Top ten most Fabulous Nursing habits!

Thanks for the feedback on my blog “Top Ten Most Awful Nursing Habits!”  I couldn’t be happier to hear that nurse’s bad habits aren’t observed daily, but instead strong nursing care is displayed.  This blog is dedicated to complimenting nurses for all their good habits and traits that are often overlooked!

I talk often about patient’s perceptions and patient complaints but patients also mail to hospitals the most gracious and appreciative letters of thanks!  (Keep them coming!) For example, on one day in March, 2008, I was the primary nurse of a man who came into the ER with spontaneous back pain which quickly proved to be much more complicated as his blood pressure dropped and a recent cancer history became his real problem.  He was in his sixties, oriented, his daughter was a nurse and extremely involved at the bedside as his entire family quickly grasped the reality of what grim realities they were facing with their father.  As multiple IVs were inserted, cardiologist and oncologists at the bedside, and intravenous Morphine started, their emotions were evident as end of life decisions were discussed with their father.  I remember stepping out of the room feeling just as much emotion since a man who walked into the ER was more than likely not walking out.  I escorted the family to our hospice unit and later learned he passed away early the next morning.  Two weeks later, his daughter sent me a three page letter of thanks.  In the nearly 10 years of my nursing career, that was only the second time a letter was addressed to me but probably the most powerful.   

Even if you work in an office setting, versus at the patient bedside, a nurse can make a huge impact on patient’s experience and delivery of skilled care.  Most nurses are not like Nurse Jackie or Nurse Ratched.  And they are not at work to pursue the hot George Clooney AKA Dr. Ross that only exists in the fabulous world of TV dramas.  Instead, nurses actions are more ethical and purposeful and earning our profession recognition.  Since 1999, (except in 2001 when firefighters claimed the top rated profession, possibly influenced by the September 11th attacks), nurses outranked other professions in Gallup's Annual Honesty and Ethics Survey with Americans rating nurses as having "very high" or "high" honesty and ethical standards.  For eleven years, nurses have grossly outshined military officers, pharmacists, doctors, veterinarians, clergy, and several other professions.

So I wanted to create a list of the Top Ten Most Fabulous Nursing habits!…. 

1.  Nurses are taught to be holistic, caring for the physical body but also mind and spirit

2.  Nurses stay calm under immediate pressure

3.  Nurses often work with limited resources and learn how to best utilize staff and supplies

4.  Nurses are educators.

5.  Nurses take on roles above and beyond their regular positions, such as case manager, counselor, and lactation specialist.   (The day after I delivered my son, the dayshift nurse was wonderful as she showed me how to breastfeed.  The hospital did not have a lactation nurse at the time).  

6.  Nurses know how to prioritize, and how to assess a patient from a glance across the room

7.  Nurses are solution-seekers, they want to help, want to be gentle and want to have a happy ending.

8.   Nurses are leaders, as the most direct patient care providers, nurse have valuable insights to share and nurses know how to effectively get a job done.

9.  Nurses don’t assume to know everything but take pride in finding their niche and specialized patient care.

10. Nurses are like “professional mothers” in our community

Please add to my list and POST your thoughts!