Each one of us has different and unique natural strengths and gifts. No two people are alike and no two nurses are the same. As nurses, we bring our unique gifts to our nursing practice as well as to our work team. Do you know what your gifts are?
Here are some common nurse profiles. See if you recognize any of these nurses in your coworkers or maybe even yourself.
Kim the Helper
Kim is intuitive, empathetic, and kind. She knows when to comfort with a warm blanket without being asked and prides herself on her warm-blanket-applying skills. She knows when to leave a patient and family alone and when to be available if they want to talk.
She can walk into a patient room and whether she finds a doctor talking to a patient, or family members with their loved one, she reads the vibe in the room accurately every time. She can join a conversation midway and not miss a beat because she intuits what is going on. She understands others’ feelings and motives without being told.
It brings Kim joy to help people, whether getting a diet tray up ASAP after surgery or finding large sized slipper socks for her patient with size 13 feet.
As a coworker, she senses if you are stressed or not feeling well and offers to help or gives a hug. Kim writes notes of appreciation to her coworkers and always nominates someone for Employee of the Month because she is genuinely appreciative of others.
Marsha the Pro
Marsha has an easy way with her patients. She’s very comfortable with herself and an experienced, confident nurse. She approaches each patient differently, joking cheerfully with some, practicing respectful quietness with another. Marsha flirts mildly with her older male patients as a way of putting them at ease, and they love her for it.
Marsha can skillfully handle irate doctors and anxious family members with ease. She makes everything look easy, no matter how busy the day. Marsha can start an IV on almost anyone using a blind stick. Younger nurses go to her for help or questions, and doctors always look around the floor to see if she’s on when they round.
Amanda the Connector
Amanda is a Peds nurse and distracts her pediatric patients like a pro when performing a procedure or inserting an IV. She delights them and always knows exactly what to say. She’s chatty and warm. Parents draw a sigh of relief when Amanda is on, because she instills confidence with her demeanor and they relax in her competent presence.
She’s also the Connector on her nursing unit. Amanda has everyone’s cell phone number, and remembers everyone’s birthday. She crochets adorable baby hats for baby showers and organizes monthly birthday potlucks. She is the unit documenter of photos and events.
Jamie the Fixer of Machines
Jamie has spatial and mechanical intelligence. Not a small talent, she can push the right buttons on any infusion pump and get it going. Unjam the printer and unlock the Omnicell. Operate any new equipment. Nurses like myself who lack spatial intelligence and can’t tie a slip knot on a restraint to save their lives are in awe of her skills.
Everyone goes to Jamie when their computer freezes, their feeding pump mysteriously alarms, or the time clock is not cooperating. It’s believed that Jamie has only to stand in the vicinity of a computer and it will right itself.
It goes without saying that Jamie is missed on her days off.
Kelly the Leader
Kelly is a natural leader. She doesn’t try to be- she just is. As a youngster, she rounded up the neighborhood kids and taught them all school, with her being the teacher. She has only been out of school a couple of years, and already serves as back-up charge nurse.
When administration or nursing leadership announces a change that affects nursing, many of the staff look to Kelly to see how she reacts and take their cue from her. As charge nurse, she can make decisions quickly with minimal information and somehow, things tend to work out smoothly.
How do you see yourself? Is it the same as how others see you, or different? Practice self-awareness and listen to feedback from others. Take the feedback to heart because often we don’t see ourselves as others do.
For example, often people who are shy are mistaken for being aloof, when what they really want is to connect with others but can’t seem to do it comfortably.
Nurture your natural gifts, and strengthen whatever is your weakest link.
Until next time friend,