Important Qualities to Have as a Nurse
Considering becoming a nurse? Before you dive in, consider these important qualities shared by the best nurses.
Education aside, these are some skills that will help you on the job.
Compassion for All
On a daily basis, nurses may interact with people who are receiving troubling news about their health or that of a family member. Patients may be concerned, angry, frustrated, or afraid. It often falls on the nurse to remain with the patient after a physician delivers bad news, or to be the first medical professional a patient sees before the doctor comes. In short, nurses see patients during very vulnerable times in their lives. A key skill a good nurse brings to these interactions is compassion and respect for all. Good nurses remember the patient perspective, and offer the appropriate support and understanding that helps the patient find some semblance of comfort or relief during a trying time.
Level-headedness, Especially Under Pressure
In certain settings, nurses may be part of a big and busy medical team. They may be relied upon by physicians during major procedures and surgery. They may be the only companion a patient has during trying times. Any combination of these circumstances can lead to a moment where a nurse needs to act quickly and think even faster, make sound decisions in the middle of chaos, and remain committed to mistake-free work even when it feels impossible. Whether the nurse is trying to restrain a hysterical patient or comfort an upset family member, grace under pressure is crucial to the job.
Many patients rely on nurses for clear, digestible information about their diagnoses or treatment. Patients’ families will rely on nurses for clarification and understanding. Being able to communicate with these people is an important part of a nurse’s job. Deciding on the best way to deliver news and education and support and then following through until the job is done is a key quality in a good nurse.