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Technical skills required in the nursing field

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Nurses must have excellent technical skills to provide high-quality patient care. They must be able to use a variety of medical equipment and devices, as well as have a strong understanding of the various medications used to treat patients. In addition, nurses must be able to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team, with patients and their families.

The job market for nurses is growing at a rapid pace. Employers are looking for nurses with not only the requisite clinical skills but also a set of specific technical skills. These skills can be developed by pursuing careers with a BSN – the courses offered by Rockhurst University will certainly set you on your way. They will place you in an ideal position to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices, as you specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or oncology.

As a nurse, you will be responsible for a wide range of patients, from those suffering from chronic diseases to those simply there for a routine check-up. No matter the reason for the visit, it is your job to provide the highest level of care possible. There are many important technical skills that every nurse will need to have in order to provide safe and effective care. Let’s explore this in more detail.

Understand basic medical terminology

Basic medical terminology will come up time and time again as a nurse. Being able to understand this terminology is important because it allows you to monitor your patients more closely when caring for them, as well as communicate with other members of the healthcare team, such as doctors and pharmacists.

Drug administration

Nurses must have the ability to rapidly and accurately administer medications for both short-term and long-term complications. Selecting the correct medication for a patient quickly is critical because it inhibits the spread of disease. It also enables the nurse to closely monitor patients for any negative reactions or potential adverse effects associated with specific medications.

The nurse’s ability to administer medications quickly and accurately can mean the difference between life and death.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

CPR is an emergency procedure which involves a combination of chest compressions and artificial ventilation designed to restart a person’s heart and lungs. CPR is currently one of the most important technical skills for nurses. It is used in cases where a patient is not breathing and has no pulse or when the heart is beating abnormally and is at risk of failing altogether.

Since nurses are often on the front lines of life-threatening medical situations, knowing CPR is one of the most important technical skills a nurse should have. Even if you never treat any patients in an emergency, CPR training is an essential skill and should be included in your education as part of your clinical competencies (competencies that ensure you are competent at performing certain tasks).

Checking vital signs

Once your patient has been assessed, it is important to monitor their vitals or body functions. Monitoring patients’ vitals involves checking their heart rate, temperature, breathing pattern (respirations), blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels (oxygen saturation).

Nurses must be able to perform all of these tasks quickly and accurately. It is important to note that the body functions being monitored will vary depending on whether your patient is a child or an adult. It is due to the physiological differences between the two age groups.

Nurses may also use vital signs to determine which treatment protocols to follow. For example, if your patient has a low oxygen saturation level and is breathing erratically, you may choose to administer supplemental oxygen.

Wound management

Wound care is treating a wound by providing an appropriate environment for healing. It may include both direct and indirect procedures while preventing further skin breakdown. Wound management is a critical skill for nurses to have in order to ensure that the patient is treated properly.

Thus, they should have knowledge of a variety of treatments for wounds, including debridement, burn care, and dressing changes. Wounds include burns, lacerations, cuts, and punctures. At times, they can be extremely serious and result in blood loss, pain, infection, and more. As a result, nurses must have a thorough understanding of wound care to manage them properly.

Changing bandages

Proficient bandaging is an essential component that all nurses should be aware of. This technical skill is used as a means of protecting a wound and keeping it clean. It is used to treat cuts, scrapes, and burns.

When changing a bandage, it is crucial that you change the padding underneath it, wash your hands with antiseptic soap, and cover the wound with gauze before applying a new one. It is also good to know that when handling bandages, you should always wear sterile gloves. Note also that bandaging should be large enough to totally cover the wound, with a safety margin of about 2.5 cm on all sides beyond the wound.

Inserting an IV

An intravenous (IV) cannula is a flexible tubing used to deliver medications. It is inserted into a patient’s vein and may be placed in both arms or one and either the back of the knee or the upper thigh. Once the IV has been inserted correctly, nurses must monitor it and make sure it is secure. It is a widespread practice that is necessary in many cases to provide rapid and specific feedings of IV medications.

Blood flow can be monitored by checking the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Nurses are often tasked with delivering these kinds of infusions, so it is important for them to be able to do so effectively. To do this, nurses must have strong technical skills when performing this procedure. To insert an IV, you first need to ensure that the patient’s vein is easily accessible and will not be damaged during the procedure. It’s also important to know the specific steps involved in correctly inserting an IV needle into the vein and then removing it.

Administering injections

Injections are a necessity, and nurses should be well-versed in their administration. As with bandages, nurses must be able to utilize sterile equipment and have excellent hand-eye coordination. Safety is of paramount importance when administering any injection.

The best way to ensure safety during injections is to practice aseptic techniques. It involves using sterile gloves, a clean hand, and needle. It is also important that, as you administer the initial injection, you do not touch anything besides the skin to avoid contaminating your syringe. Nurses must be able to cite the side effects, proper dosage, and appropriate timing of all injections they administer.

Drawing and collecting blood from patients

Drawing blood, performing venipuncture, and collecting specimens are customs you must be familiar with if you are going to work as a nurse. You will often be responsible for making sure patients have their blood drawn, and depending on your specific job description, you may be responsible for collecting it yourself.

To draw and collect blood from your patient properly, you need to ensure that all required supplies are in order. You will need to use a lancet and other disposable equipment that will allow you to draw blood from the patient without causing an infection.

On the same note, nurses should be aware that bleeding is an extremely common complication in the medical field. It is one of the most frequently treated medical problems, especially in emergency departments, where patients arrive with severe bleeding disorders. As such, nurses must be able to stop any bleeding effectively and recognize signs of shock when it occurs.

