What makes a good nurse? The most probable answer to this question is to provide patients with the highest quality of care. But this is not as simple as it seems. A good nurse ensures all the patients receive undivided attention and care. They communicate effectively with their patients to help them recover. They need to be accurate in delivering treatment. Alongside these, nursing entails dealing with many unprecedented challenges in the workplace. With excellent skills, good nurses promptly manage a wide array of responsibilities. Above all, good nurses treat their patients empathetically to reassure them that they are in safe hands.
So, are you up for becoming a nurse that the patients love and respect? Here are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Never stop learning
A good nurse values continuous learning more than anything else. Specialized knowledge and proficiency in nursing skills enable nurses to deliver better care, run diagnostic tests, and make careful decisions regarding treatment. Such skills and expertise help nurses propel forward in their careers.
You can avail of numerous options to continue your education and get specialized education either online or in-person. Even non-nursing graduates can join the nursing profession in as few as 14 months. For example, an online ABSN program allows non-nursing graduates to pursue their goals by acquiring clinical knowledge online. Thus, whether you plan to be a nurse or have a few years of experience, keep learning more to stay relevant in your career.
Double-check your work
A nurse is responsible for the lives of many. Thus, it is crucial to double-check every work you do so that there is no room left for mistakes. Fill out patient charts carefully and thoroughly review them at the end of your shift. You don’t want to see a patient suffer because you missed a dose of their medicine.
To reduce the risk of any errors, document all your actions. Whether it is the diagnostic tests you performed, medical procedures you carried out, or the medication you administered, write everything down. This will help you track down anything from the record of your actions in case of a mistake. Reviewing your work on and off will ensure the safety of your patients.
Nurses work in a high-pressure environment. They are assigned several tasks related to both the organization and patient care. Unsurprisingly, some nurses lose track of what they are supposed to prioritize- patient care and satisfaction.
When administering medication, don’t just focus on the task. Instead, ask patients if something is bothering them or if they are comfortable during their visit to a hospital. Good nurses are not only proficient at their nursing skills, but they also treat patients humanely. Since nursing is about improving patients’ health, you can only do that by taking a people-oriented approach to treating them.
Brush up your communication skills
Effective nurse-patient interactions require effective communication skills. Patients may not be familiar with technical medical jargon. If you talk to patients by referring to complex medical terms, they may not understand you. Using a lot of medical jargon and acronyms may leave your patients even more confused.
Thus, you must try to explain things to your patients in simple terms. This will make it easier for them to understand what you’re trying to say and follow through with their treatment plan. Also, try addressing patients by name, maintain eye contact, appreciate their improvement and achievements, and encourage them. These simple gestures will strengthen your bond with them and accelerate their recovery.
Asking questions will help you better understand what patients are going through. Your shyness, embarrassment, and fear of asking questions will only put your patients’ lives at risk. Whenever you find it difficult to comprehend a procedure or a treatment plan, approach a fellow nurse or a doctor and clarify your queries.
Moreover, your questioning might encourage another member to ask what they are unsure of. Your questioning will help you become a great team member and this habit will lead you to personal and professional growth. You may also want to find a more experienced nurse or a mentor at your facility to have all your curiosities answered. Mentors help their juniors learn both tangible and intangible skills that are helpful in the nursing practice.
Look after yourself
Never forget to look after yourself in all the hustle-bustle of caring for patients, doing paperwork, debriefing doctors, attending seminars, etc. Looking after your physical and mental health is of primary importance for a nurse. If you fall sick, it won’t benefit your patients.
If you’re struggling to sleep and eat well, being numb to your patients, or feeling irritable and frustrated, stop there! All these are the signs of burnout. This condition may make you more vulnerable to making mistakes, cutting corners, and experiencing compassion fatigue. Develop a consistent sleep schedule, consume healthy food, stay hydrated, set boundaries, and exercise. Also, take a break when you need one. This way, you can stay healthy and treat your patients for a long time.
Good nurses ensure their patients have a smooth and safe journey on their road to healing and recovery. They provide their patients with a full continuum of care and personalized attention. Becoming a good nurse takes time, effort, consistency, and determination; you will face many obstacles along the way. But your commitment, devotion, and adherence will help you achieve your goal. Continuing your education, double-checking your work daily, and focusing more on people rather than tasks are crucial. Moreover, asking questions to clarify queries and honing your communication skills will help enhance your nursing practice. Finally, overstraining yourself will only make you sick. So, take breaks and practice self-care. Following these tips will ensure you thrive at your workplace and deliver patients with the best care possible.