Nurses wear a lot of hats. They are responsible for not only the care of their patients but a number of behind-the-scenes functions as well. While nursing can be rewarding, it can also be challenging, and those who dedicate their lives to it understand the bittersweet feelings surrounding their chosen career. Does our culture take nurses for granted? In many ways, it does. But one thing is for certain, nurses never take their jobs for granted. They understand their patients in ways others can’t imagine. What is the importance of empathy in the medical industry and what other key characteristics are important for successful nurses?
- Empathy. Empathy is the first step on the way to compassion. It is the ability to recognize emotions being experienced by others. While doctors are responsible for the medical diagnosis and physical care of a patient, it often falls on the nurse to care for the emotional needs. Empathy is very different from sympathy or pity. Successful nurses don’t pity their patients; they respect their feelings and act upon them to help make their care more comfortable.
- Emotional stability. Because of empathy, nurses need to have their own level of emotional stability. It can be difficult to be exposed to the different feelings of others each and every day. While someone who is cheerful or hopeful can raise your spirits, working with people who feel hopeless can take its toll. It is important for nurses to understand their own emotional needs and be able to process the feelings they have about their work.
- Dedication. Nurses also need to be dedicated. They often have to give 100 percent of themselves to their patients while they’re on the job. To be dedicated to the profession of nursing shouldn’t take away private time though. A balanced approach is best.
- Critical thinking. It is also important to be able to make quick decisions using critical thinking. While patients are experiencing a wide range of emotions, a nurse can’t make decisions based on these feelings. Critical thinking will help a nurse determine the best course of action and how to best help patients.
- Sense of humor. One other important characteristic that nurses should have is a good sense of humor. This can help lighten the spirits of patients dealing with intense emotions and powerful challenges. The right smile or well phrased joke can set a tense experience on a more relaxed track.
Is nursing the right career path for you? Fortus Healthcare offers nursing jobs all over the United States and internationally so contact us today.