Employability Skills Essay.
Of the eight employability skills identified by the Common Wealth of Australia (2002 cited in Training.com.au, 2011) communication, technology, planning and organizational skills are considered the most important employability skills in nursing by employers.
Nurses with effective communication skills are able to establish and maintain effective therapeutic relationships, to convey caring, authenticity and empathy to the patient; in addition they are able to improve the safety of the patient. Nurses lacking in communication skills on the other hand create tensions in their interactions with others, are unable to effectively convey caring and authenticity to the patient. Moreover, they pose a threat to the patient’s safety and tend to sympathize rather than empathize with the patient which is an unconstructive approach to helping patients cope with their problems.Employability Skills Essay.
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In regard to skills in technology, nurses who possess skills in technology are able to perform diagnostic and screening tests using advanced technological methods, to play more expanded roles in the interpretation and subsequent delivery of health information and to build on their center role in the delivery of health care to the patient. More importantly, they are better placed in the acquisition of new evidence-based information regarding nursing practice. Additionally, they are able to capitalize on the efficiency fostered by computerized information processes to improve their practice. On the other hand, nurses lacking in technology skills continue to rely on non-computerized information, diagnostic and screening systems that are time consuming, tedious and with a lower degree of precision hence prone to errors.
Nurses with planning and organizational skills are able to plan the care of their patient in a logical and consistent manner, to initiate plans for the achievement of strategic goals, and to integrate theory and practice. In contrast, nurses lacking in these skills tend to perform their tasks in a routine manner that fails to adequately integrate theory and practice and without due consideration to quality and strategic improvement.Employability Skills Essay.
Nurses competent in communication skills are able to effectively undertake their nursing roles for example convey caring to the patients as well as communicate effectively with the other team members. This is due to the fact that communication skills are integral attributes in the roles of all nursing practitioners because nursing like majority of other professions requires constant interaction with clients and other members of the health care team. In contrast, nurses lacking in communication skills are unable to interact with their clients and other health care team members in a constructive manner; their interactions with others are often marked by undesirable tensions (Debnath 2009, p.29).
In regard to patient safety, nurses competent in communication skills are able to relay patient information to the right people in an appropriate and effective manner and hence contribute to the provision of safe care to their patients. Nurses who lack communication skills on the other hand tend to relay patient information ineffectively leading to misdiagnosis, medication errors and other medical errors which may have catastrophic effects on the patient’s well being. In this regard, communication skills that foster clear and effective communication are a must have for the nurse practitioner (Debnath 2009, p.29).
In terms of improving the nurse-patient relationship, nurses who possess communication skills are able to convey respect to the patient by giving due respect to their individuality, dignity as persons and their personal identity. Good communication skills therefore improve the nurse-patient therapeutic relationship. Nurses with poor communication skills on the other hand compromise the nurse-patient relationship through ineffective communication and the effects of the latter are reflected in the patient’s failure to accept the care provided by the nurse as well as their refusal to cooperate during that care. Finally, the consequences of the failed communication manifest as poor patient outcomes (Lawson and Peate 2009, p.229).Employability Skills Essay.
Nurses with effective communication are able to evaluate the patient’s understanding ability as well as their use of non-verbal cues like facial expressions and adapt their communication to the suit that of the individual patient. Meanwhile misunderstandings, misjudgments and other forms of miscommunication are bound to occur if the nurse has poor communication skills that do not enable her to comprehend the patient’s ways and means of communicating. In essence therefore, the ability to assess the patient’s comprehension ability and their utilization of non-verbal communication cues so as to be able to communicate with the patient in a manner they can understand is a must have communication skill for all nursing practitioners (Lawson and Peate 2009, p.229).
Competency in communication skills enable nurses to perform nursing activities like assessment, patient education and provision of psychological support effectively and efficiently (Walsh and Crumbie 2007, pp.27-30). Debnath (2009, p.29) retaliates that other than the three aforementioned activities, other nursing activities that nurses competent in communication skills perform excellently in are health promotion and documentation. Nurses with poor communication skills on the other hand have difficulty initiating and conducting patient assessments, education, health promotion and documentation because nursing is not limited to the mere performance of tasks but also aims at involving patients in their own care.
