Whether you're running a urology practice or trying to become a key player at one, having a good understanding of what makes a great urodynamics nurse is vital. While there are many schools of thought on the characteristics that define good employees in general, this work is highly specialized – So it makes sense that there are a few things most employers can agree on.
What distinguishes some urodynamics nurses from their professional colleagues? Here are seven of the skills that might indicate you have a fantastic nurse on your team.
1) Indisputable Professionalism
Great nurses positively exude professionalism, but merely ticking the boxes on a job description isn't good enough. Numerous studies have highlighted the dynamic nature of nursing professionalism, implicating it in everything from patient outcomes to job satisfaction.
In the caregiving field, professionalism is more a matter of attitude than actions alone: For nurses, this entails the application of critical thinking and clinical reasoning to provide high-quality, evidence-based care. Professional nurses are expected to be competent and skilled in their practice, to have a strong commitment to patient care, and to be able to advocate for their patients.
So what does this mean for your urodynamics nurses? In short, they must show up on time, be responsible to their co-workers and superiors, take ownership of their work, and dress professionally. They also need to perform their tasks like true professionals, which brings us to the next critical characteristic:
2) Consistent Attention to Detail
You don't have to be a medical professional to recognize that nurses need attention to detail. After all, paying heed to things that others would miss helps you provide safe and effective patient care.
Nurses must be able to accurately assess a patient's condition, follow instructions from doctors and other health care providers, and administer medication and other treatments correctly. These requirements are particularly important in urodynamics due to the field's reliance on exhaustive assessments.
The most effective urodynamics testing protocols are extremely meticulous, so your nurses must be able to follow protocols thoroughly and document all variances. In addition to capturing and documenting details accurately, they need to know what to expect so they can flag potential problems.
3) A Deep-seated Understanding of Urodynamics Theory
Urodynamics is complex because it involves the study of the urinary tract and the urinary system: the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Because these organs are internal – not to mention closely intertwined with the reproductive system and GI tract – nurses who lack greater theoretical background might miss critical insights.
What happens when a nurse doesn't appreciate the "why" behind the urodynamics tests they administer? In many cases, their lack of contextual understanding will make them more likely to commit errors, which may transpire on an unacceptably frequent basis.
It's also worth noting that the motivation for urodynamics assessments and treatments can vary from patient to patient. The most effective nurses leverage their theoretical knowledge to aid ordering physicians in trying to uncover specific symptoms and problems.
4) Untiring Mental and Physical Strength and Endurance
What goes into urodynamics nursing? Like other forms of nursing, this job requires being in it for the long haul: Staff must be prepared to constantly help patients move between exam tables and commode chairs, reposition equipment, and manipulate people during tests to improve the quality of the urodynamics test results.
Nursing may not be a bodybuilding competition, but it still requires a meaningful amount of strength. This need extends beyond physical capability alone – If a nurse is expected to complete many urodynamics tests every day, it can be very tiring, so you need to be able to pace yourself and not allow your heavy workload to compromise your mental sharpness.
5) Computer and Software System Acumen
Urodynamics is complex because it associates concrete numerical measurements with things you can't always observe, such as how well the bladder and urethra are functioning. As you might expect, this demands advanced equipment with relatively high technical barriers to entry.
As with most specialized caregiving fields, the responsibility for operating equipment commonly falls on the nurses. Operating urodynamics equipment and sophisticated software demands expertise and comfort with technical concepts, but it also requires the ability to compartmentalize tasks and stay organized.
It's not uncommon for nurses to have to bounce from handling patient communication to manipulating equipment and entering data within a short time frame. They can't afford to drop the ball for a second, no matter how hurried their schedules may be.
6) Patient Empathy and Communication
Urodynamics isn't widely understood among the general public. It's a somewhat niche medical domain, and most civilians remain blissfully unaware of it until they need health assistance, which can pose major hurdles to effective care administration.
Compounding this problem is the fact that many people who undergo urodynamics are older or saddled with other health issues. Dealing with an unfamiliar, invasive procedure can represent a significant source of stress for patients and their families alike.
In light of these factors, nurses require high levels of empathy and extremely good patient communication skills. As the liaisons between providers and patients, they have the critical task of making care less frightening. In other words, they need to not only know what they're doing but also understand how to communicate their roles and procedures in a nonthreatening, educational fashion.
7) Team Communication
No urodynamics nurse is an island – They're all part of teams that bring a variety of caregivers together in pursuit of desirable patient outcomes.
A urodynamics team typically includes an ordering physician, multiple midlevel providers, and other office staff. If you're outsourcing part of your testing, you may also have to collaborate with other physicians and nursing staff.
It's not easy to bring all of these pieces together to act as a unified team, meaning that nurses have to step up to the plate. As they're commonly tasked with jobs delegated to them by physicians, they act as the glue that holds the team together. For this to work, nurses must communicate consistently.
Imagine your urodynamics nurses are administering a test when a patient reports an uncommon sensation. Although this is to be expected with some invasive procedures, it's essential to know what qualifies as abnormal – as well as when to ask for help and who needs to be informed. Good nurses help physicians and others by filtering data to support efficient decision-making activity, but they aren't shy about sharing critical information as necessary.
Finding Urodynamics Nursing Staff That Can Help Your Practice Excel
These are just some of the factors that make for a great urodynamics nurse. Every practice is as different as the patients it serves, so it's vital to find team members who not only integrate seamlessly into your work environment but also have exemplary skills that help their coworkers improve - A rising tide lifts all ships.
Are you looking to expand your urodynamics nursing team? Before you do, check out our blog on how the healthcare staffing shortage might impact your ability to find acceptable candidates – and don't be afraid to reach out with your questions. Leave a comment on any essential skills you think we missed, and stay tuned for more amazing pointers on helping your practice thrive.
Finding a Urodynamics Nurse Quickly
If you need to add to your urodynamics nursing team, consider using our trained pelvic health specialist nurses that are thoroughly trained in urodynamics and have many years of experience. BHN’s urodynamics nurses can plug into your team quickly so you don’t miss a beat. Click here to get information and pricing for urodynamics nurses in your area.