Patients seek more than a diagnosis when they come looking for quality care. A warm smile, welcoming bedside manner, and a compassionate tone are significant for many.
As a nurse, you work with patients closely more than anyone else in healthcare and can take the chance to provide them with this service.
From charting a patient’s medical details to arranging discharge papers, you are with them along the way. How you deal with patients will color their impression of your hospital and impact their recovery.
Certain qualities can help you make a great first impression and make your patients feel looked after. Ensuring that you work on these traits enables you to bring your best self to the job and feel content that you realize your purpose.
Here is what you need to know to be great at what you do:
1. Unbridled Curiosity
As a nurse, you need to stay updated about your field. You need to explore the latest research, get behind technological trends, and get the required knowledge to expand your scope of practice.
The healthcare sector will always have high expectations of you. The best way to tackle these is by advancing your education.
You no longer need to go back to school full-time. Instead, there are online degrees that you can enroll into. By registering for an RN to MSN degree program, you get an opportunity to fast-track your career and demonstrate readiness for more complex roles.
The higher your qualification, the more autonomy you will get while working with patients, such as designing their diagnosis without a senior physician’s supervision.
2. A Strong Sense of Empathy
You need to connect with your patient and understand what they are going through. Patients want to get rid of their source of discomfort as soon as possible, which can make them rude, angry, and even aggressive.
Your patients are not trying to harm you intentionally – they need help. Be gentle with your disposition, as you cannot fight fire with fire. Once you see clearly behind the pain, it will help you witness your patients and help them the best you can.
Clarity will also equip you to discuss, provide assurance and help the patient calm down as they wait for the doctor.
This will encourage them to trust their doctor’s judgment and even show glimpses of vulnerability without feeling the need to protect themselves. A doctor can provide treatment much more quickly once a patient is relaxed.
Your patients will also rate you favorably when you go the extra mile to relate to them. In fact, good communication and gentle interaction continue to be preferred by more than 60% of American patients, as a survey conducted in 2021 indicated.
3. Have People Skills
At the core of exceptional people skills lies the ability to read the room and respond accordingly, which all fantastic nurses share.
Your interaction is not limited to patients. You may need to speak with their family, colleagues, hospital directors, and medical students. What makes this even more challenging is that you will have to have a lot of unpleasant conversations. So, having stellar people skills will help to ease you out of many tough spots that can otherwise derail your day.
You cannot console a grieving family callously or mentor a new nursing student without guiding them affectionately. Therefore, you cannot come across as dismissive and need to pay attention to the delivered quality of work.
Deal with slacking junior staff with a touch of assertiveness while minding your tone when speaking to a patient.
4. Work Well Under Pressure
A hospital is an unpredictable place. You come across different emergencies and medical cases that need your immediate attention throughout the day, so having composure helps.
For example, a patient can have a sudden heart attack; you may need to rush to the labor ward or pick up a sick colleague’s shift. These situations carry immense pressure, which you should know how to work with.
You will need to think about the case, communicate with your team, and make swift decisions without jeopardizing the patient. You cannot let the pressure get to you and need to find ways to ground yourself.
A hospital will never run out of emergencies. Still, your ability to handle the heat can positively affect all involved.
5. Upholds Confidentiality
As a nurse, you may think discretion is a no-brainer when providing medical care. Unfortunately, this is not the case. According to a study published in 2018 by BMC Med Ethics, researchers conducted over 33,000 hours of observations in a clinical environment.
They learned that a breach of patient confidentiality occurred every 60 hours.
You are now living in a highly data-sensitive time. Hospitals need to protect data at all costs. When it comes to patient confidentiality, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) holds you responsible for the way you tackle patient information.
Unless you are handling the patient, you cannot freely access their medical charts. While making conversations with a colleague, you may accidentally disclose personal information on the patient or mention the case to the wrong doctor. These are no longer acceptable.
You must work within the framework of HIPPA and only exchange information with the relevant health caregivers and family members.
Only in rare circumstances which involve the law, such as a medical lawsuit, will you be allowed to discuss a patient’s case liberally in court.
A professional nurse is an asset to the healthcare environment. What defines your professionalism are the qualities you harness which set you apart from other practitioners.
Your curiosity to learn more, the empathy you possess, your pleasant nature, and your ability to deal with pressure enhance your position as a nurse.
Above all, take care of a patient’s privacy and uphold complete discretion. Unless patients feel safe, secure, and heard, accessible care will not be possible. Therefore, elevate yourself as a nurse and introduce quality care.