Nurse Nursing is much more than a career; it truly is a calling. It takes a special kind of compassionate personality, calm head to care for people in their times of need. Below are traits of a good nurse.

Traits of a Good Nurse

  1. Caring

The number one quality of a good nurse is caring. If you do not care about others and yourself, you cannot be compassionate and provide quality care to others. A great nurse is able to do their job effectively while also showing compassion, concern, and sympathy for each individual they serve.

  1. Communication skills

Communication skills are one of the most important requirements of a nurse’s job—both following directions and communicating with patients and families. Patients who are sick or suffering often are not in a position of strength to speak up for themselves. Patients and families rely primarily on their nurse for this kind of support. For a good nurse, being supportive includes being an effective advocate for the patient when you anticipate a problem or see a concern that needs to be addressed.

A nurse’s communication skills take many different forms. “Their smile is the most important one. A genuine smile gives a patient a sense of comfort, knowing that their nurse cares about them.”

Of course, nurses have been wearing masks and other PPE since the COVID-19 pandemic began, so smiles can be a little harder to come by these days.

“Beyond that, there are many communication styles a good nurse knows how to work with, and not all of them are verbal. A great nurse can communicate in ways that make a patient feel at ease and feel confident that they will be cared for.”

 

  1. Empathy

Caring, compassion, and empathy sometimes are confused as one and the same, but there is an important distinction. Empathy is the ability to really hear and share in a patient’s feelings. For a nurse, this doesn’t mean you always have to agree with what a patient or their family thinks. And for your own self-preservation, you don’t need to internalize the pain and suffering they may be experiencing. But it is very important that you listen and try to understand where they’re coming from.

great nurse can make each patient feel seen and heard, without judgment, and with a recognition that each individual has their own valid set of values, life experiences, and perspectives.

Not everyone is born with a robust capacity to be empathetic toward others, but most people lack empathy only because they don’t know the full range of circumstances others may have experienced in life and how it affected them. It’s something nurse educators have understood since the days of Florence Nightingale, and with the knowledge and training a nursing program provides, it’s a learnable skill.

 

  1. Attention to detail

When it comes to providing medical care, attention to detail is crucial. Even in the most busy, hectic environment, a good nurse must be detail-oriented, making sure that instructions are followed to the letter, ensuring proper medication dosages, and keeping accurate records.

In the home care setting, a nurse serves as the detail-oriented coordinator of patient care. A good nurse will be the first to notice subtle changes in a patient’s medical condition and alert physicians and other members of a health care team to respond in ways that can avoid a serious adverse health event or unnecessary hospitalization.

  1. Problem-solving skills

Similarly, a great nurse exercises excellent judgment and can think quickly to anticipate and address problems.

Being set in one’s ways is not a useful quality for a nurse. Providing excellent health care can be very dynamic and unpredictable at times. A great nurse is willing and able to be flexible and adapt to any unforeseen circumstance.

In the day-to-day provision of health care, it is up to nurses to sometimes juggle hectic schedules and competing demands, to make calm decisions and respond to unexpected events effectively, and often, to find creative ways to make a difference for patients in the limited time you are able to spend with them.

 

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