Not a "people person" - problem?

  1. Heya Folks,
    After replaying to a thread a few minutes ago, I realized I may be making a poor choice in changing careers and I'd like some honest advice.

    I am worried that I may not do well as a nurse as I am not really a "people person". I am a compassionate caregiver to my patients (animal) and feel I can be so for my human patients but I am rather introverted. I'm not one who is adept at the social skills required for nursing. I don't know if I can smile at every patient and make them feel like they're my most important case of the day. I know I will be able to perform the necessary medical skills, its the people skills I lack most of all and that concerns me.

    Am I just being silly and worrying over nothing?
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    I find that patients respond well to caregivers who are willing to receive the pt's communications.

    All that means is, the typical "people person" is more outgoing and friendly, but that is not necessarily the most conducive personality type to get the patient to give you information.

    I find it easier to talk to nonjudgmental introverts simply because they're LISTENING better.
  4. by   Aussienurse2
    Worrying over nothing chicky. As you progress and learn more your confidence will grow and it wont be long before you go walking about, smile firmly affixed to your face muttering things like "I shoulda called in sick", " if one more person says that I"ll give 'em an enema", " I don't care, I'm gonna have a sandwich, I missed brekkie and morning tea"

    :kiss
  5. by   kittyw
    Vettech ... The important question is do you care? If you're asking this question... I'm sure you do!

    Take a few minutes and your patients will see that. You'll be surprised how you can warm up to the patients & they'll warm up to you if you give it a little bit of time. (But not all patients!!! LOL)
  6. by   adrienurse
    If you have ever subjected yourself to Myers-Briggs testing, you will realize that there are varying degrees of introversion or extroversion. There are also many other facets involved in being a human. Some people are able to be introverted and still work very well with others. What I mean is that just because you've identified yourself as an introvert, does not mean that you will not make an excellent nurse. Perhaps the fact that you are prone to introspective thought, will make you much more sef-aware nurse. This can have its benefits.

    I am also an introvert. There are times when this adds to my frustration (read- need to play nicely with others), but I still do not regret my choice. There are also, by the way, areas of nursing that suit introverted people more (eg. public health, or other areas where you would be working as an individul, rather then as a member of a team). I am certain you will find your niche.
  7. by   dianacs
    I'm not your typical "people person" either, but social skills can be learned, and as others have pointed out, many pts appreciate caregivers who aren't talking their ears off. Don't worry, I'm sure there's a place for us in nursing.
  8. by   Qwiigley
    I think that you should persue something that does not involve people. Nothing is worse than a person who won't smile and be friendsly and caring when a patient is dying. This is supposed to be a transition and they need help. I don't want a person in my room who has trouble being a person, too. Besides, your peers will eat you alive.
  9. by   dianacs
    I think Q. is mistaking introversion for lack of compassion/inability to do the job. Not the same thing! You will find your own ways to show you care. And people will appreciate it. And is everyone comfortable with pts right off the bat? I doubt it. We all have something to learn and comfort levels to find. Hang in there.
  10. by   Roland
    I can tell you that the nurses I liked the most were the sincere ones, not necessarilly the friendliest ones. I think children in particular have a sixth sense for sincerity. God has blessed each of us with unique and wonderful attributes. If you approach your patients with the love that you clearly posess in your heart (based on your message) this will come through!
  11. by   mario_ragucci
    One of the great things about people is that we are all connected. You see, if people get bored, they can connect with each other. Also, if a person is energized, energy can be given to others merely because we as people are connected.

    Vettech - can I ask you if you suffer with what you call depression? I took that Myers-Briggs test and am high on extrovert and feeling. I would like to talk to people who are the opposite of me because they would be the most interesting connections :-)
  12. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I wouldn't worry about it much. I never used to think of myself as much of a people person, and I think nursing has helped to bring that part of me out more. It's puts you in really personal situations where you have no option but to talk to people. Kind of "breaks the ice." Now I talk to everyone and there brother. In line at the grocery store, my husband is always saying "but you don't even know them........"

    It will come, I promise.

    Heather
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Originally posted by Qwiigley
    Besides, your peers will eat you alive.
    Lol, what do you mean :-) Here we go again with the "nurse eat nurse" stuff :-) Lol.
    Last edit by mario_ragucci on Sep 21, '02
  14. by   live4today
    Hello Vettech

    Like the others, I too, agree that you shouldn't base whether or not you'd make a good nurse on your having an introverted personality. Don't let that be a stumbling block for you. Opening up to people isn't easy for everyone, but in the right setting that you are compassionate and passionate about, you'll do just fine.....better than fine...don't under estimate yourself. I wish you all the best! If you are good with animals, that shows right there that you have a compassionately kind and giving heart...THAT is a good start. The rest will come in due time. :kiss

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