Becoming a nurse is a multi-faceted process. Not only do you have to have excellent professional credentials, but you also need to have the personality traits which will enable you to connect and engage with patients.
Here are the skills that every nurse should absolutely possess.
We tend to think of critical thinking skills as something that is important in the business world. But it’s also an essential skill in the medical world too. Nurses are faced with dozens of important choices every day. The decisions they make are crucial to patients and families.
Critical thinking means making decisions that are not only good for the patient but also good for the rest of the hospital and the wider society. A patient might want to be scanned on the MRI machine, for instance, even though a biopsy would suffice. It’s the job of the nurse to make sure that the MRI machine remains available for people who actually need it to diagnose their conditions and to make sure that the patient understands this trade-off, even if they aren’t particularly happy about it.
A Love Of Learning
The process of training to become a nurse doesn’t end the moment you finish medical college or go into the hospital and start working with patients. In fact, it never ends, and you’ll be expected to earn CEU credits for nurses for the rest of your career, topping up your education along the way. This is why it is so important that nurses have a love of learning. Learning is how nurses progress and take on more responsibility. It’s also what makes the job interesting and up-to-date.
Having compassion might not sound like a skill, but when you’re exposed to people in great need, day after day, you’ll soon begin to view it that way. Nurses have to be people who are concerned about other people to their core. You might meet hundreds of patients every week, but each of those patients is an individual with their own emotional needs. So too are their families and friends.
Nurses with compassion are needed now more than ever to make the hospital experience as bearable as possible, even when the injuries and illnesses are serious.
Attention to Detail
According to estimates, nurses make about 30,000 mistakes a year with medication. It’s vital, therefore, that nurses pay close attention to detail. Giving a patient the wrong drugs can lead to severe health consequences and litigation.
Nurses, like doctors, don’t have regular timetables. Instead, they’re expected to work long hours, often at anti-social times of the day. It’s important, therefore, that you are flexible and are able to adapt to the changing circumstances of your hospital, patients or clinic. Sometimes you’ll be called in on an evening or a weekend to help deal with demand if patient traffic is high.
As a nurse, you’ll often feel like you’re doing the donkey work. And to a certain extent, you are. Nursing requires emotional, physical and mental stamina that few people have. To be an effective nurse, you need to live a healthy lifestyle and make sure that you maintain high levels of energy.
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