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Nursing Soft Skills Are Crucial to Patient Satisfaction

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In today’s opinionated, word-of-mouth driven society, patient satisfaction is a very important part of a health care experience. Patients are quick to share their experiences – good and bad – through review channels, social media sites, and simply by talking to their friends and neighbors. Those in the healthcare profession who work directly with patients should be aware of this as they interact and work to strengthen their “soft skills” to help make their care a little more personal. 

Compassion is one of the most critical skills in any health care professional. While it can be easy to become hardened to the less pleasant side of your job, maintaining a level of compassionate care with patients and their families is important. Dealing with any type of medical issue can be an emotional time and people need the personal care and understanding of a nurse who can sympathize and understand their feelings about what they are facing.

Flexibility and problem solving skills can do a lot to increase the satisfaction of a patient.  Understanding that things aren’t always as cut-and-dried as we would like them to be and being able to adjust on the fly to accommodate issues and challenges is a wonderful asset in any environment. Creative problem solving skills that can help you to alter plans or compromise to better accommodate everyone’s needs. Whether this skill set is used at bedside or simply in your day-to-day interactions with others working within your unit, being in tune with the needs of others and working together to find solutions that are amicable to everyone is so important for success as a nurse.

Solid communication skills are a must. Whether you are helping a patient to understand the treatment protocol, the prognosis of their illness, or simply trying to help them understand their role in the treatment process, communicating your points clearly and ensuring that all necessary information is shared is important. Fluency in a second language can also be helpful, as this can be a roadblock to successful patient care in many areas.

Attitude is likely the most important soft skill that should be honed by anyone in the healthcare profession, every single day. When interacting with patients or other staff, keeping a positive outlook even in the face of adversity, can make or break someone’s day and even change their own outlook. Nursing is a tough profession and sometimes surrounded by negative things, but by projecting a positive attitude in care and in simple conversation, even when you don’t really feel positive, you can make a difference.

While the hard skills needed to do your job effectively are an absolute must, these soft skills are just as important to achieving greatness in your profession. Those who have the perfect combination of technical skill and bedside manner are the most sought after nurses in the profession. Take a look at your own abilities and make adjustments where needed to ensure that your patients are receiving only the best from you.

 on /Posted in Nursing
Contributor Ron Washburn

Ron is currently the executive vice president of Soliant and has been with the company for more than 28 years now. He oversees our nursing and allied health division and has been with Soliant since its small beginnings in the early 90s. He’s an integral part of our organization, and not only hosts trainings for our groups but manages company events and continues to run a desk of clients and candidates. He is experienced in contract placement, recruiting, permanent placement and internet recruiting within the healthcare industry. Ron possesses a Master's degree focused on Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from Georgia State University. Don’t forget to check out the rest of his blogs!