Psychomotor skills refer to a person’s ability to carry out tasks that involve both physical and cognitive processes. Developing the relationship between movement, strength, coordination, and mental reasoning takes time. However, nurses need to be competent in a range of these skills to care for their patients effectively. At the start of their career, few nurses have perfected every nursing psychomotor skill, but with practice and commitment, they will soon be working accurately and with precision.
How do nurses use psychomotor skills in a hospital?
These skills represent nursing tasks that are movement-based and form an integral part of medical practice in a healthcare setting. They include operating health devices and products, checking a patient’s vital signs and giving medications. In both the implementation of a care plan and the continued assessment of a patient, they are part of the process. These tasks and others are of utmost importance when it comes to coordinating treatment and ensuring a patient is well cared for during their stay.
How are psychomotor skills taught?
Universities and colleges put much thought into teaching these skills because they are key to a nurse’s future success. There is no single method used, but most students will start by watching a teacher demonstrate the practice and then trying to copy what they did. For example, the instructor might take a student’s blood pressure, followed by the student checking the instructor’s blood pressure. In the next stage, students will carry out the task without help to refine their ability.
Once a series of skills have been mastered individually, students are asked to demonstrate several abilities together. This might include taking a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate without assistance. Hands-on experience is important in many aspects of nurse training. At the University of Indianapolis, the MSN program in leadership includes 240 clinical hours, so nurses can build on their knowledge and learn from other medical professionals. As the coursework is online and the program is part-time, it’s an ideal solution for working nurses who want to move into a more senior position.
Why are psychomotor skills essential in nursing?
Being a patient advocate, supporting colleagues and managing high-stress situations is just part of the role in nursing. When it comes to the practical side of patient care, nurses also need solid psychomotor skills and the confidence to carry out a range of procedures. In other words, nurses must do as well as know in order to help their patients.
It’s about excellent general patient care
One of the core values of medical practice, patient care, is at the heart of nursing. To provide the best care, nurses must be competent in the assessment and treatment of patients. This could involve checking and assessing their vital signs, getting an IV line fitted correctly and inserting a catheter. Nurses may also have to help a patient eat when they are unwell and ensure they are taking the correct medication. If a patient has been injured, nurses use their practiced psychomotor skills to clean, treat and dress the wound.
Keeping accurate records
Good documentation is important to keep the lines of communication open between nurses, but it also makes a key contribution to patient care, assessments, and decisions about future treatments. As well as dating and signing every entry they write, nurses need to be factual and consistent. They must fill in data swiftly after an event has occurred so that any problems and steps taken are clearly visible to other colleagues. This ensures care remains consistent, the plan is followed, and the patient is not put at risk.
Preventing the spread of disease
Specimen collection is a key step in the identification of pathogens that are causing infection and could be passed to others. Once the specimen of blood, urine or feces has been collected, nurses need to label it to ensure the correct analysis takes place and then get it delivered to the lab. This complex set of psychomotor skills helps hospitals treat individual patients but also works to prevent a disease from spreading.
A multi-skilled profession
In nursing practice, psychomotor skills are a fundamental part of the job. As well as practicing and perfecting these competencies, nurses should also modify them to suit each individual patient. As is the case in other areas of their work, when using these skills, nurses must combine their training, knowledge and experience to provide the best possible care.