Nursing is one of the world’s fastest-growing professions. According to well-documented projections, the United States alone will require 3.44 million more nurses by 2024. Aside from a shortage of qualified nurses, another issue hurting this area of work is widespread patient dissatisfaction with uncaring nurses. Several patients have spoken out against nurses who they claim are excessively loud and keep them awake at night.
Even if you do not fall into this category, improving yourself will still be worth it. Here are some ways that will help you to stand out as a nurse ensure better care to patients:
- Stay organized
When you are responsible for the care of many patients, it is easy to get overwhelmed and become unorganized along the way. Good nurses always make it a point to be one step ahead of the task at hand. You can do that by making the most of a reliable time management application that suits your needs.
Staying organized is particularly important for nurses pursuing an advanced degree in nursing while doing a job simultaneously. To strip off undue pressure, we recommend you tap into online learning. Enrolling in online masters of nursing programs will enable you to create a flexible learning schedule around which you can organize your professional and personal routine. This way, you can avoid burnout and mistakes at the workplace.
- Stay on top of your communication skills
The lack of effective communication paves the way for medical mishaps, and patients are more likely to feel neglected. Therefore, nurses must interact effectively with patients to understand their concerns and feelings before it’s too late. It bears worth mentioning that you may interact with individuals from different nationalities. On top of that, some of the patients may not be familiar with your native language.
In that case, you should leave no stone unturned to bridge the communication gap. One way to do that is to check whether there are translators in the hospital’s staff to assist the patient in communicating properly.
While performing other responsibilities, you must be able to listen to the doctor’s instructions in a fast-paced setting. If you do not clearly understand what the doctor or other healthcare provider is trying to say, keep asking questions to remove any ambiguities.
- Be compassionate
Since nurses deal with patients and patients’ families regularly, they must exhibit compassion and kindness. Imagine yourself or a family member having to undergo a hospital stay, and you will immediately realize the importance of a compassionate nurse.
Compassion helps alleviate a patient’s anxiety by allowing them to feel valued during a time of uncertainty. A nurse’s ability to empathize with the anguish of their patients lessens the patient’s fear of being hospitalized.
- Know your limits
Caring for others has the potential to drain your energy physically as well as mentally. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize your limitations and seek assistance when necessary. As a nurse, you will develop emotional attachments to some patients and connect with their difficulties. If you believe you are becoming too attached to a patient, speak to someone. This is important for both you and your patients, as you must be in the appropriate frame of mind to provide the best possible medical care.
- Pay close attention to details
Being detail-oriented entails paying attention to the big picture and fine details. With patients, you need to keep an eye out for all symptoms, no matter how minor or insignificant they might appear at first glance. Being detail-oriented also entails being accurate. For example, it is not acceptable to estimate or guess the amount of medication required to administer to a patient in healthcare settings. You need to be right on the money as it could be a matter of life and death for your patient.
- Enhance your physical stamina
Nurses put in hard hours. Furthermore, they are asked to perform various physical duties regularly, including lifting heavy equipment, providing physical support to patients, standing for extended periods, and participating in other physically demanding drills. In a nutshell, they are constantly on the move. Hence, nurses must maintain their energy levels throughout the shift, regardless of whether they are in surgery or caring for a patient.
Unlike the popular assumption, boosting your physical strength does not have to be a difficult task. Engaging in the following drills will get the job done:
- Planks: Supporting your patients will be nearly impossible and may result in injury if you do not maintain proper balance. That is where planks come into play. Placing your forearms on the ground and pointing your toes to the ground can help you maintain a straight posture. You can hold that position for around 10 seconds or longer.
- Squats: Squats are a wonderful workout for developing strong hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Along with strengthening your legs, this workout also fortifies your back muscles and glutes. Squats should be performed slowly to avoid injury. One important thing to remember when performing this exercise is to keep your toes and knees in line.
- Shoulder Shrugs: This workout can be performed either with or without dumbbells. In addition to alleviating muscular tension, it can relieve muscle strain in the upper back. Maintain a straight posture with your hands against your sides. Raise and then slowly descend your shoulders, maintaining your elbows straight the entire time.
- Make yourself a team player
Excellent patient care requires collaboration, which is why nursing is dubbed a team-oriented profession. Typically, a nurse’s teammates include physicians, fellow nurses, ancillary staff members, and so on. Teams can significantly impact a patient’s outcome by bringing together expertise from various professionals. Also, teamwork makes it possible for coworkers to communicate more efficiently with one another.
- Seek the advice of a mentor
Mentorship programs exist in several hospitals and medical facilities, where more seasoned healthcare personnel advise newcomers. Emerging nurses can benefit from mentorships in many ways, including networking opportunities, acquiring new skills, coaching, etc. If your current workplace does not have a well-structured mentorship program, consider seeking one out on your own.
Great nurses are rare. It is because not everyone can deal with the pressure and responsibilities that come with such an important position. If you are thinking about pursuing a nursing career, the tips mentioned above can help you hone your skills and provide patients with better care.