Are you thinking about becoming a nurse? Do you believe you would make a good nurse? Maybe you’re already in nursing school, or you may already be a nurse. But what really makes a good nurse? What are the important traits that a great nurse needs to possess to be successful in the nursing profession? Well, the secret to becoming a successful nurse can’t be found in any medical book. These traits are innate. You are either born with them, or you’re not. Here are the most common traits of a great nurse:
Empathy. The ability to understand, relate and identify with someone else's feelings or difficulties. It is imperative that a good nurse be able to relate to what their patient is feeling, in order to anticipate their needs. Empathy can help you bond with your patient on a very deep level and give them the necessary care they need to recover. In palliative care, obviously your patient is not going to recover, but empathy is vitally important to these patients because they need your support and understanding at the end of their life. An empathetic person is not judgmental. Instead they are understanding, caring, and loving.
Compassion. This trait means the nurse is sympathetic and empathetic. Compassion is a combination of both these traits. Although compassion is innate in every human, it’s a trait that can be developed further, by listening to your patient’s desires and interests. Compassion is essential for every nurse. If you don’t understand a patient’s needs, you cannot provide the best care for them.
Patience. This trait can sometimes be difficult to maintain, but is necessary to the success of every great nurse. Patience is the ability to keep calm and level-headed even when situations are out of control. All nurses deal with belligerent, uncooperative, angry patients or family members at times. These people can really drain your energy and patience and make you want to explode. If you are able to persevere calmly when faced with these difficulties, you have conquered the art of patience and it’s an essential trait to have if you are a nurse.
Diligence. Every patient needs and deserves a diligent nurse. A nurse that is persistent and hard-working. Your patient’s deserves your dedication and strong will to help them. A diligent nurse helps a patient feel secure that they will receive the best care. Diligent nurses are confident and their attitude reflects this.
Genuine Interest. LOVE your job! Take an interest in what you are doing. We’ve all heard the saying “pick a career that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well, that’s a very true statement, because when you love nursing, you don’t feel like you are working. It becomes a lifestyle. When a patient sees that you are genuinely interested in them, they feel safe. It can change their attitude and help them get well.
Good communication. This trait is so very important, not just for your patients, but for your co-workers too. The ability to effectively communicate information and help others express their thoughts and feelings without hesitation is an excellent trait and priceless in the nursing profession. A great communicator doesn't simply know how to receive (listen) and pass on information (by charting, reporting and relaying information to peers) exactly the way the original message was given, but they have also mastered the art of delivering details calmly, and without misinterpretations. This trait is important when dealing with patients, coworkers, doctors and supervisors.
Motivation. Commitment and enthusiasm to do a good job. Possessing this trait is imperative to being a good nurse. Motivation is what helps a nurse carry on, even when things seem impossible, and let’s face it, nursing is a tough gig at times and we must have motivation in order to help our patients to the best of our ability and not give up when the going gets tough.
A Great attitude. An optimistic attitude is crucial to good nursing. No one likes a pessimistic attitude, it’s just not attractive and leaves you patients feeling like they have no hope. Always look on the bright side of everything and remember that great saying “It will all be okay in the end, If it’s not okay then it’s not the end.” The one true thing in life is change and things always get better, if you keep a positive attitude. Remember how blessed you are and how important it is for you to stay positive for your patients well-being.
What other traits do you think are important to be a great nurse? Comment below!