To exceed: More than just crossing the finish line

Miss Tanya Boghikian1

1Western Health, Footscray, Australia

Does the current nursing culture aim for excellence, to exceed the norm? Our workplaces set standards for our care, but so often these are interpreted as the ceiling; to exceed expectations is a form of excellence in nursing.

When I speak of exceeding in nursing, I’m not talking about climbing the usual promotion ladder.

It means pushing the boundaries of the minimum expected practice. It means when accessing a central line as an emergency nurse, knowing which port is most appropriate for IV fluids and why; even if your not measuring ICP. It’s these small things that raise the standard of care and knowledge, to exceed beyond the minimum expectations of care. This leads to a heightened sense of personal satisfaction and pride in ones work, increasing positivity in the workplace and a higher standard of care for our patients. Ashley Liebig, is an internationally renowned nurse who has spoken at multiple critical care conferences around the world. She once said “The position does not need to limit your knowledge”

Lack of time, low wages, feeling under valued in our profession, are all very real challenges. However, when you have that moment of sharing something a little extra that you know of, or being able to complete a very familiar procedure with a new trick to the technique you learnt at a recent course, how good does that make you feel? How good does that make your patient feel? Imagine feeling that on a daily basis? That’s what it means to exceed. To challenge yourself to step beyond the comfort zone, to learn the latest knowledge and skills, to exceed the usual expectations.


Tanya has been a registered nurse for ten years. Having had broad-based training across the acute specialties she has settled on a career in emergency nursing. Fascinated by the diverse patient population within emergency departments and the high fidelity environment in which the teams treat this patient cohort, she became interested in the human factor elements behind the clinical skill. The pressure of time limitations on education in critical care is well established. The dull nature of didactic forms of teaching motivated Tanya to devise four interactive training games for her resuscitation colleagues. Tanya is now presenting these training games at multiple international medical education conferences this year, including the upcoming Games for Health Europe Conference, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Tanya has found her passion lies in innovating new ways to engage and motivate her colleagues through various educational tools and presentations, unlike traditional didactic forms of teaching. Tanya has started a blog where she hopes to lead by example in motivating all nurses to explore their own pursuit of excellence in both their profession and themselves.