6 Secret Weapons You Won’t Learn in Nursing School 

Written by Peter Jones

We all know how much studying is required to become a nurse. But even after all those books and hours, there are a few tools in the magic toolbox that can help turn a nurse into a super healer over the course of his or her career.

1. Lie Detection

Whether a patient is too embarrassed to discuss the real problem or they’re struggling with addiction, the ER nurse is the b***s*** detecting first line of defense. Develop your sharpness in figuring out what a patient really needs (or doesn’t need) and you’ll help them in far greater numbers.

2. Common Sense

This one is almost impossible to teach, but it is paramount—and doctors and nurses, particularly in the chaotic ER, tend to accumulate a lot of it. It’s what helps you keep your head and triage the situation.

3. Cool Under Chaos

Control is great, but it doesn’t always linger long in the ER. Most people, if dropped into that pandemonium, would crumble under the pressure. But keeping your cool with patients everywhere and unexpected problems? That’s a standard issue skill for nurses.

4. Gut Instinct

You’ve studied everything there is to study, but you’re nothing without instinct. It’s a nurse’s secret weapon, honed over the course of a career. Patience, observation, and years of practice give nurses deeper insight, plus the confidence to listen to that gut feeling when it comes!

5. A Noise-Cancelling Brain

Chaos is loud. Pagers, sirens, voices, and codes are flying and your task is to concentrate on listening to one heartbeat or one patient history. Learn how to tune out the excess noise and you’ll develop the ability to focus only on the highest priority.

6. A Nose for It

Nothing in the ER smells particularly good. But nurses have a keener sense of what the funkiest smells can mean, medically speaking. They’ve saved millions of hours and dollars expediting the diagnostic process with their Spidey sense.

About the author

Peter Jones