What Is Self-Awareness in Nursing?

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Being a great nurse takes more than good training. There are other numerous characteristics and qualities that good nurses have. Some come naturally, and others are acquired in the field of practice.

One of the most commonly stressed qualities which come to some nurses naturally but is acquired in others is self-awareness. It plays a critical role in the health of nurses and also in the quality of care they provide to their patients.

What is Self-Awareness in Nursing?

Self-awareness in nursing is about identifying your internal state, intuition, preference and resources. Self-awareness is an essential tool that positively affects patients by bridging the relationship between them and the nurses.

Self-awareness also helps nurses to analyse and guide behaviour in a genuine way that not only improves them as people and professionals but also the quality of care they provide to patients.

Why is Self-Awareness Important in Nursing?

There are numerous benefits and reasons why nurses should take self-awareness seriously. Some of the reasons why self-awareness is important to include:

It helps build a therapeutic relationship

Fostering a positive relationship between the caregiver and the patient is critical in quality healthcare delivery and patient safety. Self-awareness can help caregivers analyse and adjust their behaviour in the most genuine way possible to foster a therapeutic environment that promotes interpersonal relationships between the caregiver and the patient.

This can drastically boost the progress and enhance the quality of the recovery process. On the part of caregivers, self-awareness helps them process stress and other unresolved emotions, which allows them to provide better services.

Understand clients better

Understanding your clients is critical in helping you attend to their needs. This is more so the case when working with the elderly. Clients might have a hard time controlling their emotions and even understanding themselves. Being self-aware can help you better understand the patient’s emotions and condition and see where they’re coming from.

Self-aware nurses can react more appropriately to situations and assess the behaviours of other nurses and healthcare providers, and helping them realise that each client has unique needs and thoughts and how they can adjust to meet these needs.

It promotes empathy

Empathy is a vital quality in the healthcare industry. It comes with emotional intelligence and plays a critical role in ensuring nurses and other health providers can deliver better quality healthcare.

Empathy is particularly important among nurses who work with the elderly, often plagued by sadness, among other negative feelings.

It is common for most elderly people to go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour, or family member. The tendency to feel lonely and vulnerable among such patients is high. Caring for the needs as much emotional care as physical care.

Self-aware nurses are more emphatic about the patient’s feelings and have the necessary emotional intelligence to provide proper care.

How to Increase Self-Awareness

Though a critical trait in the best nurses, self-awareness doesn’t come naturally to all nurses. Even to those that it comes naturally to, there is still room for improvement. There are a few ways you can improve your self-awareness to better take care of yourself and your clients. Some of the ways you can improve self-awareness include:

Observing yourself

In order to understand your personality, you need to understand the nature of your mind. The subconscious mind has vast impressions that are buried deep inside. These are hard to uncover and analyse. As you go through the day, it’s important to remain alert and objective about how the mind works and responds to various stimuli. It is a critical step in overcoming negative emotions and reactions and improving how you respond to various stimuli and reactions.

Getting feedback from your peers

Another exceptional method of improving your self-awareness is encouraging your peers to share feedback on responding to various situations. Typically, most of these reactions are subconscious and you’re probably not aware of them. Having someone mention them so you can bring them to fold and help you adjust your behaviour. Knowing your peers and fellow workmates are checking up on you also ensures you’re constantly thinking about how you respond to adapt to different situations.

In retrospect, you can also observe other nurses highlight any mistakes you notice and bring them to their attention. Not only does this help you improve you bring such matters to light, but it also helps you be aware of your own actions.

Final Thoughts

Becoming self-aware does not help you become a better nurse and caregiver but also allows you to overcome personality defects that could otherwise affect your performance and how you relate with your clients.

Being in a demanding field like nursing, it’s easy to become emotionally unstable, restless and upset. Self-awareness can help you keep yourself in check keep your mental health and overall health in check.

What is Adult Nursing?

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Nursing is a highly rewarding field not only in terms of job satisfaction but also in the payment packages. Like other jobs, there are different fields of nursing that leverage different skills and characters. Adult nursing is one of them.

To be an adult nurse, you need to be centred, understand the different needs, values and beliefs of your patient and the communities they come from. This type of nursing requires ongoing decision-making for the comfort and improvement of the patient.

What is Adult Nursing?

Most people think adult nursing is for the elderly. But adult nursing caters to adults from 18 years old and above in various settings, including hospitals and home care. The level of dependency in the patients varies widely. Sometimes, adult nursing is also referred to as general nursing.

