Healthcare is one of the noblest professions globally. All doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff are highly appreciated and respected all over the world due to their selfless sacrifices and strict long hours of work. As you have already chosen to serve humanity by opting for your career in health sciences, but did you ever ponder the strengths and weaknesses you may have or may develop along the journey as a nurse? Holding a patient’s hands before a procedure, listening to their concerns with empathy, comforting a frightened child, what do these things have in common? They are all part of being a nurse.
Nurses are individuals like everyone else. In any group of nurses, you will find a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths that the nurses acquire through their work are attention to detail, patience, good basic sense, multitasking, the economy of motion, and the ability to assess quickly and efficiently. Meanwhile, weaknesses tend to be specific to the individual. One weakness that many nurses have (which may have cultivated out of necessity) is the tendency to put patients’ needs first, and their own needs last. This sounds admirable on the surface, but it doesn’t necessarily make up for the best clinical performance.
In this article, we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of nurses and get an idea of what you should do in your professional life as a nurse and your weak points that might affect your career, so you can start working on them and overcome them.
Strengths of nurses:
Let’s look into some of the strengths that can help you in your career as a nurse so you can take some time and develop them.
Having a deep awareness of and sympathy for someone else’s suffering without judgment is the root of compassion. A nurse has a crucial role when it comes to a patient’s physical and mental health. A nurse is the one who has direct interactivity with the patients and his/ her attendants; that is why having empathy towards the patients is very important for a nurse. Nurses are on the front lines in a profession where you actually get to do something to make a difference in a person’s life. Research shows that a nurse’s compassion can actually help lessen a patient’s suffering. Being able to offer that compassion is part of the reason nurses are so important in medical situations.
Time management skills:
Managing your time is necessary for every kind of profession. But when it comes to healthcare services, it is necessary as people’s lives are in your hands. A nurse must know which patient needs attention immediately and which patient can wait for a while, also a nurse should know which patient needs more time and which patient doesn’t. In short, a nurse must be conscious to deal with the workload.
Calm under pressure:
When you need to make quick decisions in a medical situation, keeping your cool is vital. People who make great nurses are naturally level-headed, but your education plays a big role here too. Confidence grows through knowledge. When you know the technical aspect of your job like the back of your hand, you will be better equipped to make calm, rational decisions even in the face of high stress and adversity, serving as a steady guide when patients go through rough waters.
As a nurse, you will regularly work one-on-one with patients and proper communication in such situations means far more than just giving a dose of medicine or starting an IV. Nurses are responsible for talking to patients and helping them understand medical situations, which can be complex and quite scary to the person who’s going through such tribulations. Great nurses are clear communicators who truly listen to patients’ needs- and make sure to acknowledge that those patients’ concerns are being heard.
When it comes to giving medication or administering care, details matter. Doctors and patients rely on nurses to be focused and careful. The best nurses are meticulous, paying attention to the smallest details because they know just how important they are. Moreover, a nurse should rapidly make critical decisions when doctors are not around and provide medical assistance.
Weaknesses of nurses:
Everyone has their weaknesses. Most people don’t like to talk about them, but if you won’t face them, you will never be able to overcome those weaknesses and turn them into your strengths. Here are some examples that nurses may possess which can affect their careers.
This is one of the main issues nurses face in their careers. Having sympathy for patients is necessary, but getting too attached to them can also affect your career as well as the medical assistance that a nurse is supposed to provide them. Once you start taking care of a patient, you get emotionally attached to them, and to some extent, this is natural.
Fear of seeing people in critical condition:
Some nurses might not want to work in an ER or ICU as they might not be able to think critically and make decisions right away. This is a big weakness, but as a nurse, who is supposed to handle every kind of situation, fear of not being able to see patients in critical conditions can really affect your career as well as the patient’s family
Working with body fluids:
A nurse may be required to support the patients in taking the samples of a patient’s body fluids including urine, saliva, and secretions of the body to send their samples for testing. Some of the nurses might feel uncomfortable assisting the patients in taking their body fluids and this weakness can also affect their careers.
Just like we mentioned before, every person in every profession has their own strengths and weakness. The only thing is that you should keep your strengths with you by polishing them for your and your patient’s benefit and overcoming the weaknesses.