The responsibilities a Nurse Practitioner (NP) fulfills are immense. These professionals carry the passion of a nurse and perform duties almost akin to doctors. It is only possible because of their vast knowledge and qualifications. It is also one of the reasons why patient care under an NP is incredible.
Nurse Practitioners’ duties range from caring for patients and curing them of it on their own. Their career is rarely stagnant. They can work in different healthcare settings such as hospitals and outpatient centers. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, there are few skills that you need. These skills will enable you to assist patients and diagnose diseases properly. So, here’s what you need to know:
1. Have core competencies
Core competencies are ethical standards that you need to develop to work as an NP. Your competency decides how well you will progress in your career. As an NP, you must have a robust scientific foundation. Your background understanding and comprehension of clinical skills should be concrete.
The care you provide patients must align with hospital policies such as sanitizing before every check-up. In addition to these skills, you also need to be technology and information literate to generate improved health outcomes. It may sound tedious, but it is what makes an NP stand out from RNs. It is also the reason why an MSN FNP salary is so attractive. So, if you want a lucrative career, ensure you work on yourself and building your core competencies.
2. Excellent communication skills
Effective communication is the basis of any career. However, as a nurse, your communication skills need to be well developed. You will deal with a range of patients, and the language you use will differ according to the patient you are currently treating. The way you speak to a toddler is not how you will talk to an adult. As you collect the information your patient provides, don’t forget to confirm any important additional details.
You also need to explain to the patient what their possible treatment looks like and their options in simplified terms. It is also a good idea to learn more than one language. Suppose you’re practicing in a state where you have a large Hispanic community. In that case, knowing Spanish and English will help you do your job even better. Communication is not limited to how you talk, don’t forget to mind your body language.
3. Display leadership qualities
There is a fine line between malpractice and treating a patient. Therefore, when you take the responsibility to maneuver a complicated guess, know what you’re doing and do it confidently. Your team will also look towards you for guidance. Any decision you make needs to be effective and efficient. Every case you’ll deal with is different. That is why managing them is essential. If too many hands are on deck without a mutual leader, there will only be confusion and disagreements. So, as an NP, you can be a leader and take charge of a case till you feel a patient is in a steady condition.
4. Be analytical
An analysis is reading between the lines. As a care provider, the cases you read need analysis. You need to identify if the disease is congenital or developmental. If it is hereditary, what does the treatment look like, or does it even have a solution? These are essential questions you need to ask to gauge a patient’s symptoms so you can help them. Without properly studying a case and thinking deeply about it, you may misdiagnose a patient.
The analysis also helps you think of alternate non-invasive methods. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury to walk a patient through an extensive process and need to shortcut to make them stable. The best way to develop critical skills is through practice and research. Try taking up more cases and publishing or reading research papers that will help you harness this skill.
5. Manage pressure
Hospitals can get chaotic. This is because numerous patients are coming in and going out. As an NP, you may take on multiple cases at a time. This is not unusual. Hospitals usually have one medical provider for several patients. So, it is on you to balance these cases. You may come across patients who are uncooperative and highly aggressive. That may frustrate you and may push you to lose your patience. Simultaneously there is also paperwork you need to sort out for every patient you see.
Juggling between treating and filing paperwork is nerve-wracking. However, no matter how difficult it may seem, you need to maintain your composure and not let the pressure get to you. If you struggle with your anger, you may want to seek help before it affects your professional etiquette.
6. Create a learning environment for employees
One of the most rewarding aspects of your job is to create a learning environment for employees. The skills, knowledge, and talent you possess are invaluable. Not only will new and fresh nurses look up to you, but your mentorship will also help them achieve milestones. You can teach in nursing schools, conduct workshops, and even prepare resources. You may even create teams of nurses and help them navigate through their careers. For example, if you’re working on a patient, nurses can work under your shadow to hone their skills and knowledge. While they’re shadowing you, inform them about techniques, ethical standards, and how to ensure they’re working correctly. A learning environment is crucial for the medical staff. Since it is a skill-based industry, you will flourish if you know how to practice and work on your skills.
7. Learn to manage time
Time management is essential as a Nurse Practitioner. It isn’t just for work but also your personal life. Everything works in an interconnected manner. If you learn to manage time, you free up a slot for yourself to help you relax. Relaxation is beneficial for your mental health. You need to know how to manage the cases you get and mentor new trainees. Take patients that you can handle and delegate the rest to your team. Once you learn the art of delegation and management, you will know how to manage your time.
Nurse practitioners enjoy a prestigious position in the healthcare sector. If you want to be a good nurse practitioner, you need to work on your skills. Ensure you develop a strong core and learn the art of carrying a communication as a medical provider. You also need to assert yourself as a leader and go through cases analyzing them deeply. It is a given that this is a highly pressurized work environment, so you need to find your balance to succeed further.
Finally, create a learning environment for your employees, and don’t forget the most important element, time management.