When it comes to healthcare, nurses are some of the most important healthcare professionals. Not only are nurses responsible for managing patients and their daily schedules, but they also contribute to medical care in various other ways,including analyzing and treating patients alongside a team of doctors and other healthcare professionals. Nurses tend to act as mediators between doctors, patients, and families, providing expert knowledge, support, and explaining treatment and care options.
Nurses work in a wide range of healthcare settings including hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical centers, outpatient clinics, and within the community. They are required to have a high level of education which can be increased throughout their career with a wide range of options for professional development and more advanced nursing career paths to choose from. In order to be successful, nurses need to possess certain skills, qualities, and traits. If you are considering becoming a nurse, here are some of the key skills that you will need to demonstrate.
Perhaps one of the biggest skills that a nurse needs to have is the ability to empathize with his or her patients. Being able to put yourself in the patient’s shoes and imagine how they might be feeling right now is a crucial component of being a successful nurse. Many patients will see nurses when they are feeling unwell and scared about the future, and a nurse who can demonstrate real empathy and validate those feelings for the patient can make all the difference when it comes to helping them feel more at ease and confident about what the future holds for them and their health. Nurses often find themselves in the center of very difficult, heartbreaking situations for patients and their families and it is important to be able to see things from the patient’s point of view.
Willingness to Learn
Nurses never stop learning, and any good nurse knows just how important it is to be able to keep up with the ever-evolving medical field. As a nurse, you will be constantly introduced to new techniques, treatments, and technologies to help you deliver the best standard of care to your patients - and you know how important it is that you are able to keep up. The best nurses are never closed off to the idea of learning more and completely understand just how important it is to accept that they are never going to know everything that there is to know about nursing, but there’s no harm in trying.
Nurses have so many different options for learning; at the basic level, there’s keeping up-to-date and passing regular exams to test your knowledge and skills, while nurses who actively want to learn more and improve their careers can take this in a variety of different directions. There are various areas of specialty for nurses to get into whether you want to work with a certain patient demographic or treat patients with specific conditions. And, nurses who are eager to progress in their careers might consider becoming a nurse practitioner with an advanced degree such as this one: https://online.marymount.edu/programs/online-msn-fnp-program.
Working as a nurse practitioner gives nurses more responsibility, autonomy, and freedom over the type of work that they do and the decisions that they can make regarding patient care, including diagnosing and prescribing treatment.
To be successful as a nurse, you will need to be a very organized person. Nurses tend to have a lot on their plates and each day you might be facing a large workload, which will need to be organized effectively so that you can get everything done. Nurses often find themselves responsible for the care of several different patients at once, so it’s crucial that you have the ability to prioritize and organize effectively in order to make sure that each individual patient that you are responsible for is able to receive the best quality care.
Being organized and thorough is the most important factor for many nurses who work in busy environments, particularly when the health - or even the life - of a patient relies on it. You will be responsible for filling out medical charts and the allocation and administration of medicines to your patients, which requires strong organizational skills to ensure that you get it right every time.
Anyone who’s had an experience with a nurse can usually agree that nurses are some of the kindest people out there, even when they need to be firm. As a nurse, you may encounter people who are not always being kind to you. Your patients will be in pain and often very scared, and it’s your job as a nurse to show them the compassion and kindness that they really need the most at that moment. Nurses need to support their patients both physically and mentally, even if the patient in question is not very receptive to their support at any given time.
Along with empathy as mentioned above, nurses need to have the desire to be kind to everybody. The ability to put yourself in your patient’s shoes and imagine how they are feeling can certainly make it easier for a nurse to provide the care, kindness, and compassion that their patients need in these difficult moments. Nurses need to be open-minded and non-judgmental; they should treat everybody with an equal amount of care and compassion regardless of who they are and the situation that they are in.
It’s essential that nurses are excellent communicators and listeners. Being able to actively listen to patients goes a very long way when it comes to determining how best to move forward with their treatment and how to advocate for them if needed. Nurses who listen to their patients tend to provide the best quality of holistic, person-centered care and get better results for the people that they are responsible for treating. Communication skills become even more vital as nurses move up the career ladder; nurse practitioners, for example, need to have exceptionally strong listening skills so that they can correctly diagnose and administer the right types of treatments and medications to their patients.
