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Career advice

Become more assertive - your patients will thank you for it

Having the confidence to be speak up and be heard can boost your career and your patient outcomes. Here's some advice on achieving this goal.

A lack of assertiveness among nurses can affect job satisfaction and has a detrimental effect on patient care, according to a nurse educator.

People are often told they need to be assertive, particularly in the workplace, but they do not know how to, explains former colorectal nurse consultant and Coloplast UK head of education Terri Porrett.

She describes the quality as having the confidence to be able to have one’s voice heard and be able to speak freely.

However, there is a delicate balance between being assertive and being aggressive.

Dr Porrett says a lack of assertiveness in the nursing profession has been ‘its Achilles’ heel’. Some people may be reluctant to speak up because they want to please people and they fear confrontation.

It can be helpful to say: ‘I’d like to be able to do


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