If you want to be a successful nurse and do the very best for your patients, there are a lot of key skills and personality traits you’ll need to develop. Chief among these are, of course, medical knowledge and clinical skills, but there are also several more general abilities that will be vital to your career. Here are eight of the most important.
As a nurse, you will likely find yourself working with a large number of patients every single day – each with their own unique symptoms, medical history, treatment plans, and so on. There’s also a lot of admin work that goes with the job. That means you’ll need to be highly organized to stay on top of everything.
Working in nursing often requires you to explain complicated medical information to patients who have no background knowledge of the field and may also be stressed or worried. As such, you need excellent communication skills, the ability to actively listen, plus strong observational abilities to pick up on non-verbal factors such as body language.
Nurses never work in isolation. You will be a key part of a team of medical professionals, including doctors, paramedics, surgeons, and other nurses. You’ll therefore need the ability to work together cohesively, support your colleagues, ask for and offer help where appropriate, and fulfil your role effectively.
4. Attention to detail
Being a nurse means working with lots of important information in situations where mistakes can have very serious consequences. That’s why it’s vital to pay close attention to detail at all times. For instance, you’ll need to check precise dosages of medication, spot subtle medical symptoms, and follow instructions to the letter. Don’t worry if you’re nervous about this, as you’ll be trained thoroughly when studying online nursing from University of Indianapolis or other accredited programs.
Emergencies and other unexpected problems are all too common in healthcare. This means that nurses need to be flexible and able to think on their feet in order to deal with such issues quickly and effectively. This might seem daunting, but it will get easier with experience.
6. Mental fortitude
It’s important to recognize that nursing can be a tough job at times. You might be faced with upsetting situations, such as young children with serious illnesses or patients dying on your watch. As such, you must be mentally strong enough to make a clear separation between your work life and home life and not allow negative experiences to damage your own wellbeing.
7. Physical stamina
Nursing often involves working long shifts and being on your feet for many hours at a time without a chance to have a break – so having good levels of physical fitness is key. In addition, you’ll be a far better role model for your patients if you eat healthily and are in good shape!
Lastly, it goes without saying that compassion is crucial if you want to be an excellent nurse. Having empathy for your patients and genuinely caring for those you look after will ensure that you always go the extra mile for them. Strive to be patient, kind, and friendly, facing each day with a smile and bringing integrity to everything you do.
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