It takes many great qualities to be a good nurse. Nursing as a specialty requires people to be as smart as doctors, as patient as a mother does, and as compassionate as a friend. A nursing career allows you to experience a level of personal gratification that does not come with any other job. What are the qualities that a great nurse should possess?
- Excellent Communication Skills. One of the most important qualities for a nurse is solid communication skills. A nurse must know when to speak, when to listen and when to intervene. A nurse must also be able to follow directions easily and communicate patient’s health status to the patients and their families. A nurse also has the task of ensuring he or she anticipates his or her patient’s needs, and act as the patient’s advocate with others in the hospital. Emotional Stability Nursing exposes a person to the stresses of watching a favorite patient die, observe and participate in gruesomely graphical surgeries and the painful task of comforting a bereaved family. All these traumatic situations can tax the strongest of nurses. It’s extremely necessary, therefore, that anyone desiring to be a nurse should be emotionally stable and accept human suffering as a part of their career.
- Empathy for Patients and Their Families. Feeling empathy for patients and their families paves the way to true compassion, which is the hallmark of nursing. It’s not easy to watch a patient suffer. However, to be able to empathize and provide the support, kindness and compassion when needed without becoming hard and cynical is not easy. Watching people suffer day in and day out can make the best people harden themselves. A nurse has to remain empathetic and compassionate in order to remain a great nurse.
- Flexible Working. Nurses are required to be flexible and roll with the flow. This is true of any career but when it comes to nursing, sudden hospital emergencies will require a nurse to attend duty on off days and do double shifts at times. In this sense, nurses are like doctors, and are often required to work overtime to accommodate their responsibilities.
- Paying Attention to Detail. In the medical field, a single error could cost a life. That’s the reason that the medical career is the one with the highest stress. A nurse or doctor who doesn’t pay attention to detail can mix up treatments or procedures, thus compromising a patient’s health or even life. A great nurse always pays attention to detail and manages patients without making errors or skipping essential steps.
- Good Interpersonal Skills. Nurses have to work with other nurses, doctors, and members of staff at hospitals and clinics. This calls for excellent interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate cheerfully with patients while handling stresses with coworkers seamlessly is a quality that all great nurses should possess.
- Enduring Physical Strain. Nurses have to stand on their feet for long periods. They also have to work hard, do double shifts, overtime and lift people or objects in the course of their work. All of this takes a heavy toll on their bodies; as a result, only the really fit nurses are able to succeed in their chosen career. It’s not a desk job; nursing involves physical strain and constant energy levels. It’s necessary for nurses to eat right, exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to handle the physical efforts that nursing requires.
- Problem-Solving Skills. Another quality that a great nurse should have is the ability to think quickly and take quick decisions. Being able to think quickly and solve issues even as they occur can mitigate situations before they escalate. Tricky situations arise in any career; however, with nursing, one has to deal with sick patients, severe trauma cases, emergencies, grieving families, and cranky doctors. Quick thinking abilities and problem-solving skills are what differentiate an average nurse from a truly great one.
- Quickness and Responsiveness. Being prepared for the unexpected is one of the job descriptions listed for nursing. Sudden emergencies can occur, and situations can arise out of nowhere, calling for nurses to be quick and alert. A nurse that takes time to respond to a situation does not succeed in this career. It’s necessary to be quick, stay cool, keep your head in a crisis situation and maintain a calm attitude throughout.
- Respect for People and Rules. A great nurse always shows the right respect for people and rules. Remaining impartial, being mindful of confidentiality requirements, respecting different cultures, traditions and norms and patient’s wishes are the golden rules of nursing. It’s necessary for a nurse to respect the hospital staff. Respecting a patient’s needs and treating all patients, irrespective of their age, with respect are the true signs of a great nurse.