Serving as one of the most vital cornerstones of the healthcare system, practical nurses have huge responsibilities on their shoulders since they are heavily engaged in direct patient care. Whether it’s administering medicines and injections to the patients in a timely way, delivering basic care to the patients such as tending to their wounds or replacing their bandages, recording and updating the health data of the patients, or assisting doctors and registered nurses in other ways, a practical nurse has a lot going on every day at work. So, for anyone who is planning to pursue a career in practical nursing, it is necessary to understand the skills and qualities they will need to succeed in the field.
Here is an overview of the skills and qualities that all aspiring practical nurses should strive to develop:
Important Clinical Skills
As a practical nurse, you will be providing patient care in a variety of ways. You will be keeping an eye on the vital signs of the patients, like temperature and heart rate. You will be making sure that the intravenous fluids or catheters are properly initiated, supervised, and stopped. You will also need to know how to perform CPR if there’s an emergency. Performing duties like these and more require you to have impeccable clinical skills. When you are pursuing your LPN programs, make sure that you pay special attention to honing your clinical skills, since these are going to form an important part of your job as a practical nurse.
Ability to Manage Time Efficiently
Since practical nurses have so much to do on any given day, whether they are employed in a hospital, at patient’s home, or at a clinic, having the ability to manage time efficiently is an extremely essential skill to have. Especially if you’re working as a practical nurse at a hospital, you may have to look after multiple patients. From taking care of multiple patients to multiple work duties, it’s evident why time management skill is so important for practical nurses. You should know how to organize your day at work, efficiently allocating time to different duties so that you can fulfill all of them with finesse. Once you’ve mastered how to manage time, you can take up any practical nursing job with confidence, whether it’s a nursing hospital job or a nursing home care job.
Ability to Work Well with Others
Practical nurses work together with many other healthcare professionals. While you yourself will be working under the doctors and registered nurses, you may also have orderlies and nursing assistants working under you. This means you will be working as part of a big team that’s devoted to patient care. You need to know how you can be an ideal member of this patient care team, meaning you should be an ideal team player. Not only should you be receptive towards the guidance offered to you by your superiors, but you should also be able to properly guide those who are working under you.
Patience and Compassion
It goes without saying that all types of nurses should be patient, caring, and compassionate. But, because licensed practical nurses work together so closely with the patients, having these qualities becomes all the more crucial. Patients go through good days as well as bad days. As a practical nurse who is by the patient’s side through it all, you should be able to empathize with your patient. With patience and compassion, practical nurses can play a big role in making the recovery journey of the patient more smooth and comfortable. With these qualities, you will also be able to strike a good equation with the family members of the patient.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills is something that you should begin developing right from the moment you decide to become a practical nurse, that’s how significant this skill is. You will require the critical thinking skill when you’re preparing for your nursing college entrance exam. You will require it when you are undergoing educational training to become a practical nurse. And, of course, you will need it when you are finally working as a practical nurse. Having critical thinking skills through all these phases will help you understand and respond to any given situation in the right way.
While talking about the need for practical nurses to work well as part of a team, we learned about the kind of team-based environment that the practical nurses usually work in. When you’re working in such an environment, where you have to coordinate and interact with different people on a daily basis, it becomes so important to have the ability to communicate articulately. Communication skills are not only helpful for your interactions with other healthcare professionals you’re working with, but also for your interactions with the patients and their family members. From understanding the patient condition and reporting the same to the superiors to explaining a situation to the patient and his family members, it is through great communication skills that you can make interactions like these seamless.
Be Good With Technology
Since the use of technology is so prevalent in healthcare institutions today, you need to be comfortable with working with various kinds of technology, like computers, mobile devices, software applications, etc. You may have to work with technologies like these to enter and maintain patient records, check patient reports, and perform other documentation related tasks. By being tech-friendly, you’ll be able to complete these tasks easily.
In addition to all the skills that are mentioned above, you should also have diligence, passion, and dedication to your practical nursing profession. Practical nursing can be a highly rewarding and satisfying profession if you have the right skills and qualities to be exceptional at your work.
Contributed by https://vervecollege.edu/