What are soft skills?
Soft skills are personality traits and behaviour. Unlike technical or hard or technical skills, soft skills are not about the knowledge you possess but the behaviour you display in different situations.
A successful nursing career is not just defined by educational degree, certifications, and hard clinical skills, but also in the ability to use soft skills to foster excellent patient outcomes and make a positive difference in the healthcare organization’s future.
As a healthcare professional, soft skills affect everyone (i.e., patients, team members, and interdisciplinary colleagues). Soft skills often influence how patients rate their overall experience in a healthcare service. As patients move through a variety of healthcare settings, soft skills are often the most observed aspect of the patient encounter. The patient’s perspective or patient satisfaction rating is often captured by using surveys after the patient visit with questions such as: Were you treated with respect and dignity? Were all procedures explained to you in a way that you could clearly understand? How well did the staff work together?
To give the patient a good experience, as well as have a fulfilling interaction themselves, some of the top soft skills nurses need are:
- Good Communication
- Positive Attitude and confidence
- Networking with peer and other professionals
- Critical thinking and creative problem solving
- Conflict resolution
- Integrity and strong work ethics
- Decision making
- Taking the initiative/Being proactive
- Drive to excel in a nursing career