Imagine a nurse who seems to have it all—he can insert IVs in the blink of an eye, effectively triage patients and make the check-in process go twice as fast. However, he can’t accurately and effectively communicate patient details to another nurse clocking in. What about another nurse who can immediately identify the signs of a stroke, but who lacks the confidence to quickly speak up in front of her colleagues? Those missing “soft skills” are just two examples of why soft skills are an essential part of being an effective nurse.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are various attributes and abilities that make it easier to survive and thrive in almost any professional environment. Unlike hard skills, which include things like clinical competencies necessary to understand medication administration, soft skills are harder to quantify. As we alluded to above, soft skills are the lesser publicized things that help improve patient satisfaction, increase productivity and create a healthy work environment for all. In one study of healthcare employers, the four most important soft skills were communication, empathy for patients, strong work ethic and listening.
The Soft Skills You Need for a Successful Nursing Career
- Communication: Being able to rapidly and accurately convey information is important in any position in the healthcare field. Even if you aren’t working in an emergency room where seconds mean the difference between life and death, transmitting information to colleagues, patients and their family members is vital. A great nurse needs to communicate to get accurate patient data, educate patients, motivate team members and seamlessly transfer patient care.
- Teamwork: Nursing homes, hospitals and other medical practices rely on excellent cooperation to save patients, develop treatment plans and be as efficient as possible. A team spirit and the willingness to set aside animosity to help a patient will go a long way.
- Critical Thinking: Problem-solving and critical thinking skills allow nurses to connect symptoms to disorders and diseases in order to treat patients before conditions worsen. Problem-solving skills are also essential in an age where more patients have multiple chronic illnesses, limited resources, increased access to technology and many prescription and non-prescription medications.
- Empathy: Compassionate nurses are excellent at connecting with patients and their family members and putting those around them at ease. When patients feel genuinely heard and understood, satisfaction improves, and patient outcomes often do as well.
- Adaptability: Any nurse knows that every day is totally different than the day before, which is why the ability to think on your feet and adapt to unique situations and environments is critical.
Show Off Your Soft Skills with Nurse Earth
Nurse Earth is a nurse-centric recruiting and staffing agency dedicated to connecting nurses with positions that meet their needs and highlight their expertise. Nurses are never just a number. We go above and beyond to show nurses like you that we truly value their professional interests and career success. To submit your resume or learn more about our services and how we can help you find the nursing job you are looking for, visit us online, give us a call at 1-800-450-1081 or contact us here.