Medacs Healthcare

APR 30/2013

Nursing: the top attributes

Nursing can be a highly rewarding career path as you get to play a crucial role in ensuring ill people get the help and attention they need to recover from a variety of sicknesses. It might involve helping a patient recover from a broken bone, or lending a listening ear to someone who is faced with a diagnosis of cancer. In any case, nurses are paramount to the health industry and it would crumble without their dedication and skills.

So, what are the characteristics of a great nurse? While there are some skills that can be developed and nurtured over time, other, more inherent abilities, will help you succeed in a nursing role. Arguably, the most crucial of these is communication. The ability to listen to a patient is integral to ensuring they receive the right treatment. Being able to talk openly with your patient, and reassuring them of recovery where possible, all plays a vital role in top quality patient care. Communication also includes delivering the right message to doctors and other healthcare professionals, and taking onboard information you are given.

It is also important for excellent nurses to show empathy to their patients. Understanding their position and difficulties will help you give them the best treatment they need. It goes further, however, as it reassures the patient they are being listened to and understood. Indeed, knowing that an empathetic nurse is involved in their treatment can put them at ease and make their hospital experience far more comfortable.

Flexibility is another major aspect of nursing - that is, the ability to respond to emergency calls, night shifts, overtime and weekend work. This is not a nine to five role but a great aspect of this is that nurses can benefit from having whole days to themselves. That can be useful for meeting family or friends, enjoying time at the gym or getting involved in other leisure activities that most people in office jobs do not have the option of pursuing.

Hitting the gym might not be a bad idea for nurses either as it can be a physically demanding role. As such, it is a good idea for those in nursing jobs to try stay fit and build some muscle strength so they are better equipped to lift heavy items or patients. Nurses have the chance to move about in their role as it keeps them on their toes, so taking care of your cardiovascular health is not only beneficial for your wellbeing, but for doing your job to the best standard.

Being able to think on your feet is also paramount in a nursing role. You have to be able to respond to patient requirements in a fast and efficient manner. That involves the ability to identify a problem early on, addressing it as soon as possible and ensuring the solution you have proposed is the best option for the patient and staff. This is, however, a skill that can also be developed over time and more experienced nurses may find they are better at this than those in junior positions.

If you feel these are areas you need to work on, don't be discouraged from pursuing a career in nursing. Ultimately, this is a vocational role and if you feel you have been called to the position, then don't be deterred from a list of attributes you may not have. The most important step you can take is to experience the hospital setting firsthand and see how you respond to its demands. With time, you will develop an incredible skillset that will set you in good stead for the rest of your career.

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