Sunday, July 01, 2012
There are certain qualities that people expect from nurses, inherently: patience, great bedside manner, you know, how to read a doctor’s handwriting. Nursing is a demanding job, though, with long shifts spent caring for ill people and it requires many traits beyond a gentle touch and a sympathetic ear. If you are considering a career in nursing, you may want to evaluate whether you have some of the following traits. These traits will make your nursing career more fulfilling and much more successful.
Detail-Oriented. In a busy hospital, a nurse might be caring for nearly a dozen patients or more at a time. All of these patients have needs that must be addressed, from medication delivery to help using the bathroom. A nurse must be detail-oriented and able to keep track of everything that needs to be done. Remembering to write down notes on patient charts, to deliver medication on time – and correctly – and take note of small issues that the patient might not mention are all important tasks that require organizational skills and attention to detail.
Emotional Stability. Nursing is a career that offers plenty of ups and downs. In the course of a day, you can see new life coming into the world and patient’s ending their journeys on earth. When you care for a patient for several days or weeks, it’s easy to develop a relationship with him or her – which makes it even more difficult if that patient passes away. While it’s okay –and healthy—to have emotions, nurses need to be able to control their emotional responses to patients. If you fall apart every time you lose a patient, you will not be able to do your job.
Positivity. Nurses deal with some situations that may seem hopeless: the terminally ill patient, the car crash victim who lost the ability to walk, sick children. However, good nurses are able to look beyond the apparent hopelessness and provide some positivity to their patients. Sometimes just a smile and an encouraging word can do wonders for a patient. Nurses need to know when they can put the medical aspect of their job aside and show compassion, and be a friend to the patient, even just for a moment.
Quick Thinking and Good Judgment. In the healthcare environment, a few seconds can mean all the difference between life and death. A nurse needs to be able to quickly assess a situation and make the right decision and implement it immediately. If you freeze under pressure or cannot handle emergencies, this might not be the career for you.