During my nursing career I have met a lot of good nurses and some bad nurses. It's just like any other profession. Even when you look at the big picture, you see that within any group of people there are going to be some good and some bad. The nursing profession is no different.
But what is considered a "bad nurse?" In order to analyze that question we should look at the qualities that make a great nurse. Now, it's okay if you don't have a couple of these traits, but if you're reading this shaking your head "No", and you're also being completely honest with yourself, then it really is time to find a new career.
Here are the qualities of a great nurse...How do you stack up?
Compassion: This is at the very core of a nurse, because nursing isn't just a job, it's who you are. If you really don't care about others then you won't make a good nurse.
Competence: this is pretty self explanatory. You can't be incompetent and still be a nurse. Would you want someone incompetent administering your mom's medications? No, I didn't think so.
Communication: You must be an effective communicator. Remember too that listening is part of communication, (a big part) and it's a dying skill. you must be able to communicate to other staff members and patients alike.
Courage: Nursing can really test your courage because no two days are ever the same in nursing and you never know what you may have to deal with the next day, the next hour, or the next minute. It takes courage to really tackle things head on an not be fearful of what may lie ahead.
Commitment: You really do need to be committed to this profession to be a great nurse. It must be part of who you are.
People Skills: There's a lot I could say here, but I'll keep it short. There are many different personalities in this world and you will not always understand them all. For many years I really thought that everyone thought like me. It was only when I realized that everyone is an individual, that I began to develop my people skills. You have to be open minded in order to try to understand other people and respect their beliefs, even when you don't agree with them. Only then will you develop great people skills.
Happy to work as part of a team: Nursing is a multidisciplinary profession. You must be able to work as a team and communicate with your coworkers in order to provide the best care for your patient, who is always your number one priority.
Emotional stability to deal with sensitive situations: This too, is pretty self explanatory. You will see the circle of life every day during your nursing career. From babies being born to the elderly passing away, and everything in-between, You have to be emotionally stable to handle all the situations that occur on a daily basis. You have to be comfortable in your own skin and not crumble when someone complains of a headache. Keep it together sister! If you can't there's no room in nursing for you.
Empathy and ability to sympathetically deal with patients’ problems and fears: These are two very important traits of nurses, that are often overlooked. Nurses are expected to care and have sympathy for others. We need to be able to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and understand what they're going through. If we can't do this, we can't really help them.
Ability to put people at tease and gain their confidence: Nursing is voted the most trusted profession year-after-year and this is why. when we have the ability to put people at ease and gain their confidence, we then gain their trust. When someone trust you, you have the ability to alleviate their fears and help them relax and feel better. This is what nursing is all about.
Great Observation skills: Sometimes what you hear and what you see are two very different things. When a patient tells you something, we know that to be subjective. What you actually see is objective. It's important for nurses to hone in on the skill of observation and be able to decipher between what a patient is actually telling us and what our observation skills are saying. It will help you tremendously in your nursing career.
Ability to think and act under extreme stress: You need the ability to think on your feet. One minute you may be reading a chart and sipping your coffee, the next minute you're running a full code. You must be able to act under stress and make accurate judgments and decisions. If you think there will always be a doctor there to guide you, you're living in la-la land and need to come back to earth. If your mind turns to spaghetti when you are under stress, you probably won't be a good fit for nursing. I will say that working effectively under stress is some-what of a learned skill., you do get better at with time
Flexibility, problem solving skills and good attention to detail: You must be able to look at things outside the box and figure out solutions. Things change on a dime in nursing and you should be able to be flexible enough to adapt and change with them
After reading this article, do you think you make, (or will make) a great nurse? Comment below