Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare sector.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, nursing is the leading profession in healthcare, with roughly 5 million registered nurses (RNs).
While this number may seem a lot, the truth is far from it.
No healthcare institute can have enough nurses, and the need for more professionals is growing by the minute.
Becoming a nurse is no less than a prestige.
However, to completely embrace this profession, you must hone particular skills and qualities that make you stand out as a nursing expert.
The core of your job is to provide patient-centered care, which involves ensuring you take down their accurate history, preparing them for the doctor, and ensuring they’re well looked after while they’re under your care.
So, what are these skills and qualities that you need to take up? Here’s what you need to know:
What Will We Learn?
1. Ensure You Have the Right Qualifications
Two defining features make nurses excellent at their jobs.
First, you must have specific skills that make you effective at your job.
On the other hand, you need to have the relevant educational qualifications that prepare you for your role.
To start your career as a nurse, you only need a license.
Once you become a registered nurse, you can lend your services to hospitals.
But this is not enough; if you want to progress in your career and do more than the minimum, then you should strive to get a Bachelor.
Fortunately, disruptive technology has made this endeavor easy.
You no longer have to enroll full-time into a university to get your degree; instead, you can look into online RN to BSN programs and pick the route that aligns with your interests.
By getting a bachelor’s degree, you have better career advancement opportunities and are far better informed about patient care than when you started.
Once you have a bachelor’s in your bag, you can soon look into other qualifications, but this degree is an excellent stepping stone in what can turn out to be a promising career.
2. Excellent Time Management Skills
In the healthcare sector, time is of the essence.
You have to ensure patients get their medicines on time, notify doctors when there is an emergency, and ensure you visit all your patients when required.
At the same time, you will have to juggle numerous tasks, such as patient filing and documentation, which are also part of patient care.
Hence, it would help if you were efficient with your time.
You can show up to work on time in numerous ways, one of which is to show up to work early so that you start your shift before your prescribed shift, giving you ample time to complete all your tasks instead of delaying them further.
You can use your smartwatch to help you manage your time better.
These watches come with built-in reminders, stopwatches, and alarms to assist you in your job.
Adjusting may be challenging initially, but if you stay focused and diligently follow a schedule, you will have no trouble completing all your tasks.
3. Get Better at Communication
Communication is an essential skill.
You must instruct, guide, and direct your colleagues and patients on what they must do.
This is why you need to brush up on your communication skills.
When talking to your patients, use precise words, be descriptive, and avoid medical jargon.
If your patients are hard of hearing, you may need to speak up or use sign language to make your point.
It would also help if you explained what is happening to your patients.
You can ask them to repeat the information and instructions to confirm they understood you.
Extend the same treatment to your colleagues, except you can use technical terms with them.
Your co-workers need to be in the loop of what you’re doing.
Don’t confuse instructions; be transparent when transferring a patient to them.
If you are bad at communication, start practicing.
You can choose to speak in front of the mirror, watch YouTube videos on communicating better, and if you need extra help, you may reach out to your mentors to guide you.
4. Pay Attention to Details
Nurses need to be vigilant at all times.
You need to keep an eye out if something is going wrong and prevent it from happening.
For instance, you may notice that a patient’s canola is not inserted right or there is a mistake in their prescribed medicine.
In all these cases, you need to intervene and care for the patient before their situation worsens.
Furthermore, when interacting with a patient, pay attention to what you see.
These include if you notice that the patient looks slightly discolored, bloated, or sluggish or has superficial wounds that indicate a deeper problem.
What you observe can help medical practitioners make their prognosis, which benefits the patient.
However, you need to train yourself to be attentive, keep your mind clear, and ensure they get your undivided attention when you’re with a patient.
If you’re distracted, you will take your eye off the ball, which can end badly for the patient.
When examining a patient, observe them; your few minutes of focus can unravel the patient’s problems.
5. Exude Confidence
You don’t have the margin to guess yourself second.
Don’t back down from what you know when you make a guess or discuss a patient’s case with a doctor.
Likewise, when passing decisions, be assured that you’re making the right call.
If you’re doubtful about your choices, take more time to evaluate your case.
You can ask a colleague to also examine the patient with you if you need a second opinion, but once you’re ready to pass judgment, do it without hesitation.
Confidence is the key to a long-lasting career and helps doctors solve complex cases since you can present them with a perspective they may not have considered.
Nursing is a prestigious career in the healthcare sector.
If you wish to go down this route, you need to be prepared for the work you must put in to build your profession.
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare sector.
Your knowledge, skills, and expertise will benefit hospitals and patients alike.
This is why you need to work on certain skills for a fulfilling nursing career.
These include building your confidence, attention to detail, and time management.
Once you become proficient in these, you will have no trouble excelling in your career.
Our article on master’s degrees in public health may also catch your attention.