7 Skills Every Nurse Needs to Stay On Top of Their Game : The healthcare industry is always changing, and that includes the field of nursing. People currently employed as nurses often find themselves scrambling to keep up with new technologies, treatments, and procedures. While it’s difficult to predict how health care could continue to change in the future, nurses can keep on top of developing the seven crucial skills described below so they can keep up no matter what the future has in store.
The ability to adapt to new circumstances and situations is nothing new for nurses. Even in times when the practices most common to the healthcare industry have remained stable, nurses have had to adapt to new patients with varying conditions, and they’ve had to do it quickly. These days, current nurses can take advantage of additional tools by completing rn to bsn programs that will help them adapt to changes in technology and patient care standards.
Nurses are often responsible for bridging the gap between patients and their primary care providers, so they have to develop excellent communication skills. When a nurse steps into a patient’s room, it immediately sets the tone for the patient’s visit. Nurses can, and should, put patients at ease and encourage them to open up by using both verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that foster personal connection.
To provide the best care, nurses have to be able to put themselves in their patient’s shoes. Although some people assume that empathy is a trait that others are just born with, it’s also a skill that can be learned and practiced. Nurses can use mindfulness practices to refine their empathy skills and ensure that they can really connect with patients in a meaningful way.
Like all healthcare providers, nurses must work with the patient’s full team, including other nurses, doctors, and specialists. Being a team player benefits both nurses and their patients, and it’s a great skill to develop. Try to create trusting relationships with co-workers by participating in team-building activities, group lunches, or even after-work happy hours. Developing a team spirit doesn’t happen just during work hours.
Nurses routinely have to juggle not just multiple patients but also many different tasks for each person under their care. Excellent organizational and time management skills are an absolute must. Successful nurses often create checklists and prioritize the most time-sensitive tasks so they can keep on track even during busy shifts.
It’s important for nurses to be proactive, but many healthcare workers find that patients also have their own ideas and plans for how they want to receive care. The ability to critically evaluate each situation, including the patient’s symptoms and his or her personal needs, is invaluable.
Most decisions in life are not black and white, and those made in healthcare environments are no exception. Decision-making and critical thinking go hand in hand. Nurses who are new to their units often find that it helps to find a mentor on the floor. Although nurses often have to make quick decisions, they should also feel comfortable seeking advice from others on the patient’s healthcare team whenever they are uncertain about how to proceed.
Nurses play a crucial role in providing patient care. Not everyone is born with all the traits described above, but committed healthcare professionals can take steps to learn new skills that will allow them to keep up with industry changes while continuing to provide excellent patient care.
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