Skills in communication enables nurses to be empathetic to their patients that is, they are able to perceive a situation from the patient’s perspective (Walsh and Crumbie 2007, pp. 27-30). Empathy makes it possible for nurses to relate well with the context of the patient needs and hence assist the patient in setting and achieving realistic objectives towards the realization of these needs. In contrast, nurses with poor communication skills tend to convey sympathy that is feeling pity for the patient rather than empathy which is detrimental to the therapeutic relationship because such a nurse will not be able to assist the patient identify realistic solutions to their problems.
Whilst good communication skills foster caring in the context of the nurse-patient relationship, poor communication skills do not. This is due to the relative nature of the concept of caring which though universal is interpreted differently among different people and individuals. Therefore, the nurse must be able to discern through the use of communication skills what caring means to a specific individual patient. Subsequently, nurses with good communication skills are able to adjust the way they provide care within the context of the therapeutic relationship in a manner that is cognizant of the patient’s perspectives on caring. Nurses lacking in communication skills on the other hand are unable to discern the meaning of the caring concept to which the patient ascribes to and hence are not in a position to convey their caring in a manner which is meaningful to the individual patient (Walsh and Crumbie 2007, pp.27-30).Employability Skills Essay.
In regard to authenticity; competency in communication skills engenders authenticity that is, open and honest communication in the patient-nurse relationship. Patients in this kind of relationship are more likely to open up and be honest to the nurse and thereby provide information important in enabling the nurse gain insight into the patient’s problem. Nurses with poor communication skills on the other hand give the patients the impression that they are dishonest or hypocritical and hence the patients are not willing to reveal their personal information to them impairing the process of patient assessment and consequently the quality of care provided to the patient (Walsh and Crumbie 2007, pp.27-30).Employability Skills Essay.
In regard to technical skills as part and parcel of the three most important employability skills in nursing; nurses competent in technology skills fit more comfortably and are better oriented to current systems in health care delivery that are rapidly being revolutionized by advances in technology particularly in the field of screening and diagnostic testing. Therefore, although nurses with minimal technology skills are still viable in the labor market albeit at a lesser extent, they risk being slowly faced out because of their inability to perform complex screening and diagnostic procedures demanded by the rapidly changing medical environment (Smeelteer and Bruner 2004, p8; Cherry and Jacob 2005, p.138).
Moreover, nurses with technical skills are able to utilize technology to play more enhanced roles in the delivery and interpretation of information otherwise referred to as consumer health informatics. Nurses who do not have mastery of technical skills on the other hand have limited access to information and hence continue to play a secondary role in the interpretation and subsequent delivery of information (Ball, 2000).
Nurses competent in technology skills are able to access and utilize new knowledge in nursing in the provision of nursing care and other management of their patient within a short time of such knowledge being published. Nurses who rely on older methods of gathering new information like reading of printed books and journals on the other hand lag behind on new developments in the medical field especially due to the time constraints imposed on them by their relatively demanding professional lives (Cohen and Cesta 2005, p.312).
Moreover, nurses with the technical skills are able to utilize computerized information systems in decision making at the clinical and administrative levels and hence foster more efficiency in these activities. For example, emergence of sophisticated communication systems has facilitated the rapid storage, retrieval as well as dissemination of information within the nursing profession. In contrast, nurses without technical skills rely on manually prepared documentation which is tedious, time consuming and prone to errors.
O f further note is that whilst nurses with technical skills are able to capitalize on technology to increase the accuracy, usefulness as well as timeliness of information provided by patients and thereby are in a position to maximize on the efficiency in the planning and subsequent delivery and monitoring of nursing care, nurses without technical skills have to continually rely on their own judgments and manual information systems on aspects which would have otherwise been addressed in a faster and more accurate manner using technology.
Nurses who have competency in technology are able to build on their traditional center position when it comes to patient care. On the other hand, nurses without technological know-how continue to occupy the center position when it comes to the care of the patient though at a great demerit to their patients because they are not able to capitalize on the sophistication in technology to improve the care they offer to the patient. Technology -related competencies are therefore considered by potential nurses employers as among the three most important employability skills nurses must possess especially in the 21st century.
