Nurse practitioner plays an integral role in keeping the masses healthy. Covid-19 has further reinforced their importance for healthcare. They have shown utmost dedication and fearlessness in the face of an invisible enemy attacking humanity from all sides.
Nurse practitioners take care of their patients with or without the supervision of physicians. Their main job involves examining the patients, making patient care plans with doctors, providing patients with timely and accurate care, and managing their chronic conditions.
Most NPs work in the hospital setting and need to have at least a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. The educational requirement to become a Nursing Practitioner is known to everyone wanting to enter this field. However, what might not be known is the additional qualities that an NP must possess to perform their job.
6 qualities of a good nurse practitioner
Here are some essential qualities that make a good nurse practitioner.
Patient care does not require a cookie-cutter approach; not all patients respond to your interventions similarly. If a treatment plan doesn’t work according to your plans, you can’t give up or lose hope but needs to keep trying. You might need to change your tactic multiple times before your patient start responding. Therefore, without persistence, this job can’t be performed.
Ironically, tenacity and persistence are among the most undervalued qualities of a nurse, whereas, in reality, they should be at the top. A nurse practitioner must always be ready to come up with alternative plans, discuss them with their clinical or medical preceptors when on rotation and think out of the box when required.
Patience is the key ingredient for becoming a nurse. From the outside, it seems that nurses are always in a hurry trying to get somewhere or accomplish many tasks in one go. But actually, they are very patient. Nurses have to not only care for their patients with medications and treatments, but they also have the job of providing a caring hand to their patients. And without patience, this kind of multidimensional care cannot be provided. So, patience is a quality that enhances a nurse’s ability to provide better care.
Nurses need patience to care for their patients and work with their colleagues. Often they will find that other staff members are not completing their tasks or are not as vigilant as they should be. Instead of causing a ruckus, nurses must be able to tackle the situation peacefully.
By being patient, they will not only become pleasant coworkers but also help them make fewer errors by avoiding undue rushing.
This might not be the most cited quality that an NP must possess, but it is an important trait for nurses. Being enthusiastic means that nurses must feel excited about their work, look forward to going to the workplace, and be proud of what they do for humanity.
Enthusiasm provides better job satisfaction and peace of mind and allows you to put more effort into your work. Also, it promotes a better patient-nurse relationship. When patients see nursing happily caring for them, they become more compliant and make their job easier.
However, enthusiasm does not mean being over the top or annoying. In fact, it implies that you should be eager to teach, passionate about your work and specialty, and always ready to work with your supervisors.
If nurses don’t feel enthusiastic about their work, they should deliberate and see what bothers them about their job. Is it their specialty, supervisor, or workplace? If possible, they must try to change that factor or work on it to eliminate the discomfort.
Every employer wants to see leadership qualities in their employees, and hospital administrations are no different. The drive to see leadership qualities in the employees is fueled by the fact that employers don’t want to hire passive employees to work in the dynamic environment of a hospital. Often there are times when nurses have to lead teams, get the work done by others, tackle emergencies, etc. In those instances, leadership skills come to the forefront.
However, being a leader does not mean bossing other staff around or being rude to them. The essence of having leadership qualities is that others must be able to come to you in doubtful situations and can rely on you for guidance. And, with your advanced degree, you must be ready to help and support them.
A nurse’s job is very complicated as they deal with people’s lives. Their body language, tone, and method of care provision must send the right signals that they are the “care providers.” In the clinical setting, they must be confident about their job as a troubleshooter and that they are required to develop treatment plans. Such decisions require nurses to have confidence in their knowledge, abilities, and experience.
If you are indeterminate about your abilities, you cannot curate effective care plans for your patience as you are never sure which approach to choose. Plus, patients are never comfortable around wishy-washy nurses who are never definite about their decisions and always leap to their supervisor or head nurse for input.
However, there is a thin margin between being confident about your abilities or overstepping the scope of your authority and bypassing your supervisors. While confidence is always recommended, being overconfident is what you must avoid. Never make any decision that requires definite input from your supervisor or is beyond your knowledge base. It is essential to know what you are unaware of and embrace it. Because only this way can you learn and become more competent.
If you need help with a patient, it does not mean you aren’t competent. Instead, it shows your willingness to learn and develop a better knowledge base for improved patient experience.
Patients come to the hospital in the most vulnerable situation. Often they are fighting for their lives and are in excruciating pain. In this situation, your empathic behavior can be of great help. Imagine getting bad news about your health and meeting a healthcare provider who is cold, condescending, and distant during your meeting. Would you like to get treatment from such a person? The same goes for your patients.
Treating your patients while putting yourself in their shoes helps you understand their pain so you can provide them with the type of care you would want to receive if you were ill. So, being empathetic is integral to creating an enduring and trusting nurse-patient relationship.
Besides the proper nurse practitioner qualification, you also need the right skills to perform your job efficiently. The above-mentioned skills help nurses provide better patient care and ensure that every patient leaving the hospital is satisfied with their services.