When you become a nurse, you’re not necessarily automatically going to be the very best you could ever be. You’ll have a good deal of knowledge, you’ll have qualifications, and you’ll know that this is a career that you want to do well in, but what you won’t have is the experience, skill, and understanding that will make you a great nurse.
Don’t be disheartened about this; it’s the same for everyone. Just because you’re not the most amazing nurse right from the start (although, of course, that’s not to say that you’re not an excellent nurse), that doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t become one over time. If you’re looking at ways that you can turn yourself from a good nurse to a great one, read on for some useful tips.
Even More Knowledge
When you want to become a nurse, you need to go to nursing school in order to obtain specialist qualifications that will not only allow you to work but that will also give you a good grounding when it comes to the information you need to know about how to be a good nurse. These qualifications are open to everyone, from those just leaving high school to those who have decided to change careers later on in life. The key, no matter who you are or why you want to be a nurse, is to keep learning. If you want to be a great nurse, you must always be looking for new ways to expand your knowledge.
This is something that is entirely possible to do thanks to online courses. These courses mean that you don’t have to sacrifice your job just to study to become better at that job (which doesn’t make any sense anyway); you can keep working and still gain more knowledge through additional nursing courses. You can even advance your career by taking the next steps, and this is something that can be done by everyone; there are even online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses, for example.
These courses, as well as experience in your job as a nurse, will also help you to improve your ‘soft skills’, which include:
- Communication skills
- Assessment of patients
- Understanding complex instructions
- Compassion and empathy
These skills are just as important as the more technical knowledge a nurse needs to know, so enhancing them where possible is the best thing you can do if you want to become a great nurse.
Have More Compassion
We’ve briefly mentioned compassion above, but it’s a truly important nursing trait, and it’s something that the best nurses have in abundance, which is why it’s crucial that you work on your compassion levels and enhance them if need be.
A good nurse will treat someone’s physical problems, and they will be kind and caring while they go about it. A great nurse will do the same, but their kindness and caring levels will be exceptional, ensuring that no patient is ever left feeling unhappy, scared, confused, or alone. These are the great nurses who people are going to remember long after their wounds have healed and their sickness has been cured, and these are the nurses everyone should aim to be like.
Compassion can, in part, be learned, although it’s not an easy thing to do. If you are already compassionate, you will have a great advantage over a great many other people, and you can certainly turn your nursing career into a great one.
Nurses deserve a lot of respect; that’s very clear; they work hard, they do so much, and they save lives in the process. Yet, a great nurse will also give respect. They will give respect to their patients and to their colleagues and other staff members around the hospital, clinic, or other medical workplaces they are in. Not everyone can do this; little annoyances and petty squabbles can get in the way of being able to respect everyone around you, and this is the difference between a mediocre or even a good nurse and a great one.
When everyone is respectful, the working environment is a much more productive and happy one, and the workplace itself is more comfortable. This means everyone can concentrate on their work more easily, and patients are helped in the best way possible. When a patient is respected, they will be much more forthcoming about their symptoms and how they feel because they know they won’t be judged in any way, which makes diagnosing them much easier. When colleagues are respected, they will be much more likely to help you when you need it, meaning that the patient, once again, gets the best nursing care possible.
You don’t have to like those you respect; these are two different things, and it’s important to understand the distinction between the two.
Staying Calm Under Pressure
Nurses must, no matter what, stay calm under pressure. This is one of the most important skills a nurse can have, and it will make the entire job a much easier one since you will always know just what to do and how to handle any situation that you come across. You will also be seen as an integral member of the team because you are always able to take charge of anything that’s happening and show your knowledge and skills at their best. These are the treats of a great nurse.
Some people are naturally calm, and they are able not to panic when something goes wrong or when there is a lot happening around them. Others will need to learn this skill, and it something that comes with plenty of experience. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll be able to watch other, more experienced nurses as they go about their duties and see how they react to difficult situations; what do they say and do that helps to keep them calm and ensures others are able to listen to them and follow their lead? Whatever it is, these are skills that a great nurse should develop. Having confidence in your nursing knowledge and abilities will help immensely in this regard.