Nursing is one of the oldest known professions. From important nurses in history like Florence Nightingale, Phoebe Levy Pember, Captain Sally Tompkins, Clara Barton, etc., there have been many advancements over the years that require immense amounts of adaptability from nurses. CE Broker is going to focus on highlighting some of those expected qualities that make a great nurse.
1. Empathy: Empathy can make all the difference in improving patient care and their overall experience. This can be just as easy as taking the time to really listen to what your patient has to say. Just recently, Upworthy featured a story about how one creative nurse used his talent to show empathy to lonely patients. He even mentions that patient’s requested less pain medicine when shown a little extra personal care.
2. Communication: As a nurse, it is extremely important to have good communication across all levels. “They have to be able to communicate with doctors, patients, and coworkers in a very fast-paced environment,” says Jacksonville University School of Nursing. Communication is an all-encompassing term here. It is just as important to listen to others as it is to speak to them.
3. Emotional Stability: NursingLink weighs in on “Nursing [being] a stressful job where traumatic situations are common. It is crucial to accept suffering and death without letting it get personal. Some days can seem like non-stop gloom and doom.” Although they hit the nail on the head there, nursing has amazing moments where life can be saved right before your eyes. Either way, it is important to maintain control of your emotions to perform at your very best.
4. Detail Oriented: Avoiding skipping steps and making errors can save someone else’s life and your job. Put yourself in your patient’s shoes and consider the care and attention to detail you would expect if you were cared for.
5. Energy and Endurance: Shifts are long, and you do not often get a break at all. Long hours of being on your feet can take a toll on your energy levels. Here are some great tips from NurseTogether on how to maintain consistent energy levels all day while at work.
6. Thinking on your Toes: Emergency situations call for spur-of-the-moment reactions. Be prepared for the unexpected and try to keep as calm as possible in a moment of crisis. You will be much more helpful to your team if you are thinking clearly and not letting the crisis get the best of you.
7. Confidence: It is important to feel confident in your abilities and choices throughout your shift. No patient will feel comforted by your second guessing whether it is their arm or leg that needs amputation. (That is a bit extreme, but it supports the importance of being confident in what you are doing). Nursetogether.com has some tips on how to build your confidence in your nursing skills.
8. Friendliness: When working up to 12-hour shifts (or however long your shift may be), getting along with your staff is extremely important. Camaraderie makes your shift much more enjoyable when you spend it among happier, friendlier colleagues. On a deeper level, it can also increase the willingness of your coworkers to help you when you are in need. It’s also important to be friendly with your patients! Sometimes a nurse is the only friendly face a patient sees all day.
9. Be a Team Player: “True collaboration is a process, not an event. It must be ongoing and build over time, eventually resulting in a work culture where joint communication and decision making between nurses and other disciplines and among nurses themselves becomes the norm,” states AMN Healthcare Education Services.
10. Delegation: You are amazing and capable of so much, but you cannot always do things independently. Know when to ask for help and be okay with that. Someone may ask for your help in the future! The goal of healthcare is not to be a one-man show but to show the best practice skills for the patient’s needs.
11. Ethical: Abiding by moral and professional norms is very important in the workplace. American Nurses Association has a Code of Ethics for Nurses that was “developed as a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession.”