Adult nurses need to have the skills, physical, psychological and social power to meet the patient’s needs and support them through their care pathways. Adult nurses should also be able to work with other health care and social care professionals to maximise the patient’s recovery, rehabilitation and adaptation to their condition.

Career Overview of an Adult Nurse

Adult nursing is a dynamic carrier. The job isn’t limited to treating the patient only but also extending support to their families.

Adult nurses have multiple responsibilities that include helping doctors diagnose patients, providing advice, taking care of the paperwork and follow-up care. There are also a lot of opportunities in this career with lucrative salaries and job sectors.

Adult nurses are the main point of contact for adult patients and their families. The nurses also play a vital role in medical and professional staff teams. They are a critical part of healthcare teams that include doctors and healthcare assistants.

A qualified adult nurse can work in various settings that include hospital and community settings. The latter includes a care home or home-based patient care.

What to Expect as an Adult Nurse?

Saying that the adult nurse career is challenging is an understatement. While you will face your fair share of challenges as an adult nurse, there are equally plenty of opportunities that will improve your career and make the job more satisfying. Some of the expectations in a career as an adult nurse include:

  • Flexible working hours. In some settings, you can work according to your choice of shift.
  • Your work environment and conditions will change depending on where you work. Some of the common work environments adult nurses will find themselves in include hospitals, wards, or patients’ homes. In some cases, you might be in charge of several patients in a ward, and in other cases, you might be tasked with looking after one or two patients in a high dependency unit or intensive care.
  • Opportunities for career breaks and retraining are plenty in the adult nursing field in a short time, especially when you decide to work overseas.
  • You have the option of working as a freelance consultant through agencies as a private nurse.
  • Adult nursing is a physically and emotionally demanding job most of the time. It is also remarkably satisfying when the condition of the patient improves.

The Responsibilities of an Adult Nurse

A typical day at work for an adult nurse can be a challenging but exciting adventure. Your responsibilities change rapidly and drastically depending on your role and area of nursing. Your tasks will also vary. Some of the typical responsibilities of an adult nurse include;

  • Helping doctors with examinations and determining the best care to give to patients.
  • Responding quickly to emergencies
  • Writing patient care plans
  • Implements some plans for various tasks, including preparing patients for operations, monitoring pulse, temperature and blood pressure, and treating wounds.
  • Recording and observing the patients’ condition
  • Mentoring junior and student nurses
  • Supplying blood transfusions and drips.
  • Using specialist equipment
  • Gaining the trust and confidence of each patient you work with
  • Monitoring and recording the progress of the patient
  • Supporting the patient and their families.

Where Do Adult Nurses Work?

There are numerous opportunities and various fields where qualified nurses can work. Typically, most nurses work in a hospital setting and community settings. However, adult nurses are not just limited to these fields.

Qualified and experienced adult nurses can also work as nurse trainers delivering health education in various environments, including;

  • Prisons
  • Residential nursing homes
  • Emergency helplines
  • Occupational health
  • Air ambulance services
  • The armed forces
  • Holiday companies
  • Leisure cruise ships
  • Voluntary organisations

Qualifications of Studying Adult Nursing

The grades and academic requirements to become an adult nurse vary depending on the institution. You can always confirm the requirements from the institution you’re interested in before applying.

You will need at least two A-Levels in sciences like biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, or psychology. You will also need five GCSEs in grades C and above, mostly in Math’s English and Science, among other academic and security requirements.

Difference Between a Doctor and a Nurse

It seems very easy to tell a doctor from a nurse in a hospital. After all, even their uniforms are different. However, besides a few letters and their clothing, are there any differences between a doctor and a nurse?

If you’ve been to a hospital multiple times, you might find yourself struggling with the technicality between nurses and doctors. They all seem to be doing the same things and, in some cases, nurses seem like they work harder than doctors. However, nurses are not doctors. There are similarities and differences in the professions.

What They Have in Common

Before we can look at where the professions divulge, it’s better to start with what is easier to understand to create a basis from which we can look at the differences.

Some of the services that both doctors and nurses can performing include:

  • Ordering and interpreting imaging results
  • Diagnosing and treating illnesses
  • Performing preventative exams (medicare wellness visits and annual physicals)
  • Writing prescriptions

It’s however important to note that different nurses have different scopes. The extent of what they can practice and do depends on their field of specialisation and their location.

