Nursing as a profession is growing day by day and is not showing signs of slowing down any time soon. With the competition in this field increasing quickly and the demand for healthcare workers rising, you must know what makes a good nurse.
Nursing is a truly rewarding career, but you must know what to aim for to make the most out of this wonderful profession.
There is great advancement potential in this field, but you need to strive to achieve the qualities of an excellent nurse to avail this opportunity.
Unfortunately, the profession is as demanding as it is rewarding. Some new nurses face a great challenge in coping with the busy routine.
To overcome such hurdles, it helps to have certain characteristics that make good nurses stand out among the crowd.
Following are some tips that will help you achieve the qualities that make an excellent nurse:
- Always be dedicated to learn
Nursing is one of the few career choices where learning never ends, and the potential to advance your knowledge always exists. Technological developments and breakthroughs are always going to necessitate continued education.
We need our healthcare workers to be up-to-date about the latest healthcare options, and willingness to keep learning is crucial for nurses.
After earning a post as a registered nurse, your desire to move up the career ladder should not end.
Pursue further degree programs like a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree through DNP online programs, which are designed to enrich your knowledge about healthcare, policies, procedures, new interventions, etc.
- Polish your critical thinking skills
Nurses are likely to encounter high-stress situations regularly, and critical thinking skills are crucial. This is the ability to objectively consider and evaluate all facts to reach rational conclusions.
It allows nurses to interpret data and troubleshoot solutions to various problems. Yes, the healthcare professionals all work as a team, but nurses who spend the most time with patients are likely to experience emergencies where they have to exercise critical thinking.
Years of education and practice can polish your critical thinking ability. Experienced nurses can apply clinical knowledge following the clinical guidelines of their facility.
- Exercise empathy
Nurses must interact with numerous patients regularly, and they likely become desensitized to the problems their patients face.
Unlike nonclinical people, they are likely to have reduced emotional responses to human suffering. However, regardless of how you feel, remember not to stop being empathetic to your patients.
Put yourselves in your patients’ shoes, understand their problems, and respond accordingly. Empathetic nurses are more likely to yield patient satisfaction through their patient-centered care.
- Practice effective time management
Nursing is a highly demanding profession where nurses are expected to balance many tasks simultaneously.
In a 12-hour shift, numerous tasks with competing priorities need to be completed. Every minor detail counts in this busy schedule, and a small mistake can have serious costs.
Time management is a very important skill for such demanding professions. Nurses who can organize and plan their daily schedule by allocating time to activities based on priority can efficiently juggle various demands.
This skill enables nurses to work smarter and get more work done in a short amount of time. Effective time management is also known to reduce stress, promote the advancement, enhance productivity, and improve reputation.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions
By not asking questions, you limit your learning capacity. In nursing, being embarrassed to ask questions can negatively impact your patients.
Yes, this doesn’t mean that you question your ability; but remember not to feel too confident either. Don’t hesitate to ask your senior staff members when you fear that you lack knowledge.
Consult the experienced Registered Nurses if you want advice. Seeking guidance will polish your skills and help you further in your career.
Especially when you are new to the profession, seeking guidance indicates a desire to improve. Nursing is always a team effort, and no one expects you to work independently. Work together and feel free to ask questions wherever the need arises.
- Polish your communication skills
Nurses are, of all healthcare professionals, the most likely to interact with patients and communicate important information to them.
As a fresh graduate and inexperienced nurse, you are likely to experience nervousness when dealing with patients.
With time and effort, your skills will become more and more refined. Nurses are also likely to encounter difficult patients sometimes, where good communication skills are crucial.
One strategy healthcare professionals learn; is the SBAR technique. The acronym stands for ‘situation,’ ‘background,’ ‘assessment,’ and ‘recommendations.’
It suggests that nurses should first clearly but briefly describe the current situation, provide background information, offer a professional assessment, and finally instruct the patient on what is expected.
- Look after yourself
It is very easy to neglect your health in a profession as demanding as nursing. Yes, your patients are a priority, but that should mean overlooking your own health and giving them your complete and undivided attention at your expense.
Examine your lifestyle to see if you are experiencing burnout. It is most likely true If you feel like you are losing interest, are always irritable, get angered easily, miss out on sleep or food, or struggle to get up in the morning for work.
Remember that this is harmful to your health and the safety of your patients. Fatigue can increase your chances of medical mistakes that can be life-threatening to the patients.
Therefore, you must care for your own mental and physical well-being. Monitor your lifestyle and identify any signs of burnout.
A good nurse can juggle personal well-being and that of their patients simultaneously.
- Always be prepared to take on any challenge
Lastly, a nurse must be able to take on anything their profession brings. Be it a patient in a life-or-death situation or an emergency that causes a change in your shift, always be mentally prepared to deal with it.
While it is important to plan your day, you must also be flexible enough to adjust to change.
Are you a new nurse on the journey to becoming better and better each day? The competition in this profession is high.
To excel as a nurse, you must be dedicated to learning, working on your communication skills, showing empathy, asking questions, and looking after yourself.
Work on your personal skills and strive for the best.