When Nursing is More Than Being a Nurse

February 5, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


“Soft skills,” such as mentorship, communication, and crisis management, are competencies required to provide perianesthesia patient care. Such nontechnical skills may be undervalued, but are in fact as worthwhile as the more technical skills of patient care, writes Heather Ead, RN, BScN, MHSc, in the February 2014 Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing. These skills, as well as an understanding of human factors engineering, can help staff members surmount such barriers as perceived isolation, strong hierarchical structures, high patient acuity, and high turnover, but these same barriers also hinder the development of such skills. Ead stresses the importance of strong communication skills, particularly in transferring patients between hospital units and in discharging patients.

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