Being a nurse can be a thankless task. You pour your life into the role and hardly anyone gives you the thanks you deserve. Some nurses, however, are better than others and it’s because they have these 4 essential skills that I believe all nurses should possess.

These skills mean that when treating patients, they can achieve the best level of care. Nurses aren’t just there for their medical knowledge and skill, they are also vitally important for keeping the patients morale up.

Language skills

Obviously, all nurses need to be able to talk, but that’s not what I’m on about here. Nurses should be great conversationalists, even though they may only be beside the bed for a couple of minutes, they need to make the patient feel validated and not some nuisance lying on a bed waiting to be turned out.

Being able to converse with someone eloquently is a great way to boost their spirits. In turn, you’ll also find you feel better as well – I don’t know the science behind it, but it comes from our evolution as community animals…

Kindness

You’d think this would be obvious and that I wouldn’t have to write it down, but you’d be wrong. So many nurses come across as cold and distant and treat the patient like a piece of meat to be prodded and injected.

Nurses are carers and so ‘care’ should be top of their priorities. The patient’s happiness and comfort should be the number one priority and yet so many nurses fail to see that this is the main caveat of their role.

Memory

You’ll need a good memory to remember all the medical knowledge, of course, but you’ll also need to remember the patient’s names and whether they’re allergic to paracetamol, etc. One of the biggest things, though, is remembering what they told you about their personal lives and families. This is all ties into the idea of treating them like real people and making them feel as happy and relaxed as possible.

Knowledge

Although the rest of this article has been about how the nurse effects the mentality of their patients, on the face of it, their task is to keep their patients alive long enough to be treated. To be able to do this effectively, the nurses have to have an extensive medical knowledge.

A nurses will learn all of what she needs to when training, however medicine evolves at such a break-neck speed, that half of what they learn will be obsolete by the time they actually set foot on a real ward. Maintaining a strong knowledge base as well as undertaking ADN to NP programs and such that gives more qualifications to nurses, will enable them to provide the best care possible.

I don’t think anything can prepare you for being a nurse and what those long 14 hours shifts feel like, facing the death of patients, and people who are cruel and nasty. Nurses see everything and facing this life every day is challenging and yet very rewarding. Face each day with a smile and try to make every patient feel cared for and safe.