Not a people person... (Yikes!)

  1. nursing-student-people-
  2. Do you think you should have "people person" (communication) skills to go into nursing?

    Some people think - YES, it's a requirement. Others strongly believe that it if you are not a people person than nursing profession is not for you.

    What do you think?
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,432; Likes: 16,403 founder; from US
    Specialty: 18+ year(s) of experience in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele


  4. by   Tinkk
    I don't necessarily think it's a requirement...I know a few people who were pretty shy when they went into nursing but they gained "people" skills and love being a nurse now. I'm not speaking for everyone, just my opinion.
  5. by   ArrowRN
    For us I think that is why they invented the OR and anesthesiology...knock em Seriously though I've seen some CRNA's in action and that field really appeals to me.
  6. by   Blackcat99
    I think not being a "people person" can be helpful. With all of the "medication errors" at my LTC, it might be best to have some "task oriented people" to help reduce medication errors. Some patients just want to talk about their problems and a quiet more introverted nurse may be more inclined to be a "better listener"
  7. by   TheCommuter
    I'm meekly raising my hand. . .I am definitely not a people person.

    I am an introvert who does not necessarily enjoy meeting new people, although I put on my game face for patients and their families. Also, I’m not the nurse who seeks validation or needs to 'be needed' by others. People say I’m quiet. I'm task-oriented and often create a ‘to do’ list when each shift begins.

    Small talk annoys me, but I will chat with overly talkative patients and family members. I am serious and lack a sense of humor to the point that I take some jokes literally. I have a restricted affect, intermittent eye contact, and I do not smile that much because my smiles come across as phony and contrived.

    It took several years of working as a nurse to figure out that my interpersonal skills were problematic and that I wasn't much of a people person. Yes, I seriously lacked self-awareness.
  8. by   CJ NV
    I think it's an acquired skill to become a people person especially in nursing.Constantly dealing with people,interest in teaching and educating patients and their families,dealing with co workers and staff,doctors,ancillary services,administrators and management.I think it can be learned over time.It's just my opinion...
  9. by   HouTx
    I've never actually understood what "people person" means... Is it meant to be synonymous with "chatty"? Or does it mean that we are interested in the welfare of our fellow beings?

    Since the sole reason that our profession exists is to provide services to "people", wouldn't that make all of us 'people persons'? What would be the alternative? Hmmm, come to think of it, I do think I have met a few CC nurses that could definitely be considered "machine people" or "technology people".
  10. by   Wrench Party
    I think people get communication skills and introversion/extroversion mixed up. The former refers to effectively getting ideas across, and the latter refers to a person's basic tendencies to be energized or not by others. Many introverts can function within prescribed roles, especially with the comfort of familiarity.
  11. by   redmorgan
    I'm neither timid nor introverted, but I'm not a "people person". While I'm comfortable interacting with people from all walks of life, I don't exactly actively seek out those interactions lol! I work in LTC and often find talking too much to certain residents and/or their families leaves me feeling drained. I'm definitely more task-oriented, and, as an above poster mentioned, start my shift off by making myself a "to-do list". I often joke with my coworkers about one day landing my dream job where all my patients are sedated/intubated/comatose, friendless orphans. Terrible, I know. lol
  12. by   T.H.R.N.
    Redmorgan...that cracked me up!!! Been there. And I generally like people.
    Last edit by T.H.R.N. on Jan 24, '14 : Reason: I addressed it specifically to Redmorgan
  13. by   Emergent
    I am not a people person by nature. I feel drained by people. Yet, I have a superior bedside manner and have received many patient compliments, and even an award by my facility.

    I have a real knack that I've developed for feeling out the patient, winning their trust, and meeting them where they are. I can always get them to open up. I can walk into a room and act very interested in them for a short period of time, even if I find them repulsive. I'm really nice and courteous to everyone.

    When I was first in nursing school I had not worked in healthcare before. I was literally petrified to enter my first patient's room for about 10 minutes. Another student was the same, and we stood in the hallway trying to get our nerve up.

    I've come a long ways since then. I do enjoy my interactions with my diverse patients now. But I still need my days off to recharge from both them and from being around my co-workers.
  14. by   Stcroix
    Yes, a nurse needs people skills. When we care for our patients, we treat their ills with our skills of assessment, catering to their physical needs, and delivering ordered care. That is only part of caring for the sick or infirm. We must also care for their mental welfare by making them comfortable, acknowledging their feelings, listening and sharing a moment. After all, they are very vulnerable. Ya, I know some will say "I'd take a skillful nurse over a caring nurse any day", but I wonder what the average patient thinks. Like it or not, in today's world compensation is tied to satisfaction- not results, so if asked I know what the average employer would say about this issue.
  15. by   NurseGirl525
    Let me tell you, I do not like people. People are rude, ignorant, and lazy. I worked in retail for many years and I got jaded. Now having the "skills" to deal with people is a completely different thing all together. Someone can like people but have absolutely no idea how to deal with them. Especially difficult ones. People like me who may not really like people but have aquired the skills on how to deal with them, makes a much better nurse if you ask me.

    I can deal with all types of people and do it with a smile on my face and the most sincere attitude possible. I am also very good at reading people and deciding how to deal with their particular personality. I have seen supposed people persons reduced to tears over a difficult customer. They can't understand why anyone would ever be mean to them. Me on the other hand, knows how they tick and how to make them happy.