ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES NEEDED FOR A SUCCESSFUL NURSING CAREER
The Healthcare sector is the center of attention to everyone these days. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, almost everything is at halt except the medical services. A lot is relying upon the medical profession as only their efforts can bring the world back to life again. Doctors and paramedic staff are under the constant pressure of understaffing, rising patient rate, and extended hour shifts. Such harsh conditions and emergency times are the norms in their typical workday of a healthcare professional. However, most of our regard, credit, and affection go for the doctors, but nursing care and other support staff don’t get the limelight.
However, the demand for this position is increasing at an unimaginable rate. With growing diseases and illnesses, more and more qualified nurses are getting the opportunity to make a career in it. Many organizations and institutes are introducing nursing programs, considering the demand of the time.
Nursing is thankless and considerably underrated. These professionals serve for long hours of shifts, assisting doctors, medical procedures are dependent on their skill set, but still, they get paid and promoted less. However, nursing also requires specific academic accreditation and competence, too, to work in a hospital. For timely promotion and pay scale upgrade, all the nurses need to enhance their profile weightage by pursuing MSN specialties (Masters of Science in Nursing) along with gaining field experience.
But it takes more than just academics to work better in this intrinsically rewarding job. Nurses also need to cope up with a lot of diligence and pressure; therefore, they need to possess some of these attributes to serve the patients efficiently.
1. CULTURAL COMPETENCE AND OPEN-MINDEDNESS:
Nurses get patients from diverse backgrounds. Some of them possess different experiences that build certain expectations and mindsets about hospitals and healthcare professionals. Dealing with such expectations can be tricky for nurses. For example, a patient doesn’t permit a blood transfusion because of his religious beliefs or a parent who doesn’t want his kid to be vaccinated because he doubts safety and cleanliness. Nurses are required to be mindful enough to let them make their own decisions after briefing them all the consequences. It is a fundamental right of every patient.
Cultural Competence is a universal virtue that must be there as a trait in nurses. Cultural competence refers to the ability to treat patients with different languages, beliefs, gender, etc. as per their preference. It also involves assigning patient-providers as per their preferred gender due to religious sentiments etc. Hence, nurses must not act as per their personality or mindset but to mold themselves and be flexible enough to respect patients’ emotional needs and feelings.
Even the pursuit of starting a career cannot begin without empathy for anyone. It is the ability to feel and understand others feeling from their perspective. To simply put, empathy is to put yourself in other’s shoes. People who usually come to the hospital are in pain or suffering, and they only want nurses to cater and treat them sincerely. However, nurses deal with numerous of them together, and providing timely service to everyone is not easy for them. But somehow, if a nurse can assure that the help is on its way by stopping momentarily, this can enhance the entire experience for the patient.
Nurses deal with people from diverse backgrounds in an unsafe environment if they become able to predict the patient’s need accurately and their emotional response, patients get more than just physical relief.
There is no ordinary or average day in the life of a nurse. Nurses are required to keep on learning on a consistent and daily basis. However, they need to be flexible all the time, as they juggle multiple roles and jobs in a typical day. An expected low and calm day can suddenly become a high-intensity push with the arrival of four women in labor simultaneously.
Flexibility helps them to adapt to the constant changes and updates in the healthcare sector. For example, before Covid-19, nurses and staff were not required to wear masks and protective gear. But now it has become mandatory for them to adapt to such conditions. Such flexibility in conduct can help them to change without getting stressed.
4. PHYSICAL FITNESS AND STAMINA:
Nurses must be physically fit and possess endurance for long hour shifts. Constantly running around, moving from one department to another, etc., is the norm in their job routine. During their training and initial years of work, they get trained to improve their endurance
to make such tasks less straining, which also ensures patients’ safety and reduces hospital injury costs. But that doesn’t eliminate the enduring physical demands of 12 hours of shift on an orthopedic floor.
There are many duties and jobs available for burse, which are less physically challenging and are more of administrative nature. Still, to serve the patients effectively, it is good to have stamina and fitness in their regimes.
The list of required attributes is long and ever-increasing and cannot be all covered at once. But it takes personal commitment and dedication above all to pursue a career in nursing. Introspection can be a good start to look out for such characteristics. There will be some attributes which nurses would possess naturally in their personality, so it would be easier for them to adapt to the environment.