Qualities That Define a Competent Nurse

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Competent Nurse

The pandemic was a death blow to the healthcare system around the globe. It manifested the ugly fractures in the system. While healthcare moved like a pendulum to fulfill many of its functions, nurses showed no sign of breaking down. Nurses worked at the frontline of the healthcare system to ensure it remained functional. It was during the pandemic that countless stories of their selfless services surfaced. They worked overtime, ignored their family and personal well-being for the greater good of society. But these characteristics of altruistic care and empathy are not new to nurses. Let’s see the qualities that define a competent nurse. 

The pandemic made the healthcare system realize the importance of nurses even more; hence, their services got highlighted in a true sense. On similar lines, the nursing profession was also able to make others realize its importance and the greater good associated with it. Hence more people were seen showing interest in it. 

Covid-19 made it clear that healthcare ignored the shortage of skilled nurses and made do with those with conventional nursing education. Due to this fact, countless nursing colleges saw a surge in enrollment in their nursing programs. The schools were also seen incentivizing the admissions and attracting more students to fulfill the ever-increasing demand of the healthcare system. 

In the absence of on-campus classes due to the lockdown, nurses with a bachelor’s degree saw this as an opportunity to enroll in the online nursing masters degree and advance their careers. With an online program, they could continue working for humanity and up-skill themselves simultaneously.

Specific traits make it easier to be the messiah that nurses are for humanity. These traits help nurses to dispense their duties in the best possible way. Here is a quick sneak-peek into those essential traits. 

1. Empathy

Empathy in nurses means trying to feel what their patients in pain are feeling and how they perceive things around them. Nurses often care for patients dealing with fatal diseases such as cancer; it is the ability to be empathetic that helps them connect with such patients and tend to them in the best possible way. 

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Patients come to the hospital in a highly vulnerable situation; they are uncertain about what they feel. In this uncertainty and fear, nurses can show empathy, help them with their assurance, and guide them towards the right people. These small gestures from the nurses can completely change the perception of people about healthcare.

2. Care For Others

Caring may seem like a default characteristic of a person entering the nursing profession, but it is not essentially the case in all situations. There is no denying that caring for others is an essential trait for a nurse to display; not all enter the career with this characteristic. Many people opt for this career to have a stable income and a secure job because nursing is a lucrative profession and offers reasonable job security. 

Displaying a caring attitude towards the patients send signals that you care for their pain, and the understanding you show towards their pain is genuine. Therefore, caring is also an imperative trait for all nurses to display if they genuinely want to make a difference. 

3. Effective Communication Skills

Nurses are among those in a hospital who have the most frequent interaction with the doctors and patients. They act as a contact between the patients and members of management, so being effective in communication skills is an essential trait for them to possess. They also connect different functional departments in a hospital and communicate the medical condition and progress of the patients. With the absence of an ability to effectively communicate the appropriate information, they may not be able to perform their duties. For instance, if they don’t coordinate the treatment of a patient among different departments leading to administration to wrong treatment, it can have severe and far-reaching implications for the patients. 

4. Meticulousness

A nurse’s job requires paying attention to details such as changes in a patient’s condition or the efficacy of a particular treatment for a patient. Therefore, attention to detail is another quality that they should possess to perform their jobs competently. 

It is also essential to understand that nurses often work under stressful situations and immense pressure. They have to act according to the guidelines of the on-duty doctor, use their critical judgment and their own knowledge. Adding to this pressure is the requirement to care for multiple patients, keep a tab of their condition and offer the best patient care services. Therefore, the stakes are very high in the healthcare industry compared to other sectors, and nurses fully realize this. They deal with the life and well-being of people who depend on them for care, so there is no room for any carelessness whatsoever. 

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5. Problem-Solving Skills

Nurses learn how to treat patients, care for them and help them through their disease, but there is another trait that they must have; problem-solving skills. They get their clinical knowledge from the books and instructors, problem-solving skill is taught on the job. Nurses deal with various problems in their routine. By solving these problems while on duty, they learn the best tricks to keep themselves composed under stress and respond to the matter at hand. 

Some people who get into this profession already have the inbuilt problem-solving ability. Their natural ability helps them to understand the matter and solve it by the best possible approach. 

6. Endurance And Strength (Mental And Physical) 

A nurse, male or female, works with patients where they have to lift them, hold them, give them support while walking or sitting. An estimate states that nurses lift approximately 1.8 tons of weight during their average one shift due to patients lifting and adjusting their position. Similarly, they also see patients in pain agony every day. The emotional and physical toll of their job is huge. Therefore, they must possess both mental and physical endurance and strength. 

The job of a nurse is challenging in multiple ways. It is physically enduring, stressful, requires problem-solving, and above all, empathy. Therefore, the presence of these traits is essential for the normal job of a nurse. Some of these traits are learned on the job while dealing with patients; others come with these traits.

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