Nurses are healers who take care of their patients in the best possible manner and help them regain health and agility to be able to go about their routine day. They spend hours training in a nursing program that teaches them clinical concepts. They learn practical lessons in basic nursing skills in their clinical rotations and online simulations.
Two factors that act as a differentiator for nursing careers are their ability to advance careers through professional development and the attitude they display in their work. Nurses who demonstrate civility, compassion, organizational skills, effective communication, and are open to feedback are regarded as professionals. They gain recognition professionally whenever a name has to be recommended to represent healthcare at a medical conference.
What is professionalism in nursing?
Nurses who give importance to core values like integrity, advocacy, and accountability enhance their professionalism in their careers. In any field professionalism matters to HR and recruitment managers. It is relevant even in nursing careers.
Program directors are always looking for people who are not only good at their work but are honest, own up to their mistakes, and correct them to deliver their best. For instance, people who ace their coursework, and have exceptional skills and knowledge but disregard others who are less competent than them may land jobs but will not maintain them.
Contrarily, people with average skills and integrity, who are looking to improve, and willing to be excellent team players are preferred. Hiring managers treat their healthcare professionals as a team. They prefer to hire a champion team and not a team of champions.
So along with coursework, it pays with enriching and rewarding career and experience if a nurse enhances professional attributes such as:
Nurses have a lot going on in their minds and can always forget to record or journal their activities. This step is always important to recall what needs to be communicated to the next person who takes over charge of the shift so that patient care does not suffer.
Effective communication skills also help nurses prepare their patients for their treatment plans. When patients and their families understand the process of prevention and disease management and the importance of little things like exercise, proper diet, and taking medicine at the right time, they feel involved which leads to improved patient engagement. Engaged patients participate positively and generate better outcomes. The result also improves the patient experience.
Every person in a clinical setting faces harsh working conditions on certain days when there is an exodus of patient admissions. Occupational fatigue will set in and one cannot work their best in such circumstances. However, the people they serve are not just consumers of any other industry but patients with needs that have implications on their health. If they cannot feel the vibe of a positive attitude of a healthcare professional, they will be disheartened and will not open up about their pain. This is the exact reason, a positive attitude, a smiling face, and a willingness to help out is always treated as important aspects and also core essentials of a nurse.
Patients don’t need sympathy from the onlooker but they need compassion and inclusion. A nurse should be able to listen to the patient, with the right intonation, assertiveness whenever required, and the ability to emote right to the patient. During their interaction with a nurse, a patient or their family should feel cared for and not helpless.
The medical field changes constantly with better research, treatments, and a change in policies for delivery mode, nurses should not be backdated when it comes to concepts or changes regarding their course of work. For instance, telehealth is one delivery model that has changed how patient care is handled in most hospitals and clinics since the pandemic. If a nurse looks at this as an opportunity to enhance their career or scope to work remotely and shape the work-life balance, then it is a great step to consider.
It is essential to collaborate with other nurses not just to teach but to learn stuff that you didn’t know about as a nurse. Sharing best practices among team members usually help the healthcare facility achieve its goal of delivering the best care possible in the vicinity. Proactively participating in discussions, citing their own experiences, asking questions, answering queries, helping new nurses during onboarding and several other team activities can help a nurse notch up their presence in the eyes of nurse managers.
Whatever a nurse does needs to be recorded. If the initial recording is wrong for any reason, then the entire patient care can be affected adversely. A nurse who realizes the mistake should be accountable and demonstrate it through the willingness to connect with the appropriate person to correct the mistake.
Often we don’t own up to our mistakes lest we get ticked off professionally. But whenever it is found out and in all likeliness, it will be, it is a negative remark for the concerned nurse and questions their integrity.
Capabilities vs abilities
A doctor can cure a patient but it takes a nurse to heal them. The overall wellness of patients the world over is dependent on the caregivers who forget their pain and strive through the agony of the patient, giving them hope and encouragement to fight their battle. Their clinical knowledge and expertise can help in delivering the right treatment plan, however, it is their soothing words of reassurance that help a patient through the journey of their health episodes.
Nursing is a demanding job and there is no denying that it can be very taxing. Whenever a nurse is exhausted and not able to move on, taking a break is advisable. Catching up on sleep and maintaining a good diet and exercise are necessary to avoid burnout for nurses. If nurses forget to take care of themselves, they will not be good at delivering good patient care. Taking short and long breaks and doing things outside of the clinical environment is important to maintain a professional attitude and adhere to the code of ethics.