Regardless of your specialty or the type of healthcare facility you work for, as a nurse, you have a goal; to provide excellent quality of care to your patients.
Nowadays, nursing is more than just giving medicine to an ailing patient. While offering excellent bedside care is a crucial component of a nurse’s role, it is not the only skill you need to master.
There will always be tests to perform, medications to administer, medical histories to collect, charts to fill out, and much more.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic requires nurses to put in more overtime than they usually would, and if you’re not mindful of what you’re doing, chances are your work performance, and reputation will take a hit.
Everybody from patients to healthcare leaders to other medical workers knows that nurses are the heart and soul of the healthcare system. And due to this reason, a healthcare facility’s reliance on its nursing staff will never be an unknown factor.
Hence, nurses everywhere are looking for new ways to improve their performance on the floor. After all, being on your feet 24/7 is a challenging task indeed, which can result in burnout, and in turn, a decrease in productivity levels.
With that in mind, let us look at a few tips that nurses can utilize to improve their work performance.
Take advantage of further education opportunities.
Your education shouldn’t stop after graduating from nursing school or even after mastering the workplace’s policies. Undoubtedly, continuous learning is a part of the development process, and nurses must strive and leverage any further education opportunities they get.
So, consider obtaining an advanced nursing certification or enrolling in a higher education degree such as an online MSN to remain up-to-date with the latest care techniques and deliver the best quality of care to your patients.
In the end, when it comes to improving your work performance as a nurse, a love for lifelong learning will benefit you the most.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
If you want to provide exceptional care to your patients, look after yourself first. After all, if you’re physically and mentally unwell, you won’t be able to work at your maximum potential.
Though making time for yourself can be tricky while working in the healthcare field, learning to relax and managing your health is vital to improving your work performance.
Start by ensuring you’re getting ample sleep every night. Moreover, don’t forget to follow a healthy diet too. For instance, if you’re working the night shift, prepare some healthy snacks when you’re at home and bring them along with you.
Be serious about drinking and eating healthier foods, and follow an easy workout routine to keep yourself fit!
Improve your communication skills.
Being an excellent nurse requires top-notch clinical and communication skills. But, if you’re lacking in both of these departments, working on your nursing skills, especially communication skills, will allow you to improve your work performance.
Sometimes, communicating with others with your words and body language says everything about you. So, when communicating with your patients, be mindful of how you approach them. Be kind, calm, collected, and connect with your patients to make them feel comfortable.
Effective communication with your colleagues is a must as well. You can do this by asking to-the-point questions and explaining everything clearly so that everyone involved in the care process can understand you.
In fact, even if the subject is awkward, don’t tiptoe around and speak with assertiveness and confidence; instead, be polite when you do so. Sure, it will take some practice in the beginning but, in the end, don’t forget that effective communication is a vital part of improving your work performance.
Always remain People-oriented.
These days, most nurses are so caught up in being task-oriented that they forget their patients are the most critical part of the caregiving process. As a nurse, you will have many tasks to complete in a small amount of time, which can get in the way of prioritizing patient care.
You might ask them how they’re doing when you enter the patient room. But, ask yourself if you are giving them your complete and undivided attention.
Therefore, when you enter your patient’s room, greet them and tell them the reason you’re visiting them. Sit next to them, and maintain eye contact to understand what they’re feeling.
These little gestures go a long way and build trust. When you’re about to leave the patient’s room, check to ensure that everything is in order and if the patient needs something else.
Identify your career goals and work on achieving them.
Our brains respond better when we set goals and deadlines for a particular task. Setting goals and breaking them down into small chunks would be wise. So, when your shift starts, identify what you want to accomplish during your shift.
Then, work towards achieving your daily objectives. Furthermore, sit down and develop future goals as well.
Finally, ask yourself, where do you see yourself after ten or fifteen years? Do you like what you’re doing? would you be better off working as a traveling nurse or nursing instructor? In the end, determine your career goals and break them down into smaller daily goals.
After all, having something to work towards will allow your mind to remain focused while making you a better nurse in the process.
Having a positive outlook about life and work in general will do wonders for your work performance. But, know this; your work attitude and behavior are two different things. If your heart isn’t in a particular task, the chances are that you won’t perform it as efficiently as possible.
Furthermore, not taking good care of your mental and physical well-being is the main reason for declining workplace performance. So, don’t forget to take some time off and work on your overall health!