Essential Qualities for Improving Patient ExperienceThis past week, I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker at a nursing conference. It is always so energizing to be among nurses who take pride in their profession. Surrounded by hundreds of nurses, I was struck by the sheer magnitude of their influence on human life. It’s the nurses’ hands that are often the first to hold and soothe a newborn, and it is also their hands that comfort the ill, injured, and dying. When nurses are inspired and engaged, wonderful things happen that shape not only clinical outcomes but the reputation of the organization. Their influence is felt far beyond the individual encounters extending to patient families and the community.
Today, more than ever, healthcare needs engaged nurses to deliver the information and services that will create and sustain healthy populations. In my presentation, I reminded the nurses that it takes four things to be a great nurse. These are symbolized in The Wizard of Oz:
- It takes courage to be a patient advocate and challenge the status quo.
- It takes brains to continually monitor and manage vital processes for evidence-based nursing.
- It takes heart to demonstrate compassion and empathy for others.
- It takes a strong inner desire to want to make a difference.
And just as Dorothy realized that what she was seeking had been in her own backyard all along, these qualities reside within each of us and are there for the taking. Reach within and find the courage, brains, heart, and desire—for your patients, their families, and the community—and you will benefit.