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The qualities of a good psychiatric nurse

© Jaimie Duplass Beautiful Nurse
© Jaimie Duplass

The importance of reflection

Whether you have just qualified, or you have been nursing for years, it is important to occasionally take a step back and examine your practice. It is a sad fact that nurses do burn out, and some become complacent after a while. Thinking about your practice, and remembering why you became a nurse in the first place, can help you to decide whether you are in the right place or whether it’s time for a change of department.

The importance of making time in nursing

When people are admitted to a psychiatric facility it is usually on one of the worst days of their lives. For a patient to know that you are genuinely interested and want to spend time with them, even if it’s just to listen to what they have to say, makes a huge difference. With the increasing amounts of paperwork and audits that nurses face it can feel difficult to find time for face to face time with a patient. It is vital that you make that time. For a person struggling with inner turmoil this is what they need more than anything.

The importance of knowing yourself

Knowing your strengths, weaknesses and moral viewpoints, both as a nurse and an individual, is invaluable in being a successful nurse. To remain an effective nurse it is important to put any personal feelings aside when dealing with a situation that might otherwise evoke an emotional reaction that could cloud your judgement, and treatment, of a patient. One of the best ways to do this is by being self aware.

No one is perfect and all nurses have, at one time or another, wondered if it is the right career for them. By constantly reflecting on, and evaluating, your clinical practice you can continue to be the best you can be, for you and your patients.

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