Nurse Character Traits (2022) – How Important are They?

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    Hi guys, I welcome you to this short but insightful read on Important Nurse Character traits.

    Reading this piece to the end will equip you with the attributes the best nurses have and how these aided their successful careers.

    Specifically, we’ll shed light on:

    The important qualities of successful nurses
    The organizational skills of good nurses
    The soft skills great nurses possess

    Let’s take the lid off the shield of this good read!

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      Overview of Nurse Character Traits

      If a nurse wants to be recognized and respected in the medical field, they must possess some traits to make them stand out.

      In this article, we will cover just what those traits are and why they’re necessary.

      When you’re looking for a new job or thinking about advancing your career, it’s important to know which traits are needed to suit the job functions.

      There are many different responsibilities a nurse must fulfill during their day-to-day activities, making some traits more obvious than others.

      However, do you know what traits make an excellent nurse?

      You will find out here!

      Soft Skills

       Below are some important characteristics of distinguished and renowned healthcare professionals:

      Empathy

      Empathy is when you put yourself in another person’s shoes; you want to see an issue from their perspective.

      good nurse will put herself in her patient’s condition to know how they feel.

      When a patient rings you, they shouldn’t wait endlessly without getting the needed attention.

      It doesn’t matter if you attend to other patients; the patient will feel neglected and unloved.

      Such a treatment has adverse effects on the psychology of the patient.

      good nurse will stop momentarily and assure the patient that help is on the way.

      The statement will make the patient feel relaxed and loved; it makes them understand that you’re preparing quality care for them.

      Most patients are vulnerable, and you’ll need empathy to accurately predict and meet their needs.

      Please don’t assume that a patient understands that you’re busy and will soon attend to them.

      You don’t know what the patient is going or has gone through.

      Fortunately, empathy is a character trait nursing students can learn while in nursing school.

      Most educators emphasize empathy during nursing education because they know how indispensable it has been since the days of Florence Nightingale.

      Effective Communication Skills

      One of the qualities of a good nurse is the ability to communicate effectively.

      Registered nurses liaise between patients, doctors, physicians, and family members.

      They also collect and relay essential data to stakeholders.

      The healthcare industry is a highly delicate field; many things will be affected when you make errors.

      Some common errors caused by communication deficiency include failure to list life-threatening allergies in a patient’s chart, wrong transcription of medical orders, and missing information on discharge papers.

      These errors inflict unnecessary pain on their victims.

      Your written and spoken communication skills must be articulate.

      You also use communication skills to build therapeutic relationships with your patients.

      Experienced registered nurses will tell you how they healed some of their patients with reasonable utterances and positive body language.

      You can make patients more relaxed and willing to open up through your communication skills.

      Healthcare providers can perform their job better and improve patient outcomes when communication flows freely among stakeholders.

      Patients panic when they don’t have enough information about their illness.

      They may be resistant to care and make difficult decisions about their health instead of asking questions that make them appear uninformed.

      Please don’t assume that a patient doesn’t need a piece of information; tell them everything they need to know.

      Let them know about their health status.

      Be courteous in your communication and make the healing process enjoyable for the patient.

      You’ll quickly build trust when you proactively communicate with patients.

      Healthcare providers need this skill in their daily interactions with colleagues, patients, and relatives.

      Critical Thinking Skills 

      It is the ability to assess situations and reach an objective and logical conclusion.

      Critical thinking helps healthcare providers interpret data, troubleshoot demanding clinical scenarios accurately, and prioritize patient care.

      Your decision-making skills must be accurate and objective.

      You should think critically and own up to your actions in every situation.

      You’ll be easily overwhelmed by high-pressure situations if you can’t think objectively and make far-reaching decisions.

      Critical thinkers prevent burnout, attend to issues based on their merits, and ensure stability in the work environment.

      If you’re not a critical thinker, learn this skill before going far in your nursing career.

      It’s one of the character traits of the best nurses.

      Problem-Solving Skills 

      The ability and willingness to solve other people’s problems is known as compassion.

