Today, nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in the world. But just as the number of nurses is increasing, their demand also continues to rise. The recent pandemic is a good case study in this regard. The inflow of patients led to a severe shortage in the nursing staff, putting a strain on healthcare systems across the globe.
Contrary to what the title might suggest, there's no such thing as a "bad nurse." That's because, sometimes, the challenging conditions nurses work in get the better half of their abilities and health. Nonetheless, as a nurse, you need to find ways to continuously improve your practice to provide better care to patients regardless of the circumstances. And to make things simpler, we've shortlisted a few tips below. Let's dive straight in.
Don't stop learning
Whether you are a working nurse or aspiring to become one, the learning process never comes to a halt. The more you learn through clinical experience, the better your practice. While you're working, you can take advantage of flexible, online courses that will equip you with the knowledge of vital life-saving skills such as ACLS, for instance. Similarly, it would be best to acquire higher education to enhance your treatment methods via research. Fortunately, technology makes it easy for working nurses to enroll in master's programs or pursue a terminal degree in nursing to increase their know-how. These programs enable nurses to enhance the nursing practice and provide patients with specialized care and research-backed diagnosis and treatments.
Work on your communication skills
Effective communication is a crucial skill every nurse must develop. Nurses' job involves communicating with the patients, their families, and other hospital personnel. Sometimes the diversity can even be in the language and cultural context of things. Therefore, as a nurse, you need to be an effective communicator to reduce the risk of ambiguity and miscommunication. Know how to adjust your tone when communicating with patients of varying ages. Learn how to articulate complex medical terminology so that laypeople can understand. Proper communication will enable you to manage the treatment process more efficiently and avoid potentially fatal situations on the job.
Form a network with other medical professionals
If you want to become a better nurse, you should build a robust network within the healthcare fraternity. Networking will enable you to seek guidance and help on various matters, including improving your skills and methods. You can ask your mentors for advice whenever you are unsure. This way, you will get a chance to learn from more experienced people in the nursing profession than you. Their experiences and stories will inspire you to work harder and more passionately to help patients recover from their ailments.
Never forgo safety protocol
Good nurses always follow safety procedures to protect both themselves and the patients under their care. It is essential to realize the occupational hazards of not wearing proper personal protective equipment. Such minor mistakes can lead to disastrous consequences like cross-contamination and infections. If you want to become a better nurse, you should always adhere to your healthcare system's safety SOPs and the five rights of medication administration. It may initially seem cumbersome, and you might be tempted to cut corners too. But regularly practicing safety basics will lead them to become habits eventually.
Take good care of yourself
How can someone who doesn't take care of themselves care for others? All the tips given above become debatable if you, as a nurse, fail to look after your physical and mental well-being. And this isn't just restricted to the professional aspect alone, but your wellness entails achieving a healthy work-life balance. Understaffing and long working hours are challenges every nurse has to go through with a smile across the face. However, these can quickly lead to work-related burnout and a decline in your health and judgment skills, drastically affecting your ability to deliver quality care to patients. Therefore, take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Self-care allows you to continue without any burnout. Incorporate some self-care practices in your routine so that you can give complete attention to your work. Hit the gym, take a trip to the spa, or put on Netflix and chill with your significant other.
Double-check all your work
Whether it is administering medication or simply entering a patient's data in EHRs, even the tiniest mistake can lead to disastrous consequences. Patients can lose their lives, or the hospital can be sued for malpractice. In some cases nurses can end up with their license suspended. Therefore, ensure the correctness and quality of your work by going over it a second time. It is vital for patient safety as well as for improving your nursing etiquette.
Taking the time to look for different ways to become a better nurse shows that you've got all that it takes to be a great one. This article went over a few simple tips to help you achieve nursing excellence. These include getting more education, working on your communication skills, indulging in some self-care and double-checking your work, among others. By adhering to these tips, you'll be every patient's favorite nurse in no time!