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Differences Between Nurses and Doctors

Although in a hospital setting doctors might be confused for nurses especially when their attires look similar, the two professions are different on many levels.

Education

Both doctors and nurses go through intensive training before entering the medical profession. But, the length and scope of their education are different. Becoming a doctor requires that you first attend medical school where you attain an undergraduate or postgraduate medical degree. Depending on the science course you take, this could take anywhere between four to six years.

Doctors then go on to complete a two-year foundation programme to prepare for specialist training. Doctors can choose to complete the three-year specialist training programme to become a GP or study a further five to eight years in a specialist field.

The road to becoming a nurse is much easier and shorter. Nurses must also complete a degree. Once they decide which area of nursing they wish to pursue, they can complete a course that only takes three years.

Upon completing the course, the nurse can register with the necessary council and obtain the required license and certification to practice. For most nurses, this is where their formal education stops.

Licensing

It’s easy to think that most medical providers work under a unified governing body. However, nurses and doctors have different licensing bodies, sit for different exams and there are different recertification requirements for doctors and nurses depending on the field.

Both nurses and doctors have to pass a standardised exam to obtain their licenses. However, the exams vary depending on the profession and the area of specialisation.

Salary Expectations

The salary expectation for each profession shows the extent of medical training taken for each career path. Doctors typically earn substantially higher salaries than nurses. However, the salaries can vary depending on the region, employer and speciality.

For nurses, the base salary is about £29,532 per year while the base salary of a physician is around £59,195 per year.

Senior registered nurses can earn high salaries as well depending on their training and experience that can go as high as £60,943 per year. But compared to salaries of upper-level doctors like oncologists and other specialised doctors, who can earn up to £100,000 per year, doctors still demand a higher salary than nurses of equal experience and training.

Patient Interaction

Doctors and nurses have varying amounts of time spent in direct contact with patients. Nurses tend to spend more time interacting with patients directly than doctors do. Many of their day-to-day tasks involve maintaining patient care.

Doctors on the other hand spend more time completing paperwork in relation to patient care than seeing the patients face to face.

It is however important to note that the time spent with patients varies between specialities. Doctors placed in communities might spend more hours with patients than senior consultants in a hospital environment.

Philosophical Focuses

At their core, doctors are scientists. Their work is to study diseases and find ways to cure them. Nurses on the other hand are healers. They focus on the care and wellness of their patient’s bodies and minds. There is a slight difference in how both professionals approach patient care. While nurses believe in putting in the work and being there and ensuring their patients are comfortable, doctors are more laid back and reliant on modern science.

Understanding the differences between nurses and doctors will not just help you to tell the two apart next time you’re at the hospital, it could also help you identify the best career path for you. If you prefer taking the journey and spending time with patients, you might find better satisfaction in a career as a nurse than a doctor.

What Makes a Good Nurse?

Nursing is considered one of the most rewarding jobs. It is more than a career – it is a calling. It takes a special kind of person to pursue nursing with diligence, passion and commitment. But that is not all there is to nursing.

Rewarding as it is, the nursing profession is riddled with challenges and unpredictability. It is more than just completing the rigorous education and testing requirements. Before you join nursing, it’s essential to know if you would make a good nurse. Not just based on the grades (which play a critical part) but other qualities and traits as well.

  1. Caring

Caring is the foundation of nursing. Without caring, it doesn’t matter how good your nursing skills are; you cannot be compassionate and provide quality care to others.

The entire profession of nursing is about caring for other people at their most vulnerable and scary times of their lives. Most of the time, the nurse is the most accessible and regular access point for families and loved ones of the patient. It calls for compassion, concern and sympathy not only for the patients they serve but also for their families and loved ones.

  1. Great communicator

Communication is one of the core requirements of any nursing job. A great nurse should be able to follow directions and communicate effectively with patients, colleagues and families.

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Good nurses are supportive, which includes being an effective advocate for the patient and being able to anticipate problems or see a concern that needs to be addressed and addressing it before the patient can ask.

Communication in nursing takes various forms. It includes genuine smiles and good body language. A good nurse has multiple ways to communicate to make the patient feel comfortable and at ease knowing they are well cared for.

  1. Empathy

Empathy is often confused with being caring and compassionate. But empathy is the ability to hear and share the patient’s feelings. You don’t always have to agree with what the patient or their family thinks, but you should try to understand where they’re coming from.

