You might not immediately see any similarities between playing golf and training to become a nurse, I know I certainly didn’t see it, but midway through a hilariously terrible game of golf, the connections came rushing in. I suddenly felt like what I’m certain many fresh students have experienced in their first few days on site at clinical. So, I’d like to take a moment to share the wisdom I’ve gained from this experience.
You can’t control what happens on the course, but you can control how you react to it. As a nursing student, and on the golf course, you can’t always control your environment. A good breeze as with a non-compliant resident on one of your clinical days can change the entire tone of your day. What you can control, however, is how you respond because one ball landing in the sandpit doesn’t define you. You must acknowledge that the work is going to be difficult but worth it. There is clear objective that you are working towards, whether it be simply finishing the game or trying to be the best nurse you can be, you have clarity of purpose and that’s what you need to concentrate on.
When things don’t go your way, take time to reflect on what went wrong and learn from it. I came to the terribly sad conclusion that my hand-eye coordination is subpar (pardon the golf pun), and you may realize that there is a skill that you’re not quite mastering in your clinical as much as you might have hoped. Once of the things I realized that day is that taking the time to analyze my methods and adjusting may help figure out where I’m going wrong. Am I too tense in my shoulders? Should I widen my stance? Pause and apply some critical thinking to see if you can pinpoint what exactly it is about the task at hand that is causing the issue.
But with that in mind, don’t get too caught up in the moment; focus on the future. There will be bad shots on the course and bad days in a facility. You can’t have a good round all the time (now that’s a good one because it works for golf and for nursing). I want to finish the course and you want to graduate with your nursing license. We have a light at the this tunnel. When you know what you’re working towards, the little things become just that, little.
Lastly, never underestimate the guidance of a seasoned pro. If it weren’t for Don, an amazing staff member at the golf course, taking pity on our woeful foursome, we might have finished that course in 8 hours rather than 3. He stayed with us for a few holes, pointing out strategy, correcting our form and giving us some much-needed encouragement. Likewise, take advance of the veteran nurses at your clinical site. Nurses with longevity know how to navigate all of the ins and outs of a facility in order to take diligent care of their residents. They are the ones who know all the tricks like how to make a combative resident melt like butter and how to make that pesky Hoyer lift flow smoothly without any jostling or jolting. Without a good mentor to guide you through, sometimes it will feel like you are alone in the wilderness. Be open to being taught and your skills will soar.
That’s all from: Lessons from the Green!