Active listening is a technique that requires that an individual concentrate on what it is that they are hearing so that they can properly understand what is being said. It is the foundation of good, illuminating communication, and can allow listeners to make their own thoughtful contributions.
While it may seem like a fairly simple concept, it can be surprising how many professionals in all walks of life neglect to develop this skill. For both licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing students, however, it is absolutely essential, and can have untold benefits in many aspects of their training and careers. Here are a few examples of the advantages that can be enjoyed by good active listeners.
Active Listening is the Best Skill for Learning Course Material
Learning healthcare concepts in nursing training requires dedication. While it’s possible to look at your phone or browse the internet on a laptop during lectures and still absorb some of the material, allowing yourself to be distracted during class time will almost guarantee that you will miss important concepts. In a field like nursing, where particular processes must be mastered to ensure patient wellbeing, that’s not ideal.
Being an active listener gives you a huge advantage in this regard. Simply by making the choice to pay close attention to each word that is said in class, ask questions for clarification when needed, and otherwise put your entire focus on your learning, it’s possible to achieve greater and quicker mastery of the material. With practical nursing programs taking under two years to complete, you can quickly see your efforts at active listening pay off by preparing you for a great new career.
Using Active Listening Can Help Put Patients at Ease
Being a patient can sometimes be a confusing or scary thing. Most patients, after all, do not have much knowledge of medicine and treatment, and confronting the unknown can make many people uncomfortable.
In your future career, having good active listening skills can help you bring calm and understanding to the patients who need it most. If a patient mentions that they are afraid of a coming back surgery, for instance, active listening would mean being attentive to their questions and concerns rather than dismissing them. It would mean helping not just by saying “don’t worry about it,” but by taking the time to offer detailed reassurances that address their specific fears about the procedure, its risks, and the recovery process.
If you’re the kind of caring individual that tends to be drawn to practical nursing training, it’s likely that doing this will be second nature, but it’s also certainly something that can improve with practice through your studies.
Developing Your Active Listening in Nursing Training Prepares you for the Workplace
Working as a part of a team of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals is an important part of a career as an LPN, and being an active listener gives you an advantage in this area. At its most basic, it’s a valuable skill for ensuring you understand instructions and complete your work accordingly.
Beyond that, though, it can allow you to better collaborate with the people you work with on a human level. Every professional has responsibilities that will preoccupy their time, but they also have personal concerns and needs that come with them into the workplace.
Having good active listening skills can help you learn to understand your colleagues better, and thereby develop a better professional relationship with them. This is good for workplace morale and productivity, and employers recognize this and want employees whose communication skills contribute to this type of dynamic.
Want to make sure you fit the bill? Complete practice nursing courses under the instruction of experts with years of experience on healthcare teams. You can enjoy the guidance and perspective needed to promote development of your professional communication skills and become exactly the sort of candidate that employers look for.
Do you want to develop the skills needed in the healthcare industry?
Contact Discovery Community College to learn about our practical nurse training program!