Working in the healthcare system is a public service. You’re helping people in their hour of need and in fast-paced, often stressful working conditions. People are at their wits end lying in a hospital bed. The cold, clinical setting of the hospital can only be as bearable as a compassionate and knowledgeable nursing staff.
A nurse is a mother, father, physician and priest all rolled into one. A pessimist might think, how is that? Think about the first time you had to go to the ER. Whether you broke your arm falling out of a tree or had an unusually high temperature, whom was it that calmed you down and explained in a composed, reassuring manner that you’d be well taken care of? The nurse. Who continued to check in on you throughout your hospital stay, administering treatment and making sure you were comfortable? The nurse.
There are four essential traits that anyone interested in becoming a registered nurse should possess. Some are inherent, while others can be learned. Check out the list below.
Empathy for Humanity (Inherent)
In a world filled with constant distraction, anonymous posts, and cruel behavior, empathizing with another person can be awfully trying. Not so for the nurse. Nurses have a profound grasp of the human spirit. To be compassionate and measure a patient’s aches and tempers with empathy and without judgment is a gift—a gift a nurse possesses.
Impeccable Training (Learned)
To be an invaluable part of the hospital staff, a registered nurse needs to have a solid education and training background. Critical thinking, technical skills, patient assessment aptitude, as well as understanding hospital protocol and disease management all are a must. For example, allied health schools like Arizona College offer a comprehensive curriculum in becoming a registered nurse. With a Bachelors of Nursing program steeped in research, science-based classes, and applied education practices, graduates hit the field with a level up on their associate-degree counterparts. Nurses don’t just provide patient care, but they help educate the public about health conditions while simultaneously providing emotional support to patients and caregivers. To do this well, a nurse needs the training.
Meticulously Detailed (Inherent & Learned)
Handling and administering medication and care for 10-plus patients requires an attention to detail that borders on the obsessive. Patients trust that their nursing staff understands their medical needs, and physicians believe the nursing staff to be able and knowledgeable in the patient care they’ve prescribed. To be a nurse requires an individual who will not confuse things or muddy the system. A talented nurse will instead improve the system through their expertise, know-how and can-do attitude.
Takes Tough Situations in Stride (Inherent & Learned)
For a nurse, it’s essential to remain calm under pressure. There are times (several times in a single day) that a nurse must make a swift decision in a medical situation, even if it’s an unpopular method with the patient or their caregivers. When a child is afraid of being pricked with a needle and is in an environment they’re unfamiliar with, parents won’t want to contribute to their toddler’s distress if the nurse calls for an IV. But when the nurse is able to clearly, accurately, and reassuringly explain why the child must be hooked up to an IV, the nurse has been able to help the patient. Even if the parents are still reluctant to go through with the procedure, they understand that they’re in good hands and should take the advice of the nurse. Conviction is nurtured by knowledge, and when a nurse has the education behind them, they have the confidence to gently guide their patients through the darkness and into the light.
If you possess any of the above qualities and you’re looking to becoming a nurse, you’re well on your way to a fulfilling career that’ll continue to stay in demand.