There are five key signs that someone will make a great nurse. In addition to their schooling, nurses have innate qualities that can’t be taught. One good way to decide if you’re right for nursing is to reflect on what others most often notice about you. If they see in you the traits listed below, then you’re probably an ideal candidate.

1. Compassion

Of all the signs of a great nurse, this may be the most significant.Not only must you attend to patients in all stages of discomfort, but you must truly have a heart for them. Empathy and kindness go a long way in healing. You won’t always have cheerful patients who are easy to care for. People who are anxious or in pain can be downright unpleasant. You can’t let that exasperate you. It’s hard to be kind when you’re physically exhausted and mentally fatigued, but there will be days like that. Compassion is in the job description of a nurse.

2. Professionalism

Do you hold yourself to extremely high standards at school and on the job? In nursing, you’ll have to stay on top of your game at all times. Patients’ illnesses and injuries require your full attention. You’ll have to memorize charts and make sure that medications are dispensed exactly as ordered. You can’t miss a single detail. Staying 100 percent focused calls for great personal integrity.
Also, sick or injured people come in all ages, genders, races and walks of life. Good nurses behave professionally and ethically to ensure that all patients receive the same high level of care.

3. Willingness to Work Hard

The people who make great nurses don’t mind working hard. They have a lot of stamina and they don’t complain much. Most of your working hours will be spent standing or walking. You’ll physically support patients, lift heavy equipment, push wheelchairs and do a lot of stooping and reaching. In short, nursing is a physically demanding job. If you’re a hard worker with lots of energy, you’ll rise to the challenge.

4. Good Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Nurses must be skilled listeners, communicators and notetakers. Many times a day, they act as liaisons between doctors and patients or between patients and their loved ones. Their information must be reliable and understandable. Having keen powers of observation is another asset. If a patient is uncharacteristically grumpy, depressed or quiet, for example, it could indicate a change in his condition. The slightest changes in appearance or demeanor should be noted for the doctor. Interpersonal skills will come in handy when you’re juggling patients’ and doctors’ demands. Of course, it never hurts to have a good sense of humor.

5. Decisiveness

Decisiveness is especially important in emergency nursing. It takes a special person to calmly assess a situation and administer the best treatment when seconds are ticking by.
Every patient is different. You can’t possibility anticipate or rehearse for the next accidental poisoning or head trauma. That’s why one additional trait of great nurses is the desire to keep growing in knowledge. Observing seasoned veterans, reading medical journals and attending seminars prepares nurses to make good decisions. Great nurses compare notes and exchange ideas with colleagues. They learn from their mistakes. The more knowledgeable they are, the more lives they can save.

Nurses are special people who are passionate about caring for others. If you recognize the signs and know in your heart that you’ll make a great nurse, your future patients will be lucky to have you.

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