The Intensive Artist has posted a list of ten personality traits that he thinks are requirements for a good nurse. What are we to make of them? Am I a bad nurse? Let's score me one point per trait.
1. Love being busy
I don't like being busy. However, I also don't like being bored. Typically, busy is boring, but it is less boring than sitting around. I think the more operative point here is "don't be lazy." I'll give myself half a point.
2. Love meeting strangers
I hate meeting strangers. I hate small talk. And I hate learning the details of people's lives when I can't turn the chanel at will. Zero points here, but I'm not sure this is really a good personality trait. I see other nurses making pointless banter. I try to be accommodating and polite and mine for information that will make things go smoother for the patient. I think taking an interest in the details of other people's lives is one of the things that people who are like that think is important.
3. Be a great mutli-tasker
No such thing (that's research, not opinion). It is probably more important to have large RAM than large CPU, however, and to be able to maintain a queue of tasks in the back of the mind that is constantly being revised. I'm not good at this, which is one reason I prefer night shift. Zero points.
4. Be okay with body fluids
Check. Actually, I'm probably too okay. Lack of a healthy respect for micro-organisms can be made up for by revulsion. 1 point.
5. Love physical labor
I love physical labor, but I hate the physical side of nursing. Nursing is not like exercise. After a work-out, I feel great. After a shift, I feel run-down and wrung-out. Doing squats or wind sprints for 15 minutes is not the same as being on your feet for 12 hours. And neither is like construction. More operative here: "be able to take the pain." I guess, half a point for me.
6. Be thick-skinned
This is so very important for nurses. Unfortunately, I am about as thin-skinned as they come. This might explain why I feel run down after a shift. Zero.
7. Thirst for new knowledge
I get a point here, but I'm not sure how important this is for nurses. Most nurses, even ICU nurses seem to be happy to be spoon-fed information from the unit nurse-educator, and they are good or even great nurses nonetheless.
8. Hate routine
Actually, I think this wrong. Chaos is not good. I think being a good nurse involves imposing order and routine. I don't mean in the stereotypical Nurse Ratchet way, but in the sense of having enough control over a situation to stay ahead of the game.
9. Be an adrenaline junkie
Again, I think this is backwards. A good ICU nurse is not one who's going to codes all the time but one who stays ahead of the codes and prevents as many as possible.
10. Have an undying positive energy
Yes, but zero.
Okay, so I score 3 points out of possible 10, but I only agree 100% with 5 of the Artist's 10 personality traits, but I may be very wrong.