Nursing is a noble profession and if you are a part of it, know that you’re doing the best service to humanity. However, like any other profession, this one also requires constant learning, unlearning, and improvement to master the skill. In the ever-evolving healthcare industry, being a nurse requires the urge for self-improvement and continuous learning to stay relevant in the field. But what are the key areas you should focus on in this regard? For your ease, we’ve got six tips to help you get better at your profession. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to become a better nurse.
Apart from professional education and skills, there are several other things you need to keep in mind to become a better nurse. These include:
1. Continue getting professional education
Constant learning is inevitable for staying relevant in any field. Even if you’ve joined the nursing field, you shouldn’t stop topping up your acquired degree or certification with more knowledge. In fact, some states will now allow you to practice nursing with an associate’s degree only if you plan on pursuing your Bachelor’s in Nursing within a set time frame!
Several universities in different states, including Texas, now offer online nursing programs. The University of Texas (UTA) is one of the best options for enrolling in a BSN program. The institute has made it to Study.com’s 2021 list of the best nursing colleges and universities and is considered highly credible with regard to online degrees. So, if you’re planning to get a BSN degree, you can enroll in the UTA online nursing program. This 51 credit hours program, which takes 15 months to complete, is a perfect solution for nurses who want to continue their education without leaving their jobs.
2. Build your relationship with patients
Towards the journey of becoming a great nurse, the next highly important skill has to be relationship-building with patients. We all know that during a patient’s stay at the hospital, nurses are the ones who get to see them more often. Hence, their impact on the patients cannot be overstated. Therefore, a nurse must build a strong relationship with the patients.
To do that, take time to interact with them, inquire about their lives, provide them emotional support, and be empathetic towards them. Also, keep your patients updated on their recovery progress and motivate them to put in the effort and willpower to recover quickly. This is because, when a person is ill or injured, they feel vulnerable and abandoned at so many different levels. So, at that time, when you make your patient feel seen and heard, their chances of recovery multiply.
3. Improve your communication skills
In the nursing profession, good communication skill is given top priority. Think for a second that you’re a patient and a nurse visits you with a flat face. Would you like to take medicine from such a nurse? No patient would be happy in this case. So, it’s important for a nurse to wear a smile while meeting patients. Greet them well and try to be friends with them. This is particularly significant for kids and elderly patients who need more attention.
If you practice active listening, use clear language, and pay attention to non-verbal cues, you will be better at communicating effectively with your patients. In case you’re struggling with this, you can attend some communication training along with regular practice with patients and colleagues. This will help improve the communication skills that will eventually lead you to become a better nurse.
4. Befriend technology
Like all the other spheres of life, technology has deeply penetrated the healthcare field. At hospitals, nurses frequently come across different machines and equipment. But, most of the time, they tend to avoid getting their hands on them. However, to achieve perfection in your profession, you must befriend technology.
Apart from routine use, spend extra time on machines such as EMRs or remote monitoring devices in your free time and understand how they are aimed at revolutionizing patient care. If you aren’t good at these things, you can look for workshops and training, so you don’t have to avoid operating machines. You can also take help from your colleagues in this regard.
5. Pay attention to the details
Keeping the sensitive nature of the job in mind, you must be aware that attention to detail is a key trait of a nurse. This ensures the well-being of patients and strengthens their trust in healthcare professionals. Therefore, being a nurse, you should focus on keeping an accurate record of every patient and double-check the medication details of patients.
Not only this, but you also need to be extra careful in recording the symptoms and recovery graph of a patient on every visit. Keep your patient’s medical history with you and administer medication after going through their list of allergies or irritations. This skill of paying attention to every detail will help you become a better nurse over time.
6. Focus on teamwork and collaboration
Last but not least, you cannot perform better as a nurse without teamwork. The complex nature of the healthcare industry requires a collaborative effort of healthcare professionals to meet the challenges associated with this profession. You get to learn a lot while working in a team. You observe how other nurses perform different tasks and treat patients, which helps in your professional growth.
To do that, you can divide tasks among each other, share observations on different patients, counter-check each other’s tasks, and give feedback. By working as a team towards the same goal, you will be able to handle patients more efficiently. This will also reduce your emotional and physical strain and improve your performance, thus leading you toward becoming a great nurse.
Lastly, you cannot improve without consistent and dedicated efforts. Like all the other professions, the nursing field also requires a constant urge for improvement.
But at the same time, we are very well aware of the challenging nature of the nursing profession and that being a nurse isn’t easy. It takes a constant struggle to show up on duty every day and care for patients in the best possible way. That’s why nurses are regarded as the heart of the healthcare system.
However, nurses who constantly strive to achieve perfection in their nursing skills have no match. So, if you’re already looking for ways to become a better nurse, you are doing great.