The introverted nurse - page 2

by esunada 16,115 Views | 30 Comments

Hello, I'm a nursing student. i just had my clinical eval and my prof focused almost the entire session on how quiet I was, how I need to be more assertive in clinicals, talk in class more, and be confident - have more of a... Read More


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    If I were a patient I think I would be most happy with an introverted nurse. I have many introverted friends in my nursing program with personalities similar to what you describe. Once we start talking one on one they are not introverted at all - but wonderful listeners all the same. If I were ever a charge nurse or manager I would take special note of the introverts. Very often you all are hiding some very rare gems.

    As for me, I am one those outgoing introverts. I love talking to people and being involved in a work setting but I am very shy and anxious in social settings. I feel that I "come alive" in the hospital. But I wouldn't want to come too alive... Sometimes the outgoing young nurses can come across as obnoxious while the quiet and calm ones really put people's minds at ease. People probably feel very safe in your hands.

    One last note, don't let one person's criticisms get you down. Not everyone is able to understand that people are different from themselves and that introverts have just as much if not more to offer.
    Hygiene Queen, mitral, and Gold_SJ like this.
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    My instructor in school told me the same thing. It's like people want you to change your entire personality from a quiet person to a talkative person, and I don't think that's possible. If I don't feel like talking, I'm not going to. I'll talk when I have something to say. But, I actually talk a lot to friends and patients as well. I interact well with my patients and coworkers and voice my opinion when needed and that's what matters.
    Last edit by Brea LPN on May 17, '11
    Gold_SJ likes this.
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    I sometimes think that my personality and temperament are not compatible with nursing, although I generally get along well with my patients and family members.

    People tend to describe me as quiet. I'm detail-oriented, task-oriented, and usually prepare a "to do" list before the start of each shift. I am very introverted and do not enjoy passing the breeze with small talk. I prefer discussing topics that are academic, worldly, or intellectually stimulating to me. However, I will engage in small chatter if it makes the patient or visitor feel more at ease. I am very serious, occasionally uptight, lack a sense of humor, and I do not smile much because my smiles frequently come across as fake. I'll be the first person to admit that my interpersonal skills need plenty of polishing.

    I am definitely not a charmer. My best friend, who is also a nurse, knows how to charm people by telling them what they want to hear, flattering them with phony compliments, telling them little fibs and lies that will make them feel good about themselves, and generally "playing the game" to be viewed favorably by others. However, I cannot bring myself to the point of kissing another person's butt just to get that person to think fondly of me.

    I'm outwardly calm, thoughtful, mellow, and very non-confrontational. Confrontation disturbs me greatly. I prefer one-on-one interaction versus mingling in a large group of people. I also prefer night shifts due to having less people around.
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    Quote from Flo.
    We have a very introverted nurse on my floor and she was nurse of the year for the whole hospital! She is a great pt advocate. When she speaks up about a pt concern everyone listens. So you can be a great nurse and an introvert.
    I have known people like this too, they don't talk much, but when they do, what they say is invariably worthwhile (unlike some others who can't seem to shut up, all the while saying very little [glances in mirror]). I value and admire introverts immensely and I wish I could do it, I really do.

    You guys are awesome, just keep on being your quiet, strong selves, we need it, the patients need it and it makes the world a better, calmer place.
    mitral and Gold_SJ like this.
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    People tend to describe me as quiet. I'm detail-oriented, task-oriented, and usually prepare a "to do" list before the start of each shift. I am very introverted and do not enjoy passing the breeze with small talk. I prefer discussing topics that are academic, worldly, or intellectually stimulating to me. However, I will engage in small chatter if it makes the patient or visitor feel more at ease. I am very serious, occasionally uptight, lack a sense of humor, and I do not smile much because my smiles frequently come across as fake. I'll be the first person to admit that my interpersonal skills need plenty of polishing.

    I think it is great that you are detail-oriented and task oriented. I am a nursing student and I always make "to do" lists. I know you mentioned that you do not smile much. Sometimes a simple smile will make your patients day!!!
    Last edit by TheCommuter on May 18, '11 : Reason: quote blocks
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    Quote from lkolod
    I know you mentioned that you do not smile much. Sometimes a simple smile will make your patients day!!!
    However, my smiles come across as fake as a $3 bill, and people detect this.
    intro vert and Hygiene Queen like this.
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    Quite a dilemma: how to be yourself without actually acting like yourself? My prior career was in chemistry, and I worked in a lab and loved because I didn't have to be around a crowd. When we moved, I was forced into a career change, so I chose nursing. It has made me learn how to adapt to being around and having prolonged interactions with individuals, but it was very difficult. People misunderstood my motivations frequently (mostly coworkers) because they didn't understand me at all. After five years, they all know and love me, and I them. It's not easy, I wish you luck in that journey. Just remember, if they don't understand you, you may not completely understand them either.
    mitral likes this.
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    Just for the fact that you are identifying your concern about being introverted tells me you are going to be fine. I love the quiet nurses, in my vast experience as a nurse the quiet ones always step up to the plate and be counted, just because they are quiet does not mean they do not have lots to offer.
    I have recieved the oppersite critisism I am too enthusiastic and positive so I scare people off because I love change and challenges.
    There is room for all in nursing
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    Another quiet RN here-
    I had a review recently with my nurse manager and she told me the same kinds of things- "your patients are going to think you're not confident or competent" and "we want you to be just as loud and obnoxious as the rest of us and join in!". Sometimes I think being quiet makes OTHER people feel uncomfortable and they want you to be like them, which is lame. We need all different types of personalities IMO. Anyway, my nurse manager has never been in a patient room with me. I may be quiet around HER, but I am actually quite comfortable and talkative with my patients. I'm not this shaking, timid, strange little thing who doesnt say a peep. And like others have said, I have gotten many a compliment on my kind, calm bedside manner and my listening skills. I (quietly) noted my managers comments and made the decision to just keep being who I am. I am smart, compassionate, respectful, do speak up if needed and I work hard. I think these traits are much more important than being able to easily gab with others. I have been getting the "too quiet" comment from people since I was in kindergarten, it's likely I'm not going to change all of the sudden now!

    Anyway, I think you'll be just fine. Just be yourself! As one of my co-workers once put it "we don't need another bee to add to the hive".
    mitral and Gold_SJ like this.
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    Seriously I think all personality types bring their gifts and liabilities to the table in 'any' occupation. Quiteness is a wonderful state to bring to the bedside, being able to listen and give that peace to a hectic day or a time of stress. Just as an outgoing chatty nurse can brighten a persons day with an amusing tale or their vibrant spirit.

    There's a place for all of us and I think the worst thing a person can do is try to make themselves into something they're not. It will just make you feel uncomfortable and fake, you're just a student yet.

    You wait, I was quiet as when a student, but when I got full on into the job out with my new degree and settled into my world of paediatrics surrounded by children, knowing the staff and the policies. You come right out of your shell, sure I'm not some extroverted social masterpiece of anything of that variety. But you find you can be yourself and you'll have no problem advocating for your patient or interacting with fellow staff.

    Give yourself a chance and don't put so much pressure on yourself.

    There's all sorts of us and what brings us together is our love to care for people, being quiet has not hindered me and I love my job and do great nursing care. Some people just can't comprehend the opposite side of the spectrum and think we have to fit a certain mould which to me is impossible.

    You'll make an amazing nurse
    mitral and 2bAngilRN like this.


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