You learn a lot in nursing school, and even more once you start practicing. You learn how to become a patient advocate, a lifesaver, and develop a kick-ass sense of humour! But did you know that it can also help you become a better parent? Here are 5 ways that nursing can help with your parent skills.
- You know how to talk to people – even your own kids
Nurses are constantly communicating. Whether it’s at the bedside, with our colleagues, or with management, it’s a second nature skill for all of us. This comes in handy when dealing with our own offspring. Whether it’s with barely-verbal toddlers or pesky teenagers, the skills we learn at work translate to better communication with those at home.
- You know how to prioritise
As nurses, we’re constantly running around at work, with never enough time to complete everything we want to be able to do. That’s where prioritising comes in. It’s an invaluable skill when it comes to parenting, especially when you’ve got more than one child. Do you take this one to soccer, or go uniform shopping? Can I organise a carpool with another parent to school, or find time to cook up this week’s meals? It’s all in a nurse’s ready-made toolkit, and it’s great to have it on hand when you become a mum or dad.
- You know how to simplify complex concepts
Whether it’s explaining how a drug works to a paediatric patient’s family, or getting a dementia patient to calm down, we’re constantly explaining complex concepts to people. It’s a skill that’s just as relevant in a home context. Whether it’s explaining to the kids why they have to eat their broccoli or why the sky is blue, to discussions around safe sex and mental health, our experience in simplifying difficult concepts can come in real handy as parents.
- There’s extra incentive to raise empathetic kids
Nurses see the worst in people every day. Whether it’s the incredible pain that we see people in, or the violence we face as health workers, we’re constantly surrounded by worst in human nature. It’s why we’ve learned to be empathetic, and why we teach our kids empathy too.
- Your kids learn to hang tough by example
Nursing’s a tough gig, whether we like to admit it or not. We help our patients get through the toughest circumstances, and we see many of them at their most vulnerable. We’re made of grit and nails, and it’s something that we bring home with us. For better or for worse, our kids learn this from us, and they learn to be patient and resilient like their parents.
Has being a nurse made you a better parent? How has your career helped you raise your kids? Let us know in the comments.