What Makes a Great Nurse - page 5

by nkochrn | 30,320 Views | 48 Comments

When I was in nursing school, one thing I always remember hearing the instructors say is straight As are not what makes a good nurse. Theres nothing wrong with getting straight As of course, but it takes a lot more than that... Read More


  1. 0
    That's very true, A Nurse to me should be, stoic, compassionate, empathetic, and non judgemental.
  2. 0
    I know I am only a student but this video drives the sort of nurse I want to be. You need to watch from 3:15 to 12min. Have a look:

    My Vision for Nursing - Presentation by Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer NHS CBA - YouTube
  3. 1
    Quote from KyleLVN
    That's very true, A Nurse to me should be, stoic, compassionate, empathetic, and non judgemental.

    I find it very, very, very depressing to see that the popular vision of excellence in nursing never includes "smart, well-educated, good judgment, expert."
    Esme12 likes this.
  4. 0
    I love to see all this debating going on related to addiction. We as a society are just scratching the surface related to Chemical dependency, and mental illness. The two quite often go hand in hand. What saddens me is to hear Nurses say they do not judge, give their hard line opinion, then state they would take care of "Them" anyway. Well, "Them" are someone's Son, Daughter, Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Spouse, Friend. Unfortunately, until this horrible disease affects one where it hurts, understanding will not occur. In life, and especially as Nurses, we LEARN compassion through experience, EMPATHY, rather; you either have, or you do not. When you practice Empathy, it doesn't matter what perceived choice your patient made or didn't make. In that moment, they are looking to you to be their advocate. Yes, there are many who abuse the system...How many will be punished out of assumptions, judgement, and personal perspective not left at the door, who simply hurt? We do not know another's story, just as they do not know ours, and unless one CHOOSES to share their story, it's not our business. Focus on the moment, not what we believe led to them being our patient in that moment, and you have an amazing opportunity to extend a Nurses kindness that may just change that persons life. Peace
  5. 0
    I find a lot of nurses extremely judgemental, particularly of other nurses.
  6. 1
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    Hi, Good article. I am only still in the pre-req stage in my journey, but there is one thing about your article that REALLY, and I mean REALLY bothers me. It is about addiction being a disease... Now, even if the medical and nursing community can TECHNICALLY give a million reasons why a pt's addiction is similar to (or, as is claimed) an ACTUAL disease, I have to point out a certain piece of information that is akin to shouting " The Emperer has no clothes..." These addicts CHOSE to take whatever substance they are addicted to that first (or second, or third or 50th time...), knowing that the possibility of them becoming addicts existed.

    I know as an aspiring Nurse that I'm supposed to sympathize with these people-and make no mistake, once I am an RN I will do what is expected of me regardless of my personal feelings- but they made their bed, and now they expect the rest of us to lie in it with them... I'm sorry but I don't agree. Many of these addicts are going to the ER on the taxpayers dime, and I personally think that this needs to stop.
    Many people say addiction starts out as a choice...it is understandable to some degree.
    Now let me tell you my story...
    I've been in the nursing field for 15 years, staring out as a CNA. I'm 37 years old and I NEVER even tried drugs. I always thought if you tried drugs just one time you will be an addict and end up living on the street with nothing...not even teeth (teeth are my big thing)! The first time I drank alcohol I was 25. I had a pretty hard life struggling as a teen mom, abused wife and so on and on (another story for another time). Needless to say I had a million reasons to start a path in a different direction than the one I choose and worked very hard to get where I am at. So, at the age of 30 my hips started popping and began to hurt especially my left hip. My doctor diagnosed it as bursitias. Over the next 5 years it continuelly got worse. My doctor prescribed me Norco. I took it occasionally for pain. During the 5th year after my diagnosis the pain was really bad and I was taking Norco on a daily basis. By this time it was hurting so bad I was taking quite a bit of it. I was going to the doctor often and the doctors started treating me like I was just a drug seeker. I finally got my doctor to refer me to Ortho. I had X-Rays, cat scan, fluoroscopy, and finally a MRI. The Ortho doctor diagnosed me with arthritis. By this time I was in so much pain I was taking a ton of Norco I continued to go to the doctor for the horrific pain and they were still treating me as if I were just a drug seeker. I assume they were thinking that a young healthy 35 year old could not be in that much pain. The doctor finally offered me the choice of having hip arthoplasty. I immediately said yes. By this time I was in so much pain I would have done anything for just any kind of relief. Finally, after my surgery the doctor realized how much pain I was in and why. He shaved the femur head and neck, cut a big chunk of bone out and cut off all the tears in the labrum. He also said my femor was so irritated and was actually red. After the surgey I was about 99% pain free! The doctor also said it was one of the most successful surgeries as most of the time the pain is only relieved to a certain point not completely gone. It was so great to finally be pain free! But. By that point I had been taking Norco for 5 year and towards the end I was taking so much (WAY WAY WAY to much) just to relieve the pain.

