Caregiving is not just limited to the bedside. Nurses keep track of their patient’s well-being, diet, talk to the patients, often have to make them feel at ease so that they may be open to healing and taking their medicines on time or following the doctor’s orders / advice. Disease and sickness affect a person from all sides, taking a toll on their mental and emotional well-being. Nurses have to be tolerant of this while at the same time providing care and convincing the patient how treatment is necessary and beneficial.

Nurses are equipped with soft skills and values such as compassion, tolerance, politeness and positivity and these make them excellent and effective communicators.

Whether it is to update / report the status of a patient to the doctor, convey test results or diagnosis to the patient’s family, they effectively manage to bridge the gap of communication between the doctor, patient and the patient’s family or relatives.

Their excellent communication skills also make them great advisors, companions and teachers, these are the many roles they take on as their duties may also extend to educating the patient and family about their medical condition and offering advice, helpful hints or ways to tackle it. Their experience and knowledge gained equips them with a lot of such valuable information.

With their ability to converse and empathise with the patient, they naturally provide a feeling of companionship to the patient, thus creating an invaluable bond. This allows the patient to heal faster as they internally feel taken care of on many levels. Having someone around to convey their pains and problems to reduces their baggage and good nurses take care to see that the patient is most comfortable and relaxed at all times.

Nurses need to use their judgement for their patient’s health on a daily basis. This is where their critical thinking skills come into play as they come up with various creative solutions. Patient equipment may be altered or damaged due to power problems or blockage, some patients may have trouble taking pills due to difficulty in swallowing, many such problems that affect the patient’s course of treatment are encountered on a day to day basis. Nurses, with their knowledge, intelligence and experience tackle these problems and this is crucial to patient health.

Patients, under difficult medical conditions, may find it difficult to communicate what they want or to convey their problems. In such cases, a nurse is often the best person to turn to. They have a natural and learned ability to understand their patient’s needs and can effectively communicate the same to concerned people. Even without patient intervention, their experience and ability allows them to gauge what their patient may require and take appropriate steps in that direction.

– Written by Anubha Bhat