Of course no nurse is perfect.
But if you were in that hospital bed instead of your patient, what qualities would your ideal nurse have?
Here are some suggestions to get you started. Then tell us which qualities you’d desire in your perfect nurse.
10 Qualities Found in the Perfect Nurse
A nurse who knows their stuff is invaluable. And it’s not just about medical and nursing knowledge. Equally important are a high level of critical thinking skills, and an ability to navigate around the many quirks in the healthcare world.
2. A Team Player
Someone who enjoys collaborating with other nurses, physicians, physical therapists, clinical nursing assistants and more. Someone who doesn’t try to do it all, but instead knows how to let go of some responsibilities so that they can focus on doing the important stuff to the best of their ability.
3. A Sense of Humor
A good joke, a loud laugh. A great nurse can show levity and humor to help lift spirits or explore some uncomfortable issues.
Someone who has compassion, who still believes that the art of nursing includes doing those small, thoughtful things. Like putting lotion a patient’s feet, or bringing a gardening magazine in for that green thumb enthusiast patient in the chemo chair. Or telling a new mom they’re doing a great job.
A cheerleader. A silent strength in the room. The nurse who will place one hand firmly on your shoulder, put the other hand over yours, and make you look her in the eye while she tells you, “You will get through this.” The nurse who will cry with you and hand you a tissue. The nurse who will give you a big hug on your discharge day.
6. An Advocate
A nurse who makes sure you get the treatment you need, even if it takes 10 phone calls, and even if it doesn’t seem all that important. A nurse who questions a doctor’s potassium order or demands better pain management on your behalf.
7. Physically Strong
A nurse who makes you feel safe when you’re unsteady on your feet. A nurse who gives stellar compressions during a V. Fib arrest.
8. Willingness to Listen
A nurse who asks questions, and then listens to the answers. One who, although your symptoms might not be textbook, validates you nonetheless. And one who, when you voice concerns about your care, says, “I’m sorry you feel that way. Let’s fix it.”
9. A No-Nonsense Attitude
Sometimes you need the no-nonsense nurse to brusquely tell the dermatology consult doc to come back another time because you just fell asleep. And sometimes, you need the nurse who demands you get out of bed to walk on POD 1, even though you want to cry at the mere thought of it.
10. A Blend of Confidence and Flexibility
A confident nurse makes a confident patient. But making the right clinical decisions isn’t always black and white. The right blend of knowing just what to do and being able to alter the plan as changes occur makes for an effective nurse that you can trust implicitly.
Every nurse has his or her strengths, but if you could build your perfect nurse, what qualities would he or she possess?
Like what you’re reading?
Don’t forget to subscribe by entering your email address in the “Follow the fun!” box (upper right hand corner of the screen). Don’t worry, we won’t spam you. You’ll just get our latest posts delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now!