Nursing is considered one of the most fulfilling jobs today. Not only does it reward you financially but the satisfaction that comes from changing someone’s life for the better is something that just can’t be put into words. Having said that, nursing can be a very demanding job, both physically and mentally. You have to look after a variety of patients and you can’t deal with all of them in the same way. Most of the time, you have to be on your toes.
Not everyone has what it takes to be a good nurse. But there are some who are exceptional at what they do. They work tirelessly day and night for the wellbeing of their patients and are willing to go the extra mile to make the patients feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible during their stay at the hospital. There are the nurses who keep receiving thank you notes from their patients long after they leave the hospital.
If you are aspiring to become a nurse and wondering if you have what it takes, here are the top six attributes of a great nurse:
- Caring nature
Having a caring nature is the backbone of this profession. As a nurse, the first pre-requisite of your job is to treat your patients with the utmost care. Care comes readily when patients are nice and polite, but that’s not always going to be the case.
In your career, you will come across many patients who are difficult or even rude, but there is no way you can turn a blind eye to them and leave them on their own. As a well-trained professional nurse, such as those from nursing agency in Australia, you must treat all your patients with the same tenderness and love.
A good nurse never reacts to the rude behavior of patients – she empathizes with them because she knows there is a reason why the patient is so distressed. We can all see the physical injuries, but only a good nurse can see beyond the physical wounds.
A nurse shows care to her patients in the following ways:
- By remembering the patients’ names. It conveys to them that they matter.
- Asking them time and again if they need anything because some patients are shy to open up.
- Listening to the patients’ opinions. It could be the hardest thing to do because they won’t always sound medically correct but they need to be heard and understood in order for them to feel at ease about their treatment.
- Great communicator
Communication skills are at the core of many professions and nursing is certainly one of them. Managing patients who come from different backgrounds is a big challenge unless you master the art of communication. In other professions, one can make up for communication gaps in other ways but in this profession, a minor communication gap can lead to a major medical mishap.
These communication skills go beyond just spoken words. Often times your patient might not be in the condition to express their needs. You will have to judge them on your own from their gestures and body language. Only good communication skills can enable you to cope with such scenarios.
As a nurse, you are not only responsible to communicate with patients, but also with doctors and the patient’s family members. It is your duty to ensure smooth communication with them all.
In any work environment, there is always a possibility of sudden change. However, this change comes more often in the field of healthcare. Out of nowhere, you may be called for a nightshift or overtime shift or asked to perform duties that are not a part of your job description. Simply put, the working hours or job duties for a nurse can be very unpredictable and you just have to deal with it. You have to take every new experience as a challenge, rather than a burden.
If you wish to work as a travel nurse, you have to adapt to different environments even more frequently. This is because travel nurses work in different places. Though they are mostly recruited in hospitals, every place has its own environment and they must adapt to it.
This flexibility also means that as a nurse you are not going to have a dull 9-5 routine. You might even get more time to spend with your friends and family members at times.
As emphasized above, a minor mishap from nurses could have far-reaching consequences for the health of patients. Being a nurse, the margin of making a mistake is very small. The best way to avoid any medical catastrophe is to jot down every single detail related to the task on hand and never overlook any detail regardless of how unimportant it may seem; only a doctor is in the position to do so.
For example, a detail-oriented nurse would regularly monitor the heartbeat of a patient and convey even minor changes to the doctor. Since a nurse is multitasking all the time, small details can easily escape her memory. The best option is to record every single aspect related to the patients and highlight them to the doctor. As a nurse, you have to maintain a clean and separate record of every patient with his name, medications, symptoms, and other details to avoid any confusion or mistakes.
- Physical endurance
By now you would have known that being a nurse requires a lot of emotional strength. But, at the same time, it is no walk in the park physically either. From lifting patients to standing for long durations, there will be dozens of tasks that will drain you out physically. So much so, you can’t even be sure about your breaks or holidays.
The best way to prepare yourself physically for this career path is to take care of your health by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. You have to be physically strong in order to take care of someone else. After all, how could you manage someone else’s health when can’t even manage your own?
- Team player
Teamwork is an essential part of the healthcare industry. When physicians and nurses work together as a team, they exchange their views about patients with each other and find the best possible ways to treat their illness. That way, patients get personalized care.
Sometimes a patient could be suffering from multiple health issues. In such a case, they might be under the supervision of more than one doctor. As a nurse, you will be required to coordinate with different doctors as part of the patient’s treatment. By being a good team player, you can greatly improve your chances of getting hired by reputable hospitals.
The Final Thoughts
Nursing is one of those rare jobs that give you the opportunity to positively influence the lives of people. To an outsider, nursing might just seem like another source of bread and butter but those who are a part of it know that it is actually far more than that. It is about helping people get through their worst times, and that surely is one of the best feelings in the world. Moreover, nurses have never been in demand like today. So the best time to choose a career in nursing is right now.