Being a nurse is a noble profession. It’s more than just giving patients their medicines or helping them go to the bathroom. It’s also about helping them feel better by brightening up their day, even by just flashing them your smile to inspire them.
As you become a nurse, there’s always huge room for improvement. Not only does this mean advancing in your career, but it also means enhancing your skills so you can serve your patients better.
Apart from taking basic nursing courses, like the ones offered by learning platforms, such as academicpartnership.uta.edu, listed below are the ways to become a better nurse.
1. Develop Empathy Skills
As a nurse, most of your days would be around sick patients who are always in an awful mood as they’re intensely worried about their health and finances. Moreover, you can expect patients to be intense as there’s too much going on in their minds.
To help them feel better about their respective situations or, at least, lighten up their load, you should be friendly and courteous as much as possible. The best way to help yourself understand your patients better is by putting yourself in their shoes.
To improve and develop your empathy skills, you should emotionally connect with your patients and try to lighten up their emotional load and burden as much as possible. Try to strike up a short yet positive conversation that can guarantee a smile on their faces. Even a brief comment about how much they’re improving would make them feel better for the entire day.
2. Learn New Things
Just because you’re already working as a nurse, it doesn’t mean that you’ll already stop learning new things in your field. As days go by, the medical field advances. There might be new methods that could help patients in their conditions, allowing them to feel better and be cured of their illnesses at a faster rate.
Moreover, there could also be areas on which you can expand your knowledge. Being a nurse requires you to never stop learning. This will involve learning about new medicines, technologies, and methods. You can begin by enrolling yourself in seminars or boot camps that allow you to learn more skills or enhance existing ones.
As a nurse, your mantra is to never stop learning. Additionally, you can always ask your head nurses or physicians smart questions that’ll help you understand situations better. The more you ask, the more you’ll learn about your field of expertise.
3. Improve Communication Skills
Patients would often see their nurses, bringing their medicines on time, checking their heart rate and oxygen levels, and checking up on them about how they’re feeling. On the one hand, their doctors will only meet with them once or twice per day while they’re admitted to the hospital. So, while standard questions are necessary, striking up a short conversation with your patients will help to ease their boredom away.
But, apart from communicating with your patients, you could also speak with co-nurses and physicians. They could discuss the patients’ conditions and tell you about the progress of their health.
4. Care For Patients
A good nurse is someone who cares for their patients. No one likes to stay in the hospital as it means that there’s something wrong with their health. While they might feel alone, even with their families beside them, showing that you truly care, as a nurse, will help make them feel better.
Since you’re in the medical field, showing signs of care will help patients think everyone’s doing their best to make the situation feel lighter and better. You can begin by talking to them deeply and asking them how they’re feeling. Moreover, you can also do some quick ways of making them feel better, such as by giving them a quick snack or drink.
5. Master Time Management
As a nurse, expect that you’ll have a tight schedule on your hands. Apart from looking after patients, you also have to help them out once they need help, as well as when they find themselves in stressful settings. While there are plenty of things on your plate, you should learn how to manage your time properly to accommodate every task you have for the day.
Before starting your shift, create a schedule and stick to it. If you finish earlier than expected, you can do some tasks for the day that you need to accomplish later. This will help you loosen up your load before your shift ends, giving yourself enough time to rest or even accommodate an emergency. The quicker you can accomplish a task, the better.
6. Decide Quickly
If you’re planning to advance your career in nursing, you should develop good and quick decision-making skills. This will help you to become a leader as you know exactly what to do and how you can accomplish tasks in basically all circumstances.
As you make a decision, you should consider all of the factors that may hinder the success of the action. You can even list down some pros and cons, and see if the pros outweigh the cons, making the decision worth it.
7. Take A Break
To be better, you shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself. Take a break once in a while so you can refill your energy and decrease your stress levels. If there’s not too much work for the day, take advantage of the extra hours to relax and take things lightly. You can watch fun videos online, drink a cup of coffee, or even take a short nap to boost your energy levels.
However, if you’re stuck in a 12- to 18-hour shift, consider taking a leave at least for one to two days, if the hospital allows it, so that you can take a breather. You can enjoy a day or two all for yourself, or you can go out and have an adventure with your friends and family.
Becoming a better nurse means becoming a better person. Apart from improving your skills, you should show more care to your patients by allowing them to feel better during their darkest days.
Even if you’re tired from the day, you should never pass the burden to your patients. By constantly giving an exemplary performance and by being compassionate, you can surely advance your career in nursing.