What makes a good nurse? Is it the clinical knowledge that helps you treat disease, your ability to provide undivided care to multiple patients, or your organizational skills? Yes, you guessed right, it is a combination of several personal, professional knowledge skills and expertise.
The job of a nurse is unpredictable. What you learn in nursing school may help you with basic nursing tasks. But the real challenges surface when you are in the field. To put it simply, your patients can’t get better with the treatment you provide. They need your attention, care, empathy, respect, a listening ear, and more.
Moreover, being a nurse, you need to fulfill your professional duties alongside caring for the patients. Besides these, you need to stay prepared for the unprecedented challenges. However, a few tips can help you take all the challenges head-on and stay on the top.
If you are on the lookout for some helpful tips to make your nursing journey easier, you are just where you need to be. Below you will find some go-to tips for becoming a good nurse.
Keep enhancing your clinical knowledge
Educational opportunities within nursing are so vast that even a graduate of another field can pursue this career without investing too many years. Those who feel a calling towards this profession a little late can catch up by enrolling in any of the best ABSN programs equivalent to a 4-years BSN nursing degree. These programs allow students to earn a BSN degree in as few as 12-16 months.
Lifelong learning is required to thrive in any field. Whether you learn in a formal environment, take additional courses, training, or simply learn by observing, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you reflect on your abilities, explore areas that need improvement, and work on them.
Most nurses become stressed because of the workload. However, nurses can navigate all kinds of stressors and unforeseen circumstances with planning and organization. Nurses already have a lot on their plates during each shift and are likely to get stressed. But an organized nurse is more likely to adapt to the situation, prioritize tasks, and attend to the tasks at hand efficiently. Staying organized will make your day manageable and impact the patients positively and the other team members.
Effective communication is one of the most crucial skills nurses must harness. Whether it is with patients, doctors, or family members, nurses must be very clear in their communication. Errors in common job tasks like transcribing medication details, missing information about deadly allergies on medical charts, etc., are attributed to lack of communication. So, if a nurse drops the ball, the consequences may negatively befall the patients.
On the other hand, communicating the causes, risk factors, and prognosis details with patients can help alleviate their anxiety. This will also help them build a sense of trust in the medical professionals. Moreover, the free flow of dialogue in a professional relationship will reduce the chances of any medical errors.
Nurses work under a lot of pressure as patients swarm in and out throughout the day. Meanwhile, they need to follow the orders of higher-ups and ensure no patient is left unattended. In stressful situations, the risk of human error is almost inevitable. Still, nurses need to pay attention to the significant and the insignificant, visible and unnoticeable, verbalized and non-verbalized. Especially when dealing with patients, a little abnormality can lead to a life-threatening condition. Also, while communicating with patients, you must validate their concerns and understand even the non-verbalized ones.
Provide undivided care
A good nurse provides undivided attention to all the patients despite the severity of their illness. Caring includes a lot of factors like empathy, compassion, respect, humor, etc. Considering the number of patients you might attend regularly, it is easy to become desensitized. But your primary duty is to care for patients, and you can only do that with empathy and compassion.
Treat your patients as people and validate their concerns no matter how trivial they may seem to you, but it’s always the first time for them. Polite gestures like calling each patient by their name will help build rapport, increase treatment adherence, and accelerate the recovery process.
Get a mentor
Mentors help you tackle challenges professionally and succeed down the road. They are not only a source of practical knowledge but also possess some intangible skills you can’t learn on your own. You can easily find a mentor at your hospital simply by looking for a senior nurse you admire. Observe how they work and what approaches they use to tackle challenges, and ask them questions.
If you can’t find a mentor on your own, get enrolled in a hospital mentorship program. Such programs offer good networking opportunities with experienced healthcare professionals.
In all the hustles of caring for patients, don’t forget to take care of yourself. You must remember that health is just as crucial for you as it is for your patients. Follow safety protocols at the hospital for yourself and your parents also. Eat at least two meals a day, exercise daily, and take out time for a habit like painting. Stay hydrated and get a medical checkup a least monthly.
Take a break whenever you feel like it’s too much for you. Also, nursing is emotionally draining, so practice emotional regulation and calming strategies like mindfulness.
More nurses are needed now than before. Not only is healthcare innovating, but challenges are increasing as well. As an essential resource within the industry, nurses must stay updated on the latest knowledge and innovations. Thus, nurses need to strengthen their skills and enhance their clinical knowledge to ensure the highest quality of care and a smooth running of healthcare. A few tips can help them achieve their goals of becoming a good nurse. These include enhancing knowledge, staying organized, improving communication skills, following a mentor, paying attention to details, etc. These few tips can go a long way in helping you become a better nurse.