11 Qualities of a Good Nurse

A nurse forms a very important link in the chain of healthcare providers that you are exposed to as a patient when you're not feeling very well. He or she has direct contact with patients, administers important medicines and supports the medical team. Doctors often attribute their success to the nursing staff who are very adept at managing schedules and helping both patients and other medical staff. In many cases, the nurse is the point of contact between the doctor and the patient's family.

Qualities of a Good Nurse

To be a successful and fulfilled nurse, you have to be able to fulfil a few basic requirements like:

1. Be Organized

A nurse's daily duties require completing a multitude of tasks, often concurrently. This needs a person with strong organizational skills who will be able to take care of numerous patients, filling in their medical charts and administering the correct medications at the correct intervals.

2. Manage Stress Levels

The long list of tasks that a nurse performs on a daily basis can be a source of high stress levels. Additionally, they have to deal first-hand with emotional patients and quite possibly difficult support staff. Nurses have to be able to manage all these in order to fulfil their duties successfully and most importantly, accurately to avoid any life-threatening mistakes.

3. Have Good Communication Skills

Good communication skill is one of the qualities of a good nurse. The nurse in her daily duties will have to communicate clearly to many people ranging from doctors, patients and other colleagues. Having great communication skills are imperative to her tasks. This includes being able to listen effectively and speak calmly and politely. An added bonus is if the nurse speaks more than one language, especially in an area where more than one language is spoken.

4. Be Kind and Compassionate

Patients, due to the very reason they're under medical care, often exhibit a range of emotions- from pain and frustration to anger and agony. The nurse needs to show compassion and remain calm when dealing with an upset patient. She needs to be non-judgemental and sympathetic when comforting the patient. It won't help the situation to get angry and worked-up then still take care of other patients. Those negative emotions will affect all of her duties.

5. Be Patient and Dedicated

Showing dedication in your work is important, especially since there rarely is someone who is voicing their appreciation for all that you do. Showing commitment to your job also includes improving your level of education and gaining better job experience. These steps can all lead to becoming a better nurse and possibly a leader in your field.

6. Pay Attention to Small Details

This requirement is very important since you are in charge of medicines that could potentially harm a patient if not administered correctly. There is no room for errors when dealing with patients' lives. Doctors often give instructions rapidly so the nurse has to pay attention and take notes, if necessary. These instructions have to be followed perfectly in order to get the patient healthy again.

7. Be Able to Think Critically

Critical thinking is another one of the qualities of a good nurse. When a nurse is well educated and has good experience, she can often spot when something is not right. Nurses are often the first ones to notice anomalies which they report to the doctors. Critical thinking is important so that the nurse is able to judge a situation and take the necessary steps.

8. Be Attentive and Observant

Emergency situations are often just "all in a day's work" for a nurse. Nurses should be able to remain calm, alert and cautious under these circumstances. Quick thinking may be just what saves the patient from harm.

9. Be Responsible

A nurse's duties should be carried out responsibly and with great care. Her actions directly affect the quality of life of the patient. The patient's life is literally in the hands of the nurse.

10. Endure Both Mentally and Physically

Nurse's working hours are often long and physically demanding, often spent entirely on their feet running from one task to the next. It can also be very emotionally draining to deal with difficult patients all day. Being able to withstand this all day requires endurance.

11. Great Decision-Making and Judgement

Each new day for a nurse brings new situations and new decisions that have to be made. These have to be dealt with calmly but critically keeping the patient's best interests in mind.

How to Become a Good Nurse

Depending on where you are in the world, there are various requirements you need to fulfil in order to register as a nurse. Apart from learning the qualities of a good nurse, there are degrees you need to complete and experiences you need to gain. Do some research locally, but here are the general guidelines:

1. Choose a Path

Decide on the type of nurse you'd like to be and in which environment you'd like to work in. You may choose to specialize in taking care of the elderly or work in paediatrics; you may choose to become a nurse educator or even a midwife.

2. Choose a School and Earn Your Degree

Depending on your personal circumstances, decide the type of degree you want and if you want to study fulltime or while you work. There are various options available. Most nursing programs include a theory aspect where you will receive instruction in a classroom situation and also a clinical experience portion. The latter part of the education is important to gain hands-on experience, interact in a real-life situations and interact with other nurses. 

3. Get Registered

In most countries, after you achieve your degree, you are required to register with a local health authority. It is usually only once you have the relevant licence that you can practice as a nurse.

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