You don’t have to internalise their pain or suffering, which is important for your well-being, but you should listen and try to understand where they are coming from.

With empathy, a great nurse can make a patient feel seen and heard. The nurse shouldn’t make the patient feel judged, and they should feel that their opinion matters and their values and life experience have been heard and at times considered.

  1. Attention to detail

Providing quality medical care requires keen attention to detail which is critical for the profession. Even in the most chaotic circumstances, a good nurse should be detail-oriented and ensure that instructions are followed to the letter.

A good nurse should be observant and ensure proper medication dosages are administered and keep accurate medical records for the patient.

In the home setting, the nurse serves as a detail-oriented coordinator of the patient’s care. Good nurses are always the first ones to notice subtle changes in the patient’s medical condition and alert physicians and other healthcare team members of potential concerns before they get worse.

  1. Excellent problem-solving skills

Good nurses can think on their feet, act quickly and anticipate and address problems. Although patients might suffer from similar illnesses, most nurses will tell you no two patients are ever the same. It’s the nurse’s job to individualise the best care for each patient.

Quality care is dynamic and, at times, unpredictable. A good nurse is always willing to be flexible and adapt to unforeseen circumstances. The nurse should have a calm head, make important and potentially life-saving decisions while facing unexpected events. Finding creative ways to make a difference and approach different situations is also in line with the career of nursing.

Conclusion

Formal training is just a small part of being a good nurse. Most of the factors that separate nurses and good nurses are inborn characteristics and qualities that are impossible to teach. That is why nursing is often considered a calling and not a profession.

Why is Teamwork Important in Nursing?

In the modern healthcare industry, patient care is a result of multiple professionals working towards the same goal. Nurses have to work closely with other professionals in the medical field like physicians and specialist nurses to provide comprehensive care. This makes teamwork critical for comprehensive care and enhancing positive patient outcomes.

The role of teamwork in nursing is so crucial that it is thoroughly encouraged in the profession. Most nursing graduates come into the field with a strong foundation of how to effectively collaborate with other nurses and health professionals for the good of the patient.

Here are some reasons why teamwork in nursing is essential:

Better Patient Outcome and Satisfaction

Teamwork in nursing fosters collaboration and ensures patient better patient safety and care. Collaboration requires that the nurses work with various other teams in the healthcare industry to provide care to the patient, while teamwork ensures they work cordially together to produce the best and most efficient results.

Teamwork and collaboration are critical to the success and satisfaction of any patient regardless of the size of the facility and are both central to health care.

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Higher Job Satisfaction

Nursing careers present many challenges which can drain and frustrate even the most passionate and dedicated nurses. Teamwork can help nurses maintain a high level of job satisfaction and avoid potential burnout.

When nurses have access to coordinated teams with organised lines of communication and teamwork, nurses can share workloads and workplace responsibilities, creating a more effective and more satisfied workforce that reflects positives on the nurses, patients and the facility.

Better Professional Accountability

Teamwork contributes directly to accountability in nursing. Daily challenges in the nursing field require constant changes to policies and procedures. By ensuring health professionals work together, they can hold each other countable and act as a checking system to ensure everything is done according to protocol.

In healthcare environments where team huddles are held less frequently, accountability suffers. Nurses who have attentive supervisors on their teams or partners who check and assess their work tend to have more accountability. This is critical in the healthcare industry, where errors can have a dramatic impact on patient outcomes.

Lower Rates of Job Turnover

Employee turnover is one of the major problems for hospitals. A high turnover means the hospital cannot sustain an ideal workforce to properly care for all the patients. Hospitals that have an increased emphasis on teamwork have lower turnover rates because the nurses are more satisfied with their jobs.

A higher job satisfaction reduces turnover, and better teamwork can contribute to higher job satisfaction hence lowering turnover.

Better Engagement in the Workplace

Workplace relationships are a critical part of the success of a healthcare facility and go a long way in contributing to engagement. Nurses are more engaged, knowing the team they are in would not quit in the face of difficulties.

Teamwork breeds a sense of belonging and helps colleagues to quickly adapt to challenges or crises. Nurses who are highly engaging in the workplace are usually more motivated and tend to always provide better levels of care. This can go a long way in combating burnout which is quite common in the nursing field.

Nursing is a profession that thrives on teamwork and collaboration. Teamwork encourages success for the nurses and the facilities they work in and, most importantly, for the patients.