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A great nurse can make all the difference in the world when it comes to having a successful doctor or hospital visit. Typically, nurses spend much more time with patients than doctors. Because of this, great nurses change the dynamic and environment of hospitals and doctors offices for the better. Here are a few things that make a good nurse great.

Nurses know their stuff

Medical Assistant and NurseA great nurse must, first of all, know how to perform all of their responsibilities with the utmost accuracy and detail. The primary responsibilities of a nurse usually include knowing and understanding the health needs of the patients, performing initial and sometimes frequent evaluations, and performing basic procedures such as shots or IV placements. Some nurses are expected to prescribe medications, or diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries.

Over time, nurses refine their skills. In doing so, their responsibilities may increase. Additionally, to stay sharp, many nurses participate in continuing education classes to stay informed on new diseases, drugs, and techniques for patient care. By constantly practicing and learning, a great nurse develops and displays confidence in her medical knowledge, which makes being a patient easier.

Nurses have people skills

Learning people skills is another crucial aspect of becoming a great nurse, which usually comes after years of experience and mistakes. A good nurse is always on the side of the patient. They speak with gentleness and care, developing personal relationships with patients.

Many hospitals or doctors offices have tricky political structures that can cause friction. In these cases, a nurse always sets aside the job politics and puts the patient's care as top priority. Some work environments do not allow nurses to develop long-term relationships with patients, but a casual conversation with a friendly demeanor is always useful to help ease tensions.

Great nurses also end up being in the conversations of former patients. Many times nurses help to create a memorable childhood experience for young patients. For children shots are often scary. A good nurse will use the art of distraction along with casual conversation to administer a shot, often without the child even knowing. The nurse turns a frightful situation into an enjoyable one.

What patients expect of nurses

From the patient's point of view, a few other attributes that are appreciated in great nurses:

  • A level of professional knowledge and technical competence.
  • A personal relationship to individualize care, and to ensure the patient's feelings are taken into consideration during treatment.
  • The patient's health care feeling like a partnership in which the decision making process is shared.
  • The patient's needs addressed quickly.
  • Having the same nurse as often as possible.

Statistics show that patients who felt they received excellent nursing care were more optimistic about the future, felt a greater sense of fortitude to fight their illness, and felt better overall.

Other attributes of a great nurse

  • A great nurse isn't afraid to ask when they don't know the answer.
  • A great nurse puts themselves in the patient's shoes and provides as much information as possible.
  • A great nurse stands up for her/himself and colleagues when confronted by obnoxious family members, doctors, managers, etc.
  • A great nurse understands that personal time is as important as the work itself.
  • A great nurse is there for the patients. They hold the patient's hand and calm their fears.
  • A great nurse has compassion and empathy for both patients and colleagues alike.

In the future, medical professionals will be assisted by mobile electronic attendance machines -- Robot Nurses. Currently, a telepresence robot dubbed Sister Mary is being tested at St. Mary's hospital in Paddington, London, in the UK. Robot Nurse Pearl in Oakmont, Pa. reminds her elderly clients to eat, drink and take their medicine. The robot "nurses" are not being created to replace humans; they are being designed to assist nurses and medical technicians.

In today's health care world, the patient is the customer. Patient demands are greater than ever before, and health care organizations are focused on meeting those demands by providing exceptional medical and customer service care. What's understood is that if things are done right in these areas, strong bottom-line results will follow. If they are not done at all, the bottom line will hit rock bottom.

Great nurses greatly contribute to the success and stability of the health care institutions and to the mental and physical well being of patients. They give not only their book knowledge, but they give a piece of their heart with each patient.

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