Nursing is a career that can be incredibly difficult but also just as rewarding. Being a nurse means caring for people in their most vulnerable moments, when they are ill or injured and making a difference in their lives. It takes a special sort of person to become a nurse and certain attributes to become a great nurse.
A Sense of Adventure
At first nursing might not seem like an especially “adventurous” career but in a way it is. Advances in medicine are made every day and as such the medical professions, including nursing, are constantly evolving. There will always be something new to learn in nursing in order to keep up to date with recent discoveries. It means adapting to change and earning more certificates and qualifications to further your education. There is also the ability to branch out into a specialised area such as school nursing, pre-natal nursing and many others.
Caring for others – and yourself
Caring for others is the very foundation of nursing and has been since the days of Florence Nightingale. Nobody likes being in hospital, so a nurse who truly cares, seeing the one being treated as a person and not just a patient, can make any stay that much easier.
In looking after their patients, however, nurses must also be aware to look after themselves. It can be all too easy to become overwhelmed physically and emotionally. It is important to relax and have personal time in order to stay calm yet energised, as doing too much and becoming fatigued could lead to potentially lethal mistakes. The better a nurse feels, the better they can look after those in their care.
Working with others, thinking for yourself
Of course, nursing is hardly a solitary career; there are many others that a nurse will work alongside and come into contact with on a daily basis. Being able to interact and communicate with so many different people, from doctors to patients and their families, is vitally important. Failing to do so could lead to terrible consequences.
Another challenge is being able to think critically, using the skills that have been learned in a practical and often high-pressure situation. It is one thing to memorise data and understand the process of nursing. It is quite another to put it all into practice.
As well as being challenging and rewarding nursing can be a lucrative career and is a practical job choice. There will always be a need for nurses and it can be easier than to find doctor job vacancies. Many places in the UK have positions available or there is even the opportunity to work abroad. You may need new qualifications or other requirements, but nursing is a very portable profession.
In short, it takes a lot to become a great nurse. It takes more than just qualifications or a degree but qualities intrinsic to the person themselves and some things, which can only be gained through experience. If you think you have what it takes, there are many colleges and universities offering degrees in nursing, as well as an array of information available from various resources. Nursing may not be a glamorous career, but it is one in which you can make a difference.
Zoe is a health blogger who understands the importance of great medical staff. Presently, Zoe is collaborating with Nuffield Health Careers.