In regard to the inclusion of planning and organizational skills amongst the three most important employability skills considered essential by potential employers for nurses; nurses who possess planning and organizational skills contribute to the successful performance of the chief roles of nursing as identified by ICN (2008 cited in Sare & Ogilvie 2010, p.35) that is “promotion of health, prevention of illness and care of the sick, disabled and the dying”. Nurses lacking in planning and organizational skills on the other hand are unable to successfully partake or find it difficult to plan and organize activities aimed at promoting health, preventing illness, caring for the sick and disabled and providing palliative care.Employability Skills Essay.
On the other hand, whilst nurses with planning and organizational skills continually improve health care service delivery via principles like total quality management and strategic planning, nurses without planning and organizational skills simply rely on pre-established routine activities as the means to provide care to their patients (Wilson 2011, p.50).
More importantly, nurses with planning and organizational skills are able to align themselves together with other health care professionals in achieving the overall strategic goals of their respective health care systems. The latter aspect is particularly important in light of the fact that nurses comprise the bulk of health care professional within the health care system. Meanwhile the adaptation of the strategic goals of an organization to specific nursing related objectives is an impossible task for nurses who have little or no planning and organizational skills (Wilson 2011, p.50).
Nurses with planning skills are better equipped in the implementation of the nursing process because planning is the third component of the framework that is, the nursing process which refers to the systematic problem-solving approach for the identification of a patient’s health care and nursing needs and the subsequent planning, implementation and evaluation of measures to meet these needs. Planning skills therefore prepare the nurse for the activities performed during the planning phase which include prioritization of nursing diagnoses, identification of smart goals that maybe short-term, intermediate or long-term, identification of the nursing interventions that will lead to goal achievement amongst others (Smeelteer and Brunner 2004, p.60). Nurses lacking in planning skills on the other hand are unable to plan for the care of the patient in a prioritized, logical and objective manner. Moreover, they are not able to identify realistic goals for their patients nor are they are able to function autonomously in their functions necessitating constant supervision which may not be available or practical.
Concerning the aspect of organizational skills, nurses with organizational skills have the ability to arrange the planned nursing care in a systematic, sequential and consistent manner (Kneedler and Dodge 2011, p.193; Victorian Pediatric Rehabilitative service 2006, p.1). In contrast, nurses without the latter provide their care in an unsystematic manner that has been shown to be ineffective in improving patient outcomes. Planning and organizational skills are therefore probably the most important employability skills that potential employers consider when hiring nurses.
In regard to the potential to integrate theory into practice; nurses with planning skills are able to integrate their theoretical knowledge and their motor skills in the planning and subsequent provision of care to patients. Nurses who do not have planning skills on the other hand are unable to effectively combine the two when proffering care to their patients which significantly impacts on the quality of care as well as the patient’s safety (Kneedler and Dodge 2011, p.193).Employability Skills Essay.
In conclusion therefore, communication, planning and organizational and technological skills are the most important employability skills considered by employers seeking to hire nurses. Whilst nurses with communication skills are able to interact in a constructive manner with the patient and other members of the health care team involved in the care of the patient, those lacking in the same end up compromising these vital relationships. Nurses who are competent in communication skills are able to convey authenticity and empathy to the patient than those lacking in communication skills. Nurses who have communication skills are able to initiate and maintain constructive therapeutic relationships with the patient with more ease than those who do not have these skills. Nurses competent in communication skills are also able to perform various key nursing functions like assessment and health promotion more effectively than those who do not have communication skills.
Nurses with skills in technology on the other hand are able to perform diagnostic and screening tests using advanced technology, to utilize computerized information systems in their decision making, to play greatly expanded roles in consumer health informatics and build on their traditional center position in the care of the patient. Nurses lacking in communications skills on the other hand are unable to capitalize on advancements in technology to improve the quality of their work in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
Finally, nurse who possess planning and organizational skills are able to perform their nursing roles embodied within the nursing process framework successfully through the integration of theory and practice. Moreover, they are able to meet the strategic goals set for nursing departments and organizations within the broader framework of strategic management of health care systems. In contrast, nurses lacking in planning and organizational skills are unable to plan the care of their patients in a systematic, logical, sequential and well organized manner. They greatly compromise the safety as well as the quality of care provided to the patient.Employability Skills Essay.