Nursing work is made up of both hard skills and soft skills. Most nursing assistants are prepared to train for the hard skills and are excited to get started. They’re anxious to take vitals, insert IVs, and administer medication. But many nursing assistant students have never heard of soft skills. What are the soft skills in nursing and why are soft skills important in healthcare?
Hard skills are the technical and procedural skills you learn in labs and clinicals. Hard skills include things like taking vital signs, administering medication, starting IVs, caring for wounds, and inserting catheters. These are important skills that will allow you to perform your job.
Soft skill are social skills that you need to work in the healthcare field. You need soft skills to communicate and get along with both your patients and co-workers. Some of the soft skills in nursing include positivity, cordiality, work ethic, dependability, workplace etiquette, behavior, emotional intelligence, reliability, communication, personal habits, and unspoken social graces. Soft skills are the intangible interpersonal skills that you need in a nursing environment. In short, soft skills are traits that patients and co-workers like and respond well to.
Soft skills are so important in nursing and they are sometimes seen as more valuable than hard skills. Hard skills can be taught with experience, but soft skills can take time to develop and require the right kind of personality and a willingness to develop the ideal characteristics. You can’t train someone to have empathy or a positive attitude, and some of the soft skills nurses need are even more important. As a nursing assistant, you’ll need to listen and understand instructions and communicate with your patients, so communication skills are vital. Patients are more satisfied with their care if their nursing staff has excellent interpersonal interaction skills. Nurse managers need nursing assistants who are reliable, dedicated, and productive to strengthen their team. Nurses and nursing assistants with good character who display integrity, enthusiasm, and a strong work ethic are highly sought after. Healthcare is a field that demands flexibility, creativity, and adaptability, as well as professionals with problem solving skills who are willing to work together, under pressure, as team players.
Your nursing assistant education will focus on the hard skills you need for the technical part of the job, but a quality nursing assistant education will also focus on developing and refining the soft skills necessary for both patient care and working with a team of healthcare professionals. You should take time to evaluate your soft skills and attempt to develop those where you are lacking. As you move through your nursing assistant education, your teachers and mentors should make a focus on showing you why soft skills are important in healthcare and help you identify where you can improve your soft skills.
When it is time to get a job as a nursing assistant in the healthcare field, soft skills will play a huge role in where and how quickly you will get hired. Patient satisfaction is incredibly important to healthcare facilities, and they want nursing assistants who have the interpersonal skills to work effectively with patients. Our programs give you the training necessary to succeed in the healthcare field. Contact Clement Career College to enroll!