The Qualities You Need To Become A Good Nurse
Nurses are extremely well-respected figures in societies across the globe. They are often recognized as one of the most trusted types of professionals. There are good reasons for this trust and respect. Nurses are front-line fighters for public health, pandemic response, trauma response, and all sorts of disease treatment. Nurses have saved countless lives and eased the suffering of many more people struggling with injury or illness.
There is a very specific set of qualities that a person needs to develop in order to become a successful nurse. Nursing is a very varied field and can be extremely demanding. Some people burn out not long into their nursing careers, surprised by just how testing the work can be. Others thrive on the challenges that nursing presents and savour the opportunity to help people in difficult situations. Here are five qualities that good nurses possess:
Empathy is vitally important in nursing, with studies indicating that it is one of the key factors contributing to a patient’s view of healthcare professionals. Empathy can help a nurse comprehend the complex situational needs of their patient and contribute to making the patient feel safe and understood. Despite the fact that nurses are very technically skilled, their ability to deliver empathetic care is often what springs to mind when people think of the role of the nurse. Patients might feel alone and misunderstood when they are suffering. An empathetic nurse can help alleviate some of the anxieties that come with falling ill or going through a trauma.
Things can get frustrating in a medical or therapeutic setting. Illness of any kind is an inherently frustrating thing, and not everything will go smoothly. Nurses need to be patient and calm. Patience in the face of a frustrating situation will allow protocols to be completed properly, calm the nerves of frustrated patients, and ultimately contribute to the provision of better healthcare.
Sensitivity to Injustice
Nurses have an important role as patient advocates. People needing help from nurses are often vulnerable. It is the job of a nurse to pick up on any exploitation or safeguarding issues when helping patients. A good nurse will have a finely tuned eye for injustice, enabling them to flag any issues that they see. Patient advocacy and nursing have gone hand in hand since the days of Florence Nightingale when nurses highlighted the poor conditions faced by soldiers in the Crimean War. The term ‘patient advocacy’ is, however, a relatively recent one. In modern nursing, advocacy is seen as a major duty. Nurses are in a great position to spot injustice – they are the first port of call for many people in peril.
Nurses need to be ready to learn a great deal of technical knowledge. Nurses are increasingly part of the clinical practice staff working in hospitals and social care settings. Tasks previously only undertaken by doctors are being completed by nurses, who are being trained to a very high degree of technical skill. You need to be willing to learn complex medical theory and terminology.
Technical know-how can’t just be learned overnight. Nurses have to undertake degree-level qualifications such as nurse practitioner programs before they can enter the clinical environment as fully registered professional. Advanced nurses can take their medical education a step further by enrolling in post-graduate, doctorate, and post-doctorate courses. These courses are challenging, helping nurses deal with more complex medical situations while still having the ability to take a step back and look at the social picture. Advanced nurses have had a huge role to play in developing public health policies. They have advised government agencies on public health practice during the coronavirus pandemic and have been indispensable public servants.
Nursing isn’t easy. Don’t expect to enter the nursing field without experiencing some challenges, some sadness, and the occasional confrontation with genuine tragedy. A good nurse is capable of developing a high degree of resilience and the ability to weather some of the more difficult aspects of the job in order to keep helping people. This does not mean that nurses should keep their fears and worries to themselves. Real resilience often involves dealing with issues – seeking help when you feel overwhelmed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed nurses relying on their resilience more than any other time in living memory. The strength and courage of nursing staff has been widely recognized in the media and amongst the general public.