Placing and monitoring chest tubes

Patients depend on nurses to ensure that their medical care is precise. As such, nurses should develop technical skills for chest tubes and how to care for them. Chest tubes are used to drain blood from the lungs and are common in cases of pulmonary edema or pneumonia. The placement and maintenance of tubes are usually left up to the nurses involved.

Before this procedure, it is important to ensure you have the right equipment and skills needed to perform it. You may also need to know how to monitor your patient as well (i.e. heart rate, temperature, etc.) with regard to chest tubes.

Placing nasogastric (NG) tubes

A nasogastric tube is a flexible plastic tube inserted via the nostrils, down to the nasopharynx, and into the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. Usually, its placement is confirmed with an X-ray prior to use. For patients requiring nutritional supplements or with swallowing difficulties, the tube can help with feeding.

It is important for nurses and other health care personnel to know when it is appropriate for patients to receive nutrition through an NG tube when in the hospital, as well as when to receive nutrition at home.

How nurses can develop technical skills

Technology is an essential part of healthcare, and nurses must be able to use it effectively to provide high-quality patient care. There are many ways in which nurses can develop their technical skills, such as by taking online courses, attending conferences, and using new technologies in their everyday work.

By developing their technical skills, nurses can stay ahead of the curve and be better prepared to provide care in a technologically advanced healthcare environment. Here are more ways through which nurses can develop their technical skills:

  • Join professional associations

Nurses are widely encouraged to join professional associations, which will help them learn new skills. These associations mostly offer conferences, networking events, and training such as conferences and webinars. At times, members get the privilege of receiving newsletters and accessing content meant for members only. These webinars may highlight trending events in nursing, how to excel more in a nursing career, and other advocacy efforts. By joining these associations, a nurse will become more informed and also be a source of information for others.

  • Become comfortable with technology

In modern times, the world is run by technology and its advancement. Technological skills are one of the most sought-after skills by employers. The reason is that technology is here to stay and is a vital element.

As a nurse, you are required to incorporate different machinery, learn charting software, or, at times, present information to physicians about a patient. It’s also important to consider finding ways to attend training on new technologies that emerge in the healthcare industry. Always familiarize yourself with industry blogs and articles, as well as podcasts. Be aware of any upcoming new technology platforms at your place of work, and sign up for them.

  • Attend workshops

Workshops are great platforms for nurses to develop their skills. While going through the training, they get to learn more about the latest developments in the field and how to apply them practically. They are places where they can network with other professionals and also share their own experiences and knowledge with others. As such, not only do they learn new skills, but they also enhance their confidence. Nurses should take advantage of every workshop that comes up whenever possible, as it will help them acquire new skills in a short time.

  • Practice

Technical skills in nursing can be refined through practice. Observe how your colleagues and supervisors perform the procedures. You can then start trying them out and perfecting each procedure by practicing it over and over again until you are confident in your skills. When you practice what you’ve learned repeatedly, that’s when you’ll know how well you’re doing. This is to ensure you get a better understanding of your progress and also aid you in working on areas that need improvement.

  • Participate in simulations

Simulators are great learning tools that offer a realistic environment that looks, feels, sounds, and smells like real-life situations. They are great ways to practice technical skills practically. Moreover, they are very helpful in giving you a feel for what it would be like to work in a particular setting or situation. And by doing this, you’ll become more familiar with the skills and procedures involved. will help you evaluate your performance in these situations and also help improve your technical skills.

  • Communicate with others

Communication is an integral part of the field of nursing, as nurses should be able to impart what they know to others. Regardless of your technical skills and how you perform them, you should also be able to communicate effectively with the others involved in the process.

It is important for a nurse to learn how to communicate with other staff and their patients. It is for them to ensure everyone is on the same page so no one misunderstands what’s expected of them in a given situation.

  • Find a mentor

It can be helpful to have someone with more experience than you guide you and share knowledge with you. It is probably the best way a nurse can learn new skills. Your mentor may be a senior colleague, supervisor, or member of your family.

A mentor will give you tips on how to improve your technical skills, what to expect in certain situations, and also give personal tips based on their experience. You can also learn from their mistakes so that you don’t repeat them.

  • The internet

Yes, the internet is full of information, but some websites are specifically geared towards health and medical professionals, and you can find the latest updates on all aspects of a nurse’s work. These include clinical skills, health-related news, and event schedule updates.

Nurses should not only be on the internet to seek information to improve their technical skills but also to find any relevant updates on a patient’s condition to guide them throughout their treatment. Doing this helps nurses cope with the anxiety they feel as they become more involved in a patient’s care. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for nurses to model best practices so that they can be incorporated into the standard of care.

Get ready for the future of healthcare with technical skills

Technical skills are important for nurses, and thus it is imperative for them to acquire them. It is not enough to be able to practice most of these skills in a simulated environment. Nurses must be able to perform them in real-life situations.

In addition, there’s always room for improvement, and a nurse should always keep learning along the way. It will help them develop better technical skills over time. Nurses who have performed medical procedures have been found to have better patient satisfaction, shorter wait times, more efficient treatments, and a higher overall quality of care than those who have not.

Irving Frazier
Irving Frazier
Future teen idol. Devoted communicator. Typical student. General analyst. Alcohol expert.Earned praise for training inflatable dolls in Deltona, FL. Was quite successful at building Virgin Mary figurines in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Had moderate success testing the market for saliva in Washington, DC. Earned praised for my work testing the market for basketballs in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Earned praised for my work importing teddy bears in Gainesville, FL. Spent the better part of the 90's developing shaving cream in Jacksonville, FL.

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