Eight Basic Skills Shared with Nursing Profession

When employers are looking for the best possible candidates to join their team there are eight basic skills that come into play. Most employees will have at least 5-6 of these skills. In professions such as nursing, Paramedics and EMTs, teachers, and therapists such as PTs, OTs and Recreational Therapists, these professionals usually possess all 8 of these skills.

The 8 skills are:

  • Problem Solving
  • Team Player
  • Taking Initiative
  • Physical Stamina
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Leadership and ability to persuade others
  • Desire to help instruct or teach others
  • Networking skills/making public contacts

The fact that most Paramedics possess all 8 of these skills, makes the pathway to becoming a nurse a natural order of progression. Other factors that make the transition a natural one include the work environment being fast paced and adrenaline rushing. Paramedics most often transition to the fields of nursing where these factors apply such as ER/Trauma, ICU and other high tech step down units where these skills are put to use every day.

Learning to use these skills

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Most new grad nurses typically take a year to feel comfortable in the role. They often doubt their problem solving skills, are fearful of taking initiative and need to become comfortable with their leadership abilities. The desire to help and teach patients is often the strongest of these skills until confidence brings the others to the forefront. Over time this will happen and light bulbs will go on. Unfortunately, those who continue to struggle often leave the profession during or before their third year. Nurses who have had prior exposure to the fast paced, critical thinking world of health care usually have most of these skills well-tuned and have a much easier time adjusting and enjoy long and rewarding nursing careers.

For any health care professional, no two shifts will ever be the same. Learning to prioritize, organize and manage time are constant challenges but they are essential to success in the nursing field. These will likely seem second nature to Paramedics transitioning to roles in the nursing field. Flexibility, being able to regroup multiple times during a shift, and to always expect the unexpected and not be thrown completely off your game are other skills and factors that new nurses often struggle with. New EMTs and Paramedics will, of course, be familiar with this struggle, but with it in their past, it’s an advantage as a new nurse.

Managing stress and learning how to leave the job at the door and have a life outside of the field are other factors with which Paramedics will be familiar. Remembering to take care of YOU is a priority that must be met throughout the entire career span. When all 8 of these skills are working for the individual, the ability to do this is greatly improved.

Health care is a 24/7 occupation

Weekends, holidays, and personal events are just normal working days. For nurses, most employers require 2-3 weekends per month and out of 10 holidays, usually at least 5 need to be worked by each nurse; sometimes more. New grad nurses sometimes have a rude awakening to this, but experienced professionals come to the position with this expectation in mind. Seniority usually plays a role in being able to make requests. And some employers allow personnel to trade shifts with knowledge and permission of managers.

Nurses typically work 8 or 12 hour shifts and can be full time, part time or per diem; whereas Paramedics most often work full time. Their shifts are often 12 hours but can be 24 hours. Both professionals usually work in a staggering rotation to cover required weekends and holidays.

Nursing typically offers more career growth options and a jump in salary from the Paramedic profession, but requires more education initially along with continuing education requirements to maintain licensure. With all 8 of these skills well-honed, and a resume rich with experiences, even more options and doors open for career growth.

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