If you want to help people and bring a difference in their lives, nursing is one great option. Not only does it bring advancement potential but also professional respect and an array of job opportunities. With 73% of the baby boomer generation retiring in the next few years, there will be massive demand for nursing professionals; hence, it will become one of the most sought-after careers in the job market.
The responsibilities of a nurse are incredibly contenting; however, it can sometimes be demanding to cope with all the responsibility and work. Nurses are encouraged to have certain qualities and attribute to cope with these commitments. These qualities help them stay positive, and they can successfully tackle any curve ball thrown at them.
If you want to be a great nurse, you should develop the following attributes.
1 - Assertiveness
A nurse is a patient’s advocate. They are responsible for ensuring that the patient feels safe. For this purpose, a nurse must be assertive both for the patient’s betterment and their own. Sometimes they need to make decisions that might not ring true with the patient in the present but is better for them in the long run.
It can also be taxing as it puts you at odds with the opposing party. For example, if a child is diagnosed with malnutrition and mistreatment at home, the nurse’s responsibility is to contact the authorities. It might put the nurse in a tight spot with the parents, but they must ensure the child is looked after properly.
2 - Leadership
Nurses often need to offer leadership duties to ensure that patient care, safety, efficiency, and healthcare quality are not compromised. For this purpose, many nurse leaders ensure that they have good relationships with the patients and fellow peers, are knowledgeable about the environment, and cooperate. It leads to nurses being respected, and their input is valued as a team. In addition, this also leads to a cooperative and less stressful workplace environment, which ultimately means better healthcare for the patients.
3 - Discretion
Discretion is of essence to healthcare providers today. It makes a patient feel secure. They feel at ease that their privacy is respected and valued.
In the past, charts and medical information used to be hung by the foot of the patient's bed. It meant everyone had access to the confidential medical information of the patient. However, today the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) mediates how a patient's medical information is transmitted from one healthcare provider to another.
Information can only be shared with the patient's consent and when it is deemed necessary. It means that nurses cannot discuss patient medical information with colleagues or anyone else without the patient's consent.
4 - Empathy
Nurses need to be empathetic to understand a patient better. They must be able to put themselves in their place and try to understand what the patient is feeling. Nurses have to work with people from all walks of life, and they often belong to diverse cultures. Hence, they need to keep an open mind, be flexible, and respect each culture.
Empathy is a learnable skill, and hence even if you lack sensitivity to others, you can develop it over time.
5 - Communication Skills
Communicating effectively with the patient is the most important trait for nurses. They are the bridge between the patients, doctors, and family; they are responsible for collecting and organizing the patient's medical information. This medical information is then used to make instrumental decisions in the patient's treatment and recovery process. The only way to adeptly collect this information is to have good and open communication with a patient because even a slight mistake or information gap can be fatal for a patient.
Good communication can also help healthcare providers build interpersonal and therapeutic relationships with their patients. Hence, the patient can feel more at ease and open to discussion.
6 - Emotional Stability
It is no secret that a nurse’s job is emotionally exhausting. A nurse has to encounter several emotions every day; they range from joy and happiness to frustration and sadness.
They deal with hundreds of people every day, including their families, colleagues, and patients; all of them react and behave differently. Nurses need to stay calm and collected if they want to fulfill their responsibilities.
It doesn’t mean they have to become unbothered and emotionless, but they need to learn to be emotionally stable. Nurses should ensure that their emotions do not reflect on their dealings with their patients and colleagues. The more emotionally stable you are, the more you can concentrate and be cautious.
Emotional stability can be learned over time. You can develop this trait in yourself by having a balanced outlook, reframing your mind, and staying aware of your actions and their consequences.
7 - Stamina
Nursing is a taxing job as you need to be standing, running, twisting, lifting, and working for hours. Hence, you must have great stamina. While technological advancements may have brought about substitutes for many healthcare functions, they still haven’t been able to reduce the physical demands of healthcare providers.
Their tasks vary from aiding patients, transferring equipment and patients, and working in the doctor’s office and administrative department. Having solid stamina helps them perform all these tasks more effectively.
8 - Critical Thinking
Nurses need to be able to analyze data and facts and prioritize patient healthcare quickly. They need to be precise in their deductions because they serve an important role in the wake of emergencies.
They often perform autonomous functions as part of the healthcare team. Every decision they take is their sole responsibility. Hence, they need to be able to analyze all the information critically. They need to often offer emergency aid to patients without their medical team being around or might have to give an epi-shot when someone is brought in the emergency with an allergic reaction. Such stressful encounters require them to be calm and critical to executing the right healthcare.
The list of good qualities of nurses is endless and will forever evolve. However, leadership, assertiveness, empathy, discretion, critical thinking, stamina, emotional stability, and communication skills are the primary traits they must have. All these qualities can be learned, grown, and nurtured, given the nurses are consistent and patient with themselves.
Published by Samantha Brown