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Qualities That A Nurse Should Have

Qualities That A Nurse Should Have

1. Respect

Respect for the rules within the healthcare industry, however, is also important. As a field, medicine is notoriously slow to change. That’s because it’s evidence-based, and the processes required to ensure changes are made for the right reasons take time. Reimbursement for medical services is also inexorably tied to regulations set forth by insurers and government agencies, and the failure to follow them can mean the loss of revenue, financial penalties or worse, closed doors.

Decision-making on the job can be a delicate balancing act, and when it comes to nursing, respect goes a long way. Whatever may come, it is important for a good nurse to respect healthy boundaries and to respect all of the diverse people you serve and work with.

A nurse who exercises respect for all coworkers, patients, and families will earn a high level of respect in return. This quality is demonstrated by a professional demeanor, a mindfulness for rules and confidentiality, and a high regard for each patient’s wishes.

In the home care setting, when a nurse enters a patient’s home, they enter the patient’s life. It is crucial to get to know each patient and their family as individuals, and to respectfully and unobtrusively work in concert with their desires and schedules.

 2. Self-awareness

To create a great career in nursing that works for you, it is important to really know yourself. Not every work environment will be the best fit for you. Some nurses thrive on the excitement of a busy emergency ward. Others prefer the more quiet, longer term, one-on-one attention they can give patients in the home care setting.

A good nurse will enjoy a long and fulfilling career by being self-aware and gravitating to the kinds of work that best suit their own personality, priorities, interests, and physical stamina.

3. Desire to keep learning

Medical knowledge and technology are advancing very rapidly, and a great nurse must have a genuine sense of curiosity to keep working on their professional development, improving their skills, and learning new things.

4. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate facts and come to rational conclusions objectively. It’s a disciplined, self-directed way of looking at things that allows nurses to interpret data, prioritize patient needs and troubleshoot difficult clinical issues quickly and accurately. During triage, for example, it’s how a nurse uses normal diagnostic results to determine that a patient having chest pain can wait because they are likely having indigestion, not a heart attack.

The ability to think critically is an important quality because while nurses most often function as part of a healthcare team, their practice is autonomous, and their professional decisions are their sole responsibility. Nurses may be able to dress wounds in seconds, place urinary catheters without faltering or start an intravenous line with a blindfold on, but without the ability to think on their feet, high-pressure situations will be stressful.

Although not all healthcare settings are as extraordinarily fast-paced as a busy emergency room, making decisions isn’t something nurses can avoid. The good news is that while critical thinking comes naturally to some people, it’s also a skill that can be learned and nurtured in school and beyond.

5. Flexibility

For nurses, there’s no such thing as an average day. The excitement of learning new skills and consistently doing different things is part of the appeal of nursing as a career, but it also makes flexibility one of the top qualities every good nurse needs.

Nurses wear many hats on even an average day, but when challenges emerge, it requires the ability to adapt. A quiet day planned to care for neonates can suddenly become high-intensity when four women simultaneously arrive in labor.

Flexibility is also a characteristic that helps nurses adapt to changes in healthcare in general. For example, before awareness of blood-borne pathogen risks grew, using gloves regularly when working with bodily fluids was uncommon, but within just a few years, it became nearly mandatory. Today, technological advances are causing the landscape of medicine to shift constantly as innovations are introduced at breakneck speed. Being flexible helps nurses adjust to these types of changes with less stress.

6. Open mindness

A patient who declines a blood transfusion because of their religious beliefs, a parent who won’t vaccinate a child because of safety concerns and a terminally-ill client who chooses to forgo life-sustaining treatment all present unique and emotional challenges. For nurses, the principle of autonomy, a patient’s right to make their own healthcare decisions without undue influence, always takes priority, regardless of the choices they make.

Today’s nurses are also required to be culturally competent. Cultural competence is defined as the ability to care for patients with different languages, customs and beliefs. Working with interpreters, assigning religiously sensitive patient’s providers of their preferred gender and respecting the need for modesty during physical examinations are some of the way’s nurses are called upon to help.

Health care is constantly changing and a great nurse changes with it and stays knowledgeable of all things. If you have any inquiry, visit our for more information.

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