To succeed in the nursing profession, nurses need to develop soft and hard skills. While clinical skills are critical for nurses, it is also important for future nurses to work on their qualities, attitudes and personality traits. Soft skills help nurses deliver compassionate care to their patients, so they are just as important as clinical skills.
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Soft skills in nursing
Personality traits or soft skills are hard to measure but they are just as valuable as hard skills. Many argue that soft skills are crucial in healthcare because of their impact on patients and their families. Examples of soft skills include:
- Time management
- Strong work ethic
- Responsible and ethical nature
- Emotional stability, adaptability and flexibility
- Strong communication
There are many other desired soft skills other than the ones noted above when working in the nursing profession. One of the most valuable skills for nurses to develop is the ability to communicate effectively. The ability to listen, understand and explain treatments and diagnoses to patients allows nurses to provide quality care. Nurses also need strong communication skills when dealing with colleagues and team members for successful collaboration.
Why soft skills are important
Soft skills affect every part of a patient’s experience during their healthcare encounter. Today, this matters even more in a value-based healthcare environment. How patients perceive respect, compassion and communication in a healthcare setting is often measured by a lot of healthcare organizations. Nurses spend the most time with patients in a hospital, so it is important for them to develop the right skills. Soft skills also matter when it comes to making the workplace an enjoyable place. Failures in time management, critical thinking and communication can make a department less effective. Soft skills have a major impact on productivity and outcomes, and this can have an impact on the experience of patients and the perceptions of employees.
An online school for nurses, such as the University of Indianapolis, will encourage students to develop crucial soft skills such as compassion to improve their nursing practice and positively impact the lives of patients through service. The right nursing program can help you identify the soft skills that you need to work on, and help you find ways to get better using them. As nurses, you may be faced with stressful situations at work, and it may be difficult to focus on these soft skills at those times. You may forget why soft skills are important, but these skills are needed the most in such situations. Soft skills enhance collaboration and communication between teams and provide a welcoming atmosphere to patients.
Improving soft skills in nursing is easier if you have access to the right education and tools. Healthcare organizations often use a variety of tools to assess the soft skills of their employees and provide them with the feedback and the resources they need to build productivity and efficiency. This helps nurses find ways to change the experience and perceptions of patients.