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The Good Nurse: How Can You Become One?
Health

The Good Nurse: How Can You Become One?

Oct 11, 2022

To help with caregiving, every medical facility or independent caregiver needs skilled nurses. They are the heart and soul of any healthcare team, working nonstop to guarantee better patient results.

Nevertheless, nursing is undergoing a rapid transformation as seasoned nurses hang up their scrubs and new, young talent enters the workforce. Although nursing talent is scarce, healthcare facilities worldwide are now prioritizing onboarding the cream of the crop. 

Having stated that, current nurse leaders must prepare their nursing staff to fill the gap created by retiring nurses. After all, as more and more nurses leave the workforce, less qualified people will take their place. Because of this, rookie nurses must constantly improve their overall skills to ensure they provide their patients with the best care possible. So, in light of this, here are a few ways you can improve your overall nursing skills and be classified as a “good nurse.”

Improve your nursing knowledge

There is no easier way to demonstrate your commitment to becoming a good nurse than pursuing further education in your area of expertise. After all, additional training will enable you to sharpen your nursing abilities and expertise while staying current with the most recent patient safety regulations.

So, to increase your nursing knowledge and develop as a nurse, consider enrolling in an online MSN program or getting certified. Of course, obtaining such credentials will cost a lot of money. However, it is a worthwhile long-term investment. Studying online may be cheaper and will allow you to create a flexible learning schedule around your shift.

Improve your critical thinking skills

Nurses should always look for ways to improve their critical thinking skills. After all, nursing professionals need to be able to think critically to make decisions based on facts and not just feelings. 

Because of the growing interdepartmental collaboration, this skill is essential in the healthcare industry. Therefore, before making decisions that can impact patient care and the operations of the medical facility, nurses must regularly communicate with other departments and be receptive to recommendations and ideas. Critical thinking is helpful here since it allows you to think holistically and precisely.

Avoid cutting corners

While it might be tempting to do a half-baked job to save time, safety precautions were put in place for a purpose. You risk endangering your patient’s life by skipping a step. The five rights of medication administration or maintaining sterility may take time. 

However, if neglected, it can have devastating consequences. Possible effects include infection, sepsis, overdose, or an allergic reaction. So, avoid cutting corners at all costs and safeguard your patients, yourself, and your nursing license.

Always remain organized

Looking after several patients can make it relatively easy to feel overburdened and unorganized. That said, good nurses constantly anticipate their actions via three steps. 

So, to help you plan your day, find a method of organization that suits you, or use a checklist to ensure you finish everything on time and with great accuracy. Ultimately, when a crisis arises in the middle of your shift, having a plan in place will help you set yourself apart from nurses who’re just there to clock in and out. 

Practice your safety basics

Always remember the safety fundamentals you learned in nursing school, such as donning gloves when treating patients or wiping the hub. These procedures will safeguard your safety from workplace risks and the safety of your patients. 

Plus, if you make it a habit to follow these safety basics, they will eventually turn into habits you can continue to practice even when you’re stressed out or busy. Doing so will also set an example for other nurses to follow the same safety basics as you and promote a culture of safety.

Don’t forget to review your charts

At the end of your shift, spend a few minutes going through your daily charting. You might discover an error or recall something you failed to document. It’s critical to keep in mind that whatever you type could be examined in court. 

After all, anything that wasn’t charted won’t appear in a patient’s medical record. So, if you’re a victim of legal action and it wasn’t your fault, keeping accurate charts will allow you to defend your nursing license.

Become more empathetic

Empathy is a nurse’s ability to comprehend and experience emotions from their patients’ perspectives. It’s crucial to understand that no amount of technology can replace an empathic nurse as healthcare companies become more and more reliant on it.

By comprehending what the patient is experiencing, an empathic nurse can establish a connection with them. They can acknowledge their patients’ emotional state, listen, and engage them in direct, unbiased conversation. This allows nurses to empower their patients to share their emotions, worries, and concerns about their healthcare.

Work on your communication skills

Without question, effective communication skills are essential for nurses, no matter their field or specialty. You must be able to speak effectively and with confidence, whether you are speaking with patients, senior staff, or coworkers. After all, effective communication might occasionally be the sole solution to a specific medical problem. 

Ultimately, patients and their families rely heavily upon nursing staff to guide them through the healthcare process. So, knowing how to communicate with patients when they face problems is one way to become a good nurse.

Always stay strong

Maintaining a strong character during trying circumstances is a tell-tale sign of a good nurse. Nursing is a wonderful job with many benefits. However, it also has drawbacks and challenging times. For example, working long days and nights can be taxing and exhausting. You’ll always be on your feet. Because of this, it can take a lot of energy to power through your night shifts.

At the end of the day, you’ll be in the thick of the action and experience unpleasant things. For example, you might see blood spillage when dealing with gunshot wound patients. So, the nursing profession is not for you if you have a habit of fainting at the sight of a few drops of blood.

Conclusion

It’s a nurse’s job to ensure patient safety and provide high-quality care, no matter the cost. While the definition of “good nurse” varies in every healthcare professional’s mind, one thing is certain. Nurses are frontline warriors and have to do everything in their power to ensure their patients receive the best care that money can buy. So, consider working on your overall nursing skills so your patients, coworkers, and nursing staff can look up to you as a good nurse.

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