In 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) expanded the annual recognition of those in the Nursing profession, into a week-long event. National Nurses Week 2016 is May 6th through May 12th. How does one describe today's nurse? At the local clinic, a nurse is the one who will be charged with welcoming a patient and trying to soothe their nerves. In the hospital, our nurse is the one who will listen to us when we have a million questions, will typically be the last person we see at night before restlessly falling sleep and the first person we’ll see when we wake up after surgery. The nurse is the one who will calm us down when our child has fallen off their bicycle. No matter what the clinical setting, our nurse’s face is the one we will remember and appreciate the most. That’s because our nurse is the “Face of Caring”.
What does it mean to be that “Face of Caring”? To be the one who is going to spend the most time with a patient and their family. To be the one relied upon for an encouraging word or a gentle touch. Is nursing a job or is it a calling? Only the nurse know for sure, but it is true that today’s nurse is a special breed of person. And the best nurses, all seem to share certain personalities and traits that make them successful. Let’s take a look at a few of the qualities that make a great nurse:
- A great nurse will have a natural sense of compassion for their patient. Understanding and sympathizing with them, without judgment, is a key component in easing a patient’s suffering.
- Hand in hand with displaying compassion for the patient is treating them with respect. Understanding their anxiety and being honest and straightforward, allows them to maintain dignity while they are vulnerable.
- There is much more to being a nurse than checking vitals or administering a dose of medicine; a great nurse is also a skilled communicator. A nurse has the most face-time with a patient and has the greatest opportunity to put them at ease, help them understand their situation, and above all, listen to them and acknowledge that they are being heard.
- People generally feel better when the sun is shining. A patient will feel better when their nurse is sunny and optimistic. Nurses with a sunny disposition cultivate a positive healing environment.
- In most disciplines and clinical settings, a nurse sees a lot of different patients. When meeting, treating, and caring for that many people each day, the best nurses have to be sociable and outgoing. If you are naturally gregarious, then you can thrive in chaotic environments.
- Nurses, much like doctors and others in the medical profession, are often needed for overtime shifts, weekend coverage, night shifts, etc. Being flexible and having the ability to go with the flow is a requirement for today’s nurse.
There is no question that nurses have a difficult job. Being the “Face of Caring” means that they are empathizing with their patients, communicating with worried family members, still offering a smile in the 11th hour of their shift, and staying calm in the craziest of situations. Let’s face it; not just anyone can be a nurse. But for all of those with the skills, training, and right demeanor, they deserve this week of recognition and so much more. Congratulations nurses! Know that this week and throughout the year; you are appreciated for all that you do as the “Face of Caring.” Tell us how you are planning to celebrate National Nurses Week in the comment section below. Also, visit our Facebook page and tell us what qualities you think are shared by great nurses.