      It is the cornerstone of nursing and makes all the difference in patients’ lives.

      Patients should see you as kind, caring, patient, and gentle.

      It will help if you devise strategies to solve problems in unexpected scenarios.

      If you help an angry mother combs her hair before the arrival of visitors, she will feel you are compassionate and helpful.

      good nurse will allow grieving couples to mourn at their pace instead of taking them out of it.

      Let everyone that comes to you feel helped and relieved.

      Respectfulness 

      While you may think that respectfulness is a virtue every nurse should possess, you will be taken aback to know the number of healthcare workers that lack this skill.

      You must be respectful and humble to every patient, no matter their behavior and reactions.

      People are highly vulnerable in the healthcare environment.

      It’s unusual to see kind and gentle people become rude and unresponsive in a hospital setting.

      You shouldn’t react the same way.

      You must keep to the rules of engagement of the industry.

      Some nurses will shout at patients to get the phone number of their relatives.

      Such a disrespectful attitude can negatively affect their self-esteem.

      Emotional, Rational, and Physical Intelligence skills

      Sense of Humor

      You will be more productive and active when you find time to crack respectful jokes with colleagues, patients, and their relatives.

      Humor douses tension and makes you lighthearted.

      It relieves you of stress and makes you concentrate on the work at hand.

      Nurses with a good sense of humor quickly build relationships with patients; they’ll easily open up to you because they see you as open-minded, caring, and humble.

      Outstanding nurse leaders have a good sense of humor.

      Emotional Stability 

      Nursing jobs are mentally taxing.

      Every moment brings a mix of positive and negative emotions.

      You’re often between the devil and the deep blue sea; you have to attend to colleagues and patients simultaneously.

      You must understand how to effectively manage high-pressure situations by adequately attending to the needs of patients, their family members, and colleagues.

      It will help if you remain calm and confident in threatening and frustrating situations.

      Does it mean healthcare workers should remain bland even in devastating moments?

      Far from it!

      Emotional stability isn’t the same as a lack of empathy.

      Emotional stability means that nurses avoid medical errors and correctly meet patient needs; they must be in charge of their emotions.

      Healthcare professionals who allow themselves to be controlled by their emotions will burn out quickly without achieving anything substantial.

      Emotionally stable registered nurses ensure patient safety, solve problems efficiently, and manage high-stress situations better.

      You must be patient with yourself to learn this skill.

      Don’t be too hard on yourself; learn to balance expectations and be mindful of yourself.

      Willingness to Learn: You Must Attend a Nursing School

      You can’t operate as a nurse without a state-issued license and a certificate from an accredited institution.

      You must show evidence of learning to prove that you have the clinical experience to manage the health of others safely.

      Earning a diploma to kick-start your nursing career doesn’t mean you know everything, but you can make critical decisions and take good care of patients based on accepted best practices.

      The healthcare industry is highly dynamic.

      After undergoing different nursing programs to master clinical skills, you still need continuing education and constant practice to attain full competency.

      If you want to become a nurse leader, educator, or specialist in a nursing field, a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) isn’t enough.

      Apart from earning a master of science in nursing (MSN), you should participate in webinars, conferences, and other knowledge-enriching activities.

      It will be best if you are committed to lifelong learning to offer the best care to patients.

      You should be aware of new developments in the nursing profession and how they affect healthcare delivery.

      Take advantage of numerous training opportunities to whet your professional and clinical skills.

      You should constantly increase your competency level by panting for new developments in the field.

      Those who graduate from a vocational school and don’t bother to earn MSN or enroll in further training opportunities cannot become nurse leaders.

      For instance, to become a nurse practitioner, you need a minimum of a master’s degree in a specialty.

      Most nurse practitioners now have a doctor or nurse practitioner (DNP) degree.

      If you want to be part of the highest earners, you must demonstrate a zeal to learn.

      Self-Care Ability

      It is physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically demanding to care for others.

      You daily cope with deaths, illnesses, devastating injuries, busy days, and long shifts.

      They can have adverse effects on your mental health if you don’t care for yourself.

