Taking up Bachelor of Science in Nursing is not just a walk in the park. In college, our Dean would always tell us that nurses should be equipped with the three most essential disciplines namely Knowledge, Skills and Attitude or simply KSA.
Let’s start with KNOWLEDGE. Nurses are smart people. They are critical thinkers. As students they have 80% of science subjects incorporated to the curriculum. Since LIFE is at stake, long hours of memorization and familiarization are attributed to subjects such as Anatomy and Physiology. Brain squeezing activities drain a nursing student’s life due to Biochemistry and Microbiology. Those are just prerequisite subjects. Once you passed those subjects, you’ll climb to the next level for the more difficult subjects such as Medical-Surgical Nursing in which all of the diseases per system are discussed. Then along with it, pathophysiology is also done for the students to know how this disease came, how did that disease progress. Signs and symptoms must also be familiarized. And above all, the Nursing Care Plan is the most important process in our career in which there are five steps:
Taken for example the client is having difficulty of breathing, we assess the patient. Then we make our diagnosis based on NANDA, a list of Nursing Diagnosis. After that, we make our plans to ease the breathing of the patient. Intervention comes next which maybe we can give Oxygen therapy to the client temporarily until the doctor arrives. Then in the last step, we nurses evaluate if the intervention was successful. It seems simple but there’s a lot more to that.
Regarding SKILLS, it is mostly the application of knowledge. There are maybe more than a 150 skills which a nurse must master. The most essential maybe is hand washing to prevent nosocomial infection in my own point of view. After that is the mastery of taking vital signs including the temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate and pulse rate. Vital signs are the most basic and yet most important part of assessment. Increased or decreased vital signs correspond to an abnormality. Overall, these skills must be done properly together with the rationale behind each steps of doing the procedure.
Lastly and the most important trait a nurse must have is a very very GOOD ATTITUDE. Not an attitude problem. Nurses are taught how to communicate with patients in the right manner. Communication skills must be mastered as well. When a patient discusses her problem, we must deal with it through the use of so called therapeutic communication. We don’t give false assurances. We don’t tell the patients that they are going to die (the doctor does that, the revelation of prognosis). We just listen and give our best response depending on the client’s problem.
Knowledge, Skills and Attitude or KSA summarized the three core disciplines a nurse must always do, show and carry. Once mastered and perfected, expect to be that you are geared towards in becoming one of the BEST NURSES in the WORLD.