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Five Good Personality Traits for Nurses

Higher Education Articles July 23, 2013

So you are thinking of becoming a nurse? Take it from us – medical jobs are on the rise, so you are wise to give the profession a gander. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is growing by twenty-six percent that is faster than the average job, so you will likely have no shortage of opportunity.

To be a nurse, however, you will first need to complete several years worth of schooling, a residency program to gain real-world experience as well as gain certification. While the aforementioned are required of any nurse, there are also intangibles that make a good nurse, such as personality traits. So if you are truly serious about going into the nursing profession, know that while there are academic requirements to meet, there is also a number of good personality characteristics that help make a great nurse. Here is a look at five of them:

Calmness: A big part of being a nurse is being cool, calm and collected. As a nurse, you are likely to see some disturbing things and potentially deal with life-threatening situations and even death. Things are bound to get tense and hectic at times, and when a patient is freaking out, the last thing he or she wants to see is a nurse freaking out too. What’s more is that as long as you are acting in a calm and confident manner, chances are those around you will follow suit. If people see that you have the situation under control, there is a better chance of success on as a whole.

Confidence: No doctor is going to like working with a nurse that is not sure about certain things. Just imagine how a patient might perceive you if you are not confident in what you are doing. You went to school and gained all this valuable experience for a reason – so make sure it shows. Communicate with your patients and tell them exactly why what you are doing is necessary and be there to authoritatively answer any questions the patient may have. Remember, you are a professional, so it is important to act like it when you are at work. If you do not show confidence in front of your patients and co-workers, what is to say they will have any confidence in you?

Patience: This personality trait goes hand-in-hand with compassion. Not only is patience important in terms of dealing with co-workers and family members, but in dealing with the patients as well. For instance, most times patients can be frustrated as to why they are not immediately getting better or why doctors are unable to diagnose symptoms. They may also grow upset when a doctor orders more tests to diagnose a medical condition. This is where patience truly comes in handy, especially for registered nurses who work twelve-hour shifts. Unlike many other personality traits, patience is something that, if it does not come naturally to you, you can work on to improve over time.

Leadership: Nurses are, essentially, there to care for a patient until a doctor is necessary or to assist a doctor. Nurses also are responsible for a large amount of administrative work and paper work when it comes to patients. By being organized and prepared, a nurse can set an example for the rest of the staff on the best way to complete tasks and jobs. Nurses with strong leadership skills may also volunteer to serve on boards or groups to develop new policies and plans for hospitals and other working conditions.

Compassion: This is arguably the most important personality characteristic that a nurse can portray. As a registered nurse, you are likely to see a lot of different injuries and scenarios play out among patients that have been admitted to the hospital. And, it should come as no surprise that you will have to be accustomed to working with people in pain, who may become frustrated or agitated with their symptoms. You should be able to empathize with your patients. This reassures them that you care about treating them back to full health and helps reinforce that you are there to help. While this may seem like a common sense trait for nurses, often times the hectic pace of their shifts can lead nurses to rush their patients and show little care for their well-being.

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