Thursday, July 03, 2008

First Job Survival Kit

NewFNP has had more than one request for advice as to what in the hell to take to your first job.  NewFNP figures that, given the season, at least a few other people may have the same questions.  So here we go.

The Basics:

Obviously, stethoscope and DTR hammers and your brain fall into the 'crucial' category.  

White coat - maybe.  Depends on the practice.  NewFNP has forgone hers entirely although sometimes misses its plentiful pockets in which she would jam all manners of clinical provisions, thus leading to a very unflattering hip-spread look.

A PDA or, at the very least, a calculator are helpful all day long when faced with '80-90 mg/kg/day in divided doses' calculations.

Your physical assessment book.  NewFNP still refers to hers, especially for the not often used tests and for neuro assessment.

Two phone numbers: the person you can reasonably ask your most shameful question - something that you absolutely should have learned in school but were too busy playing Brickbreaker on your BlackBerry and you missed it, and someone who you know is intelligent and experienced and will help you with your tough cases.

Snacks.  Both carbohydrates and proteins.

Diet soda/coffee/tea. Caffeinated.  Water.  NewFNP still rocks the Nalgene as it was a gift from a VIP in her life, but the stainless steel are now considered the de rigueur water bottle.

The Oh Yeah - Good Ideas:

A derm book - Habif is the best but Fitzpatrick is acceptable, less spendy and has a wealth of information in a paperback form.

A ruler for measuring positive TB tests and derm lesions.

Good pens.  Yes, your clinic will provide you with pens if they are not yet equipped with EMR.  But these pens will suck and hurt your sensitive fingers.  NewFNP has the ugliest writer's bump and she has had it for years because she holds her pens hard.  But now she has comfort-grippy pens and her writer's bump isn't quite so Quasimodo-esque.

Pregnancy and BMI wheels.  Yes, they are on your PDA but frankly, it's quicker to just use the old wheel system.

The Sanford Guide, not to be confused with the Sanford & Son guide, which is probably a lot funnier.  NewFNP has an appreciation for The Guide which she must admit to having lacked while in school.  She's considers herself a convert.

The After Clinic must haves:

NewFNP knows that not everyone drinks and she doesn't want to be an advocate for alcoholic beverage consumption, but in her experience, a nice glass or two of a delicious red goes a long way in the Calgon-take-me-away type of relaxation.  She likes L'Automne and Roessler La Brisa and Fratelli Perata, but there are tons out there!  Find a good one and buy a case.  And a rabbit-style opener.  Why struggle?!?

Exercise.  For stress reduction and to work off those donuts/cookies/cinnamon rolls that are ironically always around health clinics.

Support.  Your first job is hard.  You need to have friends and partners and family to take care of you when you are taking care of your patients.

Your personal swears.  Everyone has them.  Not all of them are as colorful or as plentiful as are newFNP's but they're all good and effective!  You'll need them.

And the most important thing to take to your new job:

A sense of humor.  Without it, you are three ways to Sunday, up a creek without a paddle, take no prisoners, no joke fucked.  


Jenn said...

Nice one!!

Lil Sass said...

OMG!!! I just stumbled upon your blog from Sara's (from doc to flops to crocs) and I am adding you to my blogroll this insta-second! I am heading to a BSN/FNP program next June and am soooo excited! I can't wait to read more about your adventures

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

You are rock solid on about the list of essentials! Wish I had seen it before I started my first job.

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