You ever feel like you’re riding first class, non-stop, on a one way trip aboard the STRUGGLE BUS? Many times during my early days in transition to practice, I felt this way. But you can turn in your Metro Pass and forgo the trip to Struggle City.
Take these tips using an easy-to-remember acrostic: T-H-R-I-V-E.
T--Trust your team. You don’t and won’t know everything as a new grad NP or even as an experienced clinician. Also along those lines, don’t try to do everything yourself. The art of delegation extends well into advanced practice and is best developed with time, practice, and patience. Allow others to work within their role, trust their judgement, like they trust yours, hold them accountable for responsibilities, and recognize them for a job well done (or have that heart to heart with them for failed expectations).
H--Hustle smart. By default, my hustle mode is on at all times, not necessarily a good thing. I have learned though through experience that working hard is not what it’s all about. You have to work hard at the right things, at the right time. This is the essence of efficiency. My daily goal before I arrive home is to close charts and charges. See my patients, complete the charting, do the billing….rinse, lather, and repeat.
I’ve created systems throughout my day that help facilitate efficiency and eliminate “time sucks.” Set up a specific time for non-clinical tasks. I make all return phone calls or catch up on non-clinicals and non-criticals only after rounding (and lunch), usually in the afternoon. Meetings and post meetings are another time suck, eliminate them when possible. I’m not anti-social in the least, nor am I a recluse. On the contrary, I love people! But it’s amazing the side-bar conversations that happen and attribute to loss of time at meetings.
R--Refresh often. The stress of NP life is enough to check you into a psych ward. I’m not merely talking about the mythical “work-life balance,” but finding joy and fulfillment in everyday life.
Celebrate those seemingly small wins. Build your confidence. Give yourself credit for accurately and quickly diagnosing a case that presented to you. Praise yourself for getting out of the office on time. Spend time guilt-free and uninterrupted: Take that lunch break. Get that workout in before you head home. Enjoy that glass, or 2, of wine. And give yourself plenty of grace and time to get acclimated. Also, learn from past experiences.
I-Identify opportunities. I said it earlier, but bears repeating-you won’t know everything. But in practice you should be quite familiar with the top diagnoses for your speciality. Start with the top 10 most common problems and build from there. Get mentorship, formal or informal. Read books, listen to podcasts or lectures to grow your knowledge on both clinical and non-clinical aspects. If time management or organization is not your jam, don’t accept it as “who you are.” Research to improve yourself. If you have an idea for your organization that improves a process. Take initiative: share it, promote it, or implement it. You’re not just working on “weaknesses,” you’re also elevating strengths.
V--Validate yourself. Know both in your heart and your head that you are a masters or doctorate level provider. No one has the combination of assets, knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences that you have. So whether you are in the market for a new job or trying to thrive in your current one, find your assets and then flaunt them. Imposter syndrome is real but it is fleeting.
E--Embrace change. It’s an understatement to say that 2020 has been the year of change. Personally and professionally, many of us have endured change. But it won’t stop there. The ability to pivot as a provider in practice is invaluable. Positive change is ideal, of course. But sometimes challenges foster creativity and dark days teach us the best lessons. It’s all about perspective.