In any kind of job, there are some people who are better at what they do than others. Some see their work as just something they have to do to earn money, and it is more of a chore than anything else. For others, their job, or career as they are much more interested in doing well and progressing, is much more important, and they enjoy their work and don’t begrudge having to do it.
This is true of almost every career you can think of; there will be people who do the bare minimum, and others who go much further. In nursing, this is the difference between a reasonable nurse and a great one. If you want to be a great nurse and really do well in your career, there are some things you need to bear in mind, so read on to find out what they are.
All nurses need to have a lot of knowledge behind them in order to do their jobs, and that includes those who don’t particularly enjoy nursing as they will still need to be able to carry out the tasks they are asked to do and therefore they will need to have a good understanding of medicine and treating patients.
Those who are determined to become great nurses will go further than this basic, essential knowledge, however. They will want to know more, and they will understand that they need to know more, if they are to progress and be the ultimate nurse in any capacity. This will often mean additional learning on your own time, but for a nurse who wants to improve, this won’t be a hardship. There are even nursing leadership courses you can take online at your own pace, meaning you can work around your existing work and commitments to improve your life and your career.
As well as this technical, clinical knowledge, a great nurse will need to have a variety of different personality traits and skills that will help them to improve their career opportunities and make them invaluable to their patients. These include:
- The ability to think quickly and critically
- Being able to assess patients
- Being caring and compassionate
- Being able to understand complex instructions
If you combine these traits with your knowledge, you will become an amazing nurse whom patients love and who will advance quickly along their career path.
A great nurse is going to be a compassionate person. Although a good nurse will be able to treat the physical problems that a patient presents with, it is the nurses who are able to do this with the care and understanding that make them great. These are the nurses the patients will remember, and the ones who will make all the difference to their treatment and recovery, whether they have to stay in hospital for a short time or a much longer one.
Compassion is not something that can easily be learned, whereas many other skills required for nursing certainly can be. Therefore, if you are already a compassionate person, you will have one major advantage over many who are not naturally skilled in this area – patients will naturally gravitate to you because you will be honest and open, whereas other nurses might struggle to be genuinely compassionate. No matter how hard they try, this will always be apparent.
Interestingly, a compassionate nurse isn’t just something that a patient will find pleasant when they are recovering from an illness or procedure. A compassionate nurse will also help them to recover more quickly. This is down to making the patient feel more positive, and since the mind is so in tune with the body, if you are thinking more positively, you will heal faster.
Being respectful to patients and other staff members is a good way to become a great nurse. Everyone has their own issues and battles to fight, and even if you don’t get on with someone, staying respectful and doing your job in the right way is going to set you apart from many other people who are unable to do this.
Not only will it make your working environment a happier, easier one, it will also mean that you can help patients more. By offering the right amount of respect and not belittling anyone or making any kind of judgements, you can find out a lot more information about how they are feeling or how they got hurt, and this could lead to a diagnosis, or at least a more accurate treatment plan.
Respect is important, and the more you give the more you get, so being as respectful as you can is always going to serve you well, and when it comes to nursing it can make you great.
Staying Calm Under Pressure
As a nurse, one of the most important skills you can have is being able to stay calm under pressure. If you can do this, the rest of your job will come much more easily, plus you will be seen as trustworthy, highly knowledgeable, and someone that people can come to when they need assistance. In other words, you will become a great nurse.
Staying calm means you are able to assist the rest of the medical team, and you can help the patient feel better too – sometimes this can even mean they are able to be treated more easily. Then there are the patient’s family and friends. Again, if you have to impart any kind of news, you can do so calmly and patiently, answering questions and helping people come to terms with bad news, or ensuring they understand any kind of diagnosis. Nurses have extremely stressful jobs, and getting frustrated or overwhelmed is sure to happen at some point; turning those feelings around and focusing on what you are doing is what separates good nurses from great ones.
The best way to stay calm in any kind of difficult nursing situation (or any situation is life) is to have confidence in your abilities and knowledge. This will come from dedication and experience, and once you are able to master this, you will be able to deal with anything that comes your way.