By: Louise Allyn Palma
Every day, nurses take on a multi-faceted role in the health care system to deliver safe, quality and compassionate care to communities around the world. Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is proud to celebrate National Nursing Week by speaking to different individuals in the nursing practice and sharing their stories and advice for the next generation of nurses.
Today, we shine a light on MGH Nurse Practitioner, Mikki Layton.
MGH News: “What do you wish you knew back in nursing school that you know now?”
Mikki: I’ve been in the nursing profession since 1987, and in 2012 I became a nurse practitioner. While I was in nursing school I don’t think the value of the interprofessional team was emphasized enough. I wish I had known the value of engaging my team and colleagues when I started out.
As a nurse, you feel as if you have to know it all. I think it’s scary starting out on your own, since there is an expectation when you enter this world that you have to do everything and be an expert at what you do. I felt afraid to say, “I don’t know. “Can you help me?” But you have to remember that there is a novice to expert phase trajectory and engaging with experts helps you grow in your practice.
Your colleagues and interprofessional team have so much to offer and with a team approach, you can deliver better, safer care.
MGH News: “What advice would you give your 19-year-old self?”
Mikki: Lots. I would tell myself that this profession requires you to be a life-long learner. You must be committed to life-long learning to practice evidence-based nursing and developing clinical expertise, but don’t lose the aspect of caring because nursing is an art and science.
Caring involves a shared vulnerability between the nurse and the patient, which can be scary at times but through this lens you create a connection that demonstrates compassion, empathy and respect for patient values.
I would say never lose sight of the patient perspective. As nurses, if we continuously put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, place ourselves in the lens of the patients then we will always be able to provide care that we would want for ourselves.