      It will help if you don’t leave your mental health deteriorating while prioritizing patient care.

      Self-care is indispensable to avoiding burnout.

      If you’re not healthy and mentally stable, you can’t be productive.

      Take care of yourself; take the deserved rest, go on vacations, and eat your meals at the right time.

      You shouldn’t die while trying to save others.

      You will serve the patients under your care better if you’re mentally and emotionally stable.

      Physical Strength 

      Nurses need to bend, twist, stand, lift, turn, and pace for an extended period.

      Many healthcare facilities provide equipment and facilities to ease nurses’ stress, but this doesn’t alleviate it.

      It’s helpful if you have the stamina to attend to issues swiftly without quickly feeling tired.

      Wear a comfortable pair of shoes and move freely.

      It doesn’t mean that you should be restless; if you need rest, take it to rejuvenate yourself.

      Flexibility

      There is no dogmatism or rigidity in nursing.

      No active nurse should be trapped in the ‘average day’ scenario; you should learn and do different things daily.

      You must adapt to different situations and wear different hats quickly.

      For instance, if you’ve carefully planned your day to attend to neonates, but five women in labor suddenly arrived, you should attend to the women in labor instead.

      Flexibility is one of the essential characteristics of the healthcare sector.

      For instance, before the campaign drive on the risks of blood-borne pathogens, many nurses worked with bodily fluids, but it has become a thing of the past as almost every nurse uses gloves.

      Nurses are also adapting to the different innovations caused by advances in technology.

      You must be flexible to quickly adapt to both anticipated and unexpected changes in the field.

      Organizational Qualities of a Great Nurse

      Apart from the personality traits we highlighted above, you must also have organizational skills to make a successful nurse.

      Some of these skills include:

      Leadership Skills 

      Most nurses start their careers with the sole aim of patient care, but they eventually transition into leadership roles.

      Unfortunately, many of them aren’t prepared for this transition, so they don’t maximize the position.

      You must have what it takes to lead a team successfully; you must be calm, coolheaded, progressive-minded, and detail-oriented.

      You must be attentive to the yearnings of your followers and devise ways to resolve their complaints.

      Even if you’re not occupying a leadership position, endeavor to show leadership skills.

      It’s proof of your willingness to grow and lead.

      Time Management Skills

      The healthcare sector is a time-sensitive field.

      For instance, you must administer medications at the right time.

      Early or late dosages will affect the treatment process.

      You need to wash, feed, clean up, and take good care of patients on time.

      Emergencies may also arise at any given time.

      Without time management skills, you can’t cope with these job demands.

      You must plan, prioritize tasks, and delegate duties for timely executions.

      Good time management helps you to be organized and keep tasks in check.

      It helps to reduce stress and be highly productive.

      Neatness

      Your work environment must be neat and welcoming.

      Some nurses will leave their workstations disorganized and expect to be productive.

      Many pieces of information have now been computerized, so there is no reason why your desk should be disorganized.

      If your desk isn’t neat, you will waste productive hours searching for missing or misplaced documents.

      Your organizational skill must be exceptional if you don’t want to waste productive hours daily.

      Ability to Prioritize 

      You must know how to prioritize and re-prioritize tasks during a typical day at work.

      When there are emergencies, you have to reorganize your schedule to include the new tasks and take care of the already highlighted tasks.

      Keep your to-do list handy and follow it promptly and if there’s a need to deviate from it, do it reasonably and responsibly.

      The severity of a patient’s condition will determine the first person you will respond to.

      If you don’t prioritize tasks, you will be busy without being productive.

      Conclusion

      All these character traits are essential to your success in the nursing profession.

      It’s a highly-regulated sector, and these traits will help you play according to the rules.

      You can learn all the skills we discussed in this article.

      You shouldn’t feel lazy about them because they distinguish between a failed and a successful nurse.

      A nurse without a good character will be a nightmare to patients and colleagues.

      Bad behavior affects competency.

      Keep working hard to distinguish yourself from the rest!

      FAQs

      References 

      Daymar College

      GCU

      Relias

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