Few would disagree that nursing is one of the most underrated professions in modern times. Being a nurse isn’t easy. In fact, it is a field that can be extremely demanding—and even unforgiving—to those who pursue it. Being around the ailing and the frazzled for long hours and dealing with them patiently day after day can be challenging, to say the least.
Nurses are required to be not only compassionate and helpful, but also capable of making difficult decisions and administering the right medical care to patients in the absence of doctors. Of course, education plays a big role in ensuring this, but there are certain innate qualities that make one nurse better than the other.
Here are 10 qualities that make an exceptional nurse.
1. High Standards of Professionalism
Nurses need to be professional in their approach towards their work. Whether it is meeting with and attending to patients, administering medication, or maintaining patient records, they need to do all of it in the most skilled and ethical manner.
As a nurse, you’re bound to deal with patients coming from different age groups, genders, races, communities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is important not to make assumptions or generalizations with respect to their appearance, and instead focus on their illness, injury, or that which ails them.
There may be times when you may have to deal with difficult patients. Do not let that experience get to you. View each patient as an individual who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
2. Never-Ending Diligence
Nurses are extremely hard working, which is why diligence is an important attribute they need to possess. While we may think that theirs is a 9 to 5 job, the truth is far from that. More often than not nurses end up working long hours, thanks to the nature of their job.
To be an exceptional nurse, you need to have it in you to work long hours and be up and running to (possibly) do it again the next day.
3. Exceptional Communication Skills
One of the most critical traits to be good at any job is outstanding communication skills. This applies to nurses as well. In fact, this skill is a necessity rather than an option. A great nurse has exceptional listening and speaking skills. The rest of his or her work depends on these two factors.
Nurses can solve problems only if they’re able to effectively communicate with patients and families. Patients expect nurses to understand their troubles perfectly well before administering any medicine. An effective nurse is one who can not only fulfill, but also anticipate patients’ needs.
4. Effective Interpersonal Skills
Apart from excellent communication skills, nurses need to have remarkable interpersonal skills. After all, they act as the link between doctors and a variety of patients. Further, they also need to work well with other nurses and members of the staff.
For patients, nurses are the face of the hospital and doctors depend on them for carrying out several tasks. A great nurse is able to strike the right balance between doctors’ and patients’ needs.
5. Attention to Detail
Good nurses realize that every step they take in providing patient care can have grave consequences. This is why all effective nurses pay careful attention to detail and make sure they do not miss any step.
Whether it is reading and understanding a patient’s chart or memorizing the details of a case, nurses take nothing for granted. In a profession where a tiny mistake can ruin another’s life, attention to detail is one quality that can either spell the difference between life and death.
6. Quick Problem-Solving Abilities
The ability to mitigate problems quickly is a must-have quality in a great nurse. An even better quality would be to anticipate and address problems before they arise. You never know when a tricky situation will arrive at the time of dealing with emergencies or trauma cases.
A nurse always needs to be prepared with solutions, whether it is speaking to patients’ families, comforting patients, or communicating with doctors and other administrative technicians.
Patients who come to a hospital or clinic typically need remedies that are not only effective, but also administered quickly. A great nurse understands the importance of responding promptly to emergencies and sudden incidences and is prepared for all sorts of surprises with a composed mind and a calm attitude.
8. Empathetic Disposition
More often than not, patients happen to be enduring or have endured immense pain and suffering. Remarkable nurses have empathy for them and are able to be compassionate to provide comfort. Of course, nurses can experience their share of mental and physical fatigue too, but they’re able to get past it.
The atmosphere in a hospital can be a formal one. However, nurses can add the humane touch with their kindhearted attitude. This can be instrumental in improving patient care to a great extent.
9. Solid Stamina
Nurses work long hours. Further, they’re also required to frequently carry out various physical tasks, lift heavy equipment, provide physical support to patients, stand for long periods of time, and carry out other demanding drills on a daily basis. In short, they’re always on their feet.
This is why nurses need to be energetic enough to make it through the shift, irrespective of whether they’re in a surgery or looking after a patient.
10. Sense of Humor
Finding humor in difficult situations isn’t easy, but the nurses who can do it are able to mitigate stressful situations better. It is perfectly okay to mix the elements of fun and humor into your work to be able to enjoy it better. After all, this combination will keep you going in the tough times!
As a career, nursing can be a difficult, yet rewarding one. The satisfaction of being helpful to those in need can be tremendous. All you need is the right personality to deal with the stresses that come with it and you should do well. If you aspire to become a nurse and think that you possess all of the above qualities, you should definitely pursue nursing as a career.