask for your time but you're busy doing something, give them an exact time frame, such as "I'll be with you in 20 minutes, but if I don't return in that time, please ring the bell/phone/bleep me." People are much happier to wait if they know how long they will be waiting.

Practical

Hydrate

Drink lots of water during your shift to keep hydrated, and try to get plenty of sleep to feel refreshed the next day.

Practical

Be welcoming

Make sure you take active, practical steps to welcome and support new staff.

Practical

Be mindful

Every day, take time to be mindful. Be present in the moment and be aware of any worries and anxieties.

Practical

Be prepared

Get everything you need ready beforehand.

Practical

Keep notes

Always carry a notepad. Ideas strike and handy contacts appear at the most unexpected moments.