In addition to communications with patients, nurses should also have strong communication skills when it comes to working within their team. Most nurses are not working alone but rather alongside a team comprised of doctors, other nurses and other healthcare professionals. Even the smallest of miscommunications can have devastating results for patients, so it’s important that nurses are able to communicate information and instructions to other team members in a clear, concise manner that is easily understood, along with listening and taking in information provided to them by other team members.
Nursing is a very fast-paced career and no two days are ever going to be the same when you work at any level of nursing. For nurses to do their job effectively and be able to providethe best standards of care to their patients, they need to be able to think critically often on their feet and while under pressure. Being a good critical thinker helps a nurse become more adept at making the best decision for their patients in a timely manner, while staying calm and collected even under immense amounts of pressure.
Nurses may often find themselves in a situation where they need to quickly and effectively adapt to major changes in their work environment, whether it’s new technology, differences in the way that things are done or an unexpected change in the condition of a patient. To be effective, nurses need to learn to quickly recognize problems, come up with situations, and correctly judge situations even when under pressure.
Attention to Detail
The little details matter a lot when it comes to nursing. In this career, you are responsible for the health and perhaps even the lives of others, therefore it should come as no surprise that there isn’t much room for error. Even the smallest of mistakes could lead to potentially life-threatening situations for your patients or cause serious issues such as patients receiving the wrong medications, doses, or treatments. A successful nurse has a keen eye for detail and realizes that when it comes to his or her job, most mistakes cannot be overlooked. A good nurse fully understands that even the most insignificantly seeming details can often hold major implications for patient care, and instructions should always be followed to the letter when it comes to keeping patients safe.
Nurses need to be very calm and patient people who are dedicated to getting the best results for their patients. Nurses can face a lot of pressure in their jobs and when a patient’s health or life is hanging in the balance it can be all too easy to lose patience and let the pressure take over. Nurses need to have patience with both themselves and others as they work tirelessly to ensure that their patients receive only the best standards of care. The best nurses understand that the best results cannot often be gained overnight, and are very tenacious individuals who are committed to putting in the vast amount of work that is often needed to not only get the best for their patients, but also for themselves.
Keen Observational Skills
Nurses can’t afford to be oblivious to what is going on around them. The best nurses are often hypervigilant to their environments; on high alert and ready to run at the first sign that they might be needed. Even the smallest of lapses in observation can lead to serious issues for a patient, so nurses need to have strong observational skills to notice quickly whenever a patient needs attention. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are not always on hand, and it’s the nurse’s job to notice when medical attention is needed and act on these signs.
In order to do their jobs well, nurses need to possess a certain degree of strength, both physically and mentally. Working as a nurse can certainly be a very physically taxing position with most nurses on their feet for long shifts every day. This job is certainly not for the fainthearted and nurses need to becommitted to looking after themselves with plenty of exercise and the right diet.
Physical strength is not the only important type of strength that a nurse must possess; the job can also be very mentally and emotionally demanding, and nurses need to be mentally strong enough to be there for their patients through some of the toughest times. Nurses can certainly often find themselves under a lot of mental and emotional pressure to support patients who need them, often during the toughest times of their lives. Nurses need to commit to looking after their own mental health through counseling and self-care so that they can offer the level of resiliency that their patients need without it taking a huge toll on themselves.
Finally, a good nurse is very aware of what he or she is responsible for at work, and takes their duties extremely seriously. A successful nurse holds themselves to high standards and holds themselves accountable every day to work with integrity and with patients at the forefront of everything that they do. The best nurses have a very acute understanding of the fact that every decision they make or action that they take should never be done lightly since it can have a very direct effect on the lives, health and wellbeing of their patients. The best nurses are not only committed to holding themselves accountable, but understand just how important it is for the entire team to be able to do this for one another.
If you’re interested in a career in nursing, these are some of the main qualities that you will be expected to possess or be willing to develop in this profession. Nurses need to be genuinely committed to helping others, improving their skills and holding themselves accountable when it comes to providing the best standard of care to their patients.