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Are You Nursing Material?

Nursing is more than just a job and you need more than an education or nursing license to be good at it. If you are considering a nursing career, first make sure that you have what it takes.

Since it is a nurse's job to provide patient care, they of course need to be caring. But this goes far beyond just having concern for a person's well being; nurses have to be able to always convey kindness toward patients, even if they are aggressive or rude to them. They also must be sympathetic, understanding the pain patients are going through in order to provide them comfort. But while nurses need to know when to tap into their patient's emotional state, they also need to know when to distance themselves. Being able to remain emotionally stable during times of human suffering, emergencies, and challenging medical situations is a necessary quality. The job of a nurse is stressful and every day they are faced with traumatic events, from life-saving surgeries to unexpected deaths. Remaining calm and thinking clearly under such circumstances is vital to being able to carry out the responsibilities of this position.

Nurses spend most of their time in close contact with their patients, families of the patient's, and doctors. The ability to communicate well is of upmost importance, as they need to be able to make sure that patients understand their complicated conditions. They need to possess good listening skills, being attentive to what their patients say directly, as well as what they may not. Open and honest communication with both patients and their families is also extremely important so that they are able to clearly understand procedures and treatments. Nurses also have to clearly communicate with doctors about patients and make sure that they themselves understand any instructions they are given.

Nurses treat patients in both minor and serious conditions and must accept responsibility in both. They are responsible for assessing patient conditions, providing the proper treatment, and determining when further consultation is necessary. Nurses also have to be extremely detail oriented as they need to be able to keep track of minor changes in their patients' health or behavior, and correctly record it. When it comes to a patient's condition, neglecting to notice something could end up having serious consequences. Nurses must also accept the responsibility of their job's time demands and must be flexible and adaptive. The job of a nurse is usually not set to specific hours or schedules. With emergencies occurring at any time, nurses are often required to work overtime, nights and weekends, and holidays.