    As I said I never did any type of drug ever my whole life. The doctor prescribed me something to relieve the pain and after 5 years I was treated like a drug seeker and never did they try to fix the problem but only treat the symptoms and over time they didn't even think I had a pain problem only a drug problem.

    I had my surgery 2 years ago. It has been such a struggle ever since.i did rehab and stopped using but every day is still a struggle. I fight the addiction and severe depression. The hardest part for me to deal with is that I spent 30 years never doing drugs because I never wanted to be addicted to any type of drug, but yet I ended up addicted to drugs because my doctor prescribed me them and never taking the time to actually figure out what the real problem was.

    With all that being said it bothers me when people say addicts chose their addiction. I didn't choose to be an addict, I choose to trust my doctor! If I knew then what I know now maybe I could have made different decisions and been more proactive in demanding my doctor do more than give me pills. But, you can't unring the bell!

    I would love for people to give me their honest opinions about my situation but please don't be mean or disrespectful!
    dpcRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    Hi, Good article. I am only still in the pre-req stage in my journey, but there is one thing about your article that REALLY, and I mean REALLY bothers me. It is about addiction being a disease... Now, even if the medical and nursing community can TECHNICALLY give a million reasons why a pt's addiction is similar to (or, as is claimed) an ACTUAL disease, I have to point out a certain piece of information that is akin to shouting " The Emperer has no clothes..." These addicts CHOSE to take whatever substance they are addicted to that first (or second, or third or 50th time...), knowing that the possibility of them becoming addicts existed.
    A way to describe addiction from an addicts point of view. Its like the dog who thinks its taking its owner for a walk and realises actually its on a choke chain. I realised I had an addiction to sleeping pills after being on them every night for 18 months. My GP was brilliant in terms of helping me to get off the infernal things. No one would ever know now this RN had an active addition

    I know as an aspiring Nurse that I'm supposed to sympathize with these people-and make no mistake, once I am an RN I will do what is expected of me regardless of my personal feelings- but they made their bed, and now they expect the rest of us to lie in it with them... I'm sorry but I don't agree. Many of these addicts are going to the ER on the taxpayers dime, and I personally think that this needs to stop.
    No, you are expected to have empathy with people. Empathy is empowering, sympathy is not. It can be really easy to sit in judgment of people who's circumstances we dont under stand. And to be honest judgement from health professionals is not remotely helpful

    When I was on my paediatricts placement, we had a young patient whose mum was put on home D. Now mum was supposed to be with her kid but kept naffing off and never anywhere to be found.I really really wanted to smack this woman after her child had a painful procedure and they just lay without crying or whimpering where as other kids the same age were screaming the ward down.

    I realised that while judging people is easy, walking along side them and empowering them to make different decisions is far harder but heck its rewarding.

    So please do your future patients a favour and loose the judgementalism. Its not remotely helpful and can be very harmful
  8. 0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    Hi Op. I apologize for taking your post in a direction that you had not intended it to go. I understand that you meant this to be a source of reference and inspiration, and again I did not mean to shift it away from that focus.

    I would like to explain why I feel the way I do. Not that I'm apologizing, but so you all can at least kind of understand why I feel the way I feel. I'll start by telling you that I grew up around these people. In fact nearly ALL of my family are addicts of some form or another. I grew up watching them (this includes my mother and step dad, both of whom I loved very much) nodding off and passing out and dropping right in front of me-public and private-on a regular basis..
    Sorry for what you grew up around.

    One thing that is important for being a brilliant RN is being able to put our own experiences into context and realising how they impact our practice. They do not give us the right to sit in judgement of our patients because we dont agree with their life choices

    And the reality is people aren't silly, and judgmental health professionals arent exactly subtle. A non judgmental nurse can be the difference between life and death
  9. 0
    Quote from GrnTea
    "Compassion" is a lot more than you think. It is actually not what you say, which was, "A nurse with compassion is one who truly cares about her patients (sic) well-being and outcome. This nurse treats her patients as she would expect any other nurse to treat herself or own loved ones."

    Nice idea, but not remotely relevant to the concept.

    Read this carefully. Compassion is defined as "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." The "sympathy" part is also generally misunderstood, as it has connotations of pity, expressing sorrow at a loss, for example. But sympathy means "harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another,
    the harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions, the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration."

    Compassion, therefore, absolutely requires the ability to put oneself in the other's position and fully imagine (not guess) at that person's feelings, needs, and fears, to feel the same as that person. This is far different from what you describe.

    It is, however, a necessary attribute of an effective nurse. This is because we must recognize that the patient is the one with the disease (thanks, House of God), and, most importantly, the patient is in charge of the treatment plan. We might not like a patient's decision but we are honor bound to understand and accept it.

    THAT is compassion, feeling together.

    Without a keen understanding of this very key concept, one can never understand what it takes "to be a great nurse."


    BRAVO! One thousand 'Likes" !


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