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8 amazing skills nurses have
Think nursing is just another profession? Think again. Nurses aren’t your everyday people – they are amazing individuals who have chosen a career dedicated to helping others. It isn’t just enough to want to help people; a true nurse has a pretty unique skill set. From being a multi-tasking queen (or king!) to playing mediator or holding a patient’s hand, nurses are all-around rock stars. Their talents aren’t limited to determining needle size and decoding medical jargon; they’ve got practical, applicable skills we could all benefit from.
Check out these eight amazing skills that nurses have honed to near-perfection. Jealous? You should be!
Forget the soccer mom. Nurses take the cake when it comes to multi-tasking. From juggling patient loads, overbearing doctors, nervous families, and navigating hospital bureaucracy, multi-tasking is a nurse’s superpower. A good nurse is a natural multi-tasker; a great nurse multi-tasks with a smile on her face and a song in her heart, making it look effortless.
Nursing is pretty different from retail, but they share some of the same qualities, like a huge focus on solid customer service. While nurses definitely don’t deal with irritated shoppers or angry clients, they do have plenty of experience handling annoying patients, stressed parents, worried relatives, busy doctors, and other members of the hospital staff. Nurses, unlike doctors, are always on the ground and know how the hospital is run like the back of their hand. Because much of their job deals with patients on a more personal level, nurses are the ones that are best at fielding questions, soothing tempers, and calming fears.
From conducting a head-to-toe assessment of a new patient to long-term care, nurses are well trained in handling projects from beginning to end. They are focused on each patient, making sure everyone gets the right kind of treatment, and are great at following through. They have to be, since nurses are the doctors’ eyes and ears. Nurses not only have the big picture view, but know the intimate details of their patients as well. Often managing multiple caseloads at once, nurses are pros at directing others, answering patients’ questions and keeping a cool head if things go south.
Critical Thinking/Decision Making
If ever there was a profession that listed critical thinking skills as a key requirement for the job, it’s nursing. When lives hang in the balance, every decision you make can mean the difference between life and death, literally. It’s not like a corporate office where if you screw up, you may just cost the company some money. In healthcare, a wrong decision isn’t just lawsuit potential–it can have far more devastating consequences, like the death of a patient. Nurses are masters of critical thinking, making swift decisions on a daily basis. From addressing a patient in crisis to planning a patient’s care to making quick assessments of a patient’s medical condition, critical thinking is a cornerstone of good nurses everywhere.
A nurse is only as strong as the team that supports her. Nursing is a team sport and great nurses work well together. They support each other, cover for one another and help every member of the team as needed. One nurse’s crisis is another nurse’s opportunity to step up and help out. A good nursing team is based on open communication, trust, mutual respect and the ability to give and receive constructive criticism, all with one common goal: the welfare of the patient.
Patients, family members, friends, other nurses, hospital staff, doctors… the list goes on. Nurses rub shoulders with everyone at the hospital – from the janitor to the Chief of Surgery. They fight for their patient’s rights, navigate the political waters of the hospital, deal with the demands of doctors and hold the hands of worried parents. Nursing is not a profession where you can hide behind the three walls of your cubicle. It’s a hands-on, dirty, in-your-face kinda job.
A nurse’s intuition is her bread and butter. A good nurse knows when to trust her instincts over the beeps and pings of a machine. And good doctors know to listen to a nurse’s intuition when something is wrong. Nurses are already great at working with people, and a lot of that has to do with being able to read others well and listening to their intuition. For example, nurses have to be able to distinguish between a patient seeking pain medication because they’re addicted and one who is genuinely in need of pain relief. Clever drug seekers know how to fool even the smartest of tests; sometimes, nothing works quite as well as good old-fashioned intuition.
In a profession where vomit, blood, “code browns” and other bodily fluids are a regular part of the day, we tip our hats to nurses everywhere for doing their job and then some. What other profession is so, well, hands-on? It takes a truly dedicated individual to choose a career as a nurse, a profession that is founded upon caring for others.
Think you have what it takes to be a nurse? With these kinds of skills in your repertoire, you wouldn’t just make an outstanding nurse, but a great employee in a number of professions. These eight skills are all qualities of a great nurse, but they aren’t limited to the nursing profession. Nurses who’ve mastered these talents are guaranteed to thrive in many other careers as well!