A common misconception about intro/extroversion is that their traits are purely determined by how shy or outgoing someone is, when in fact it has a lot to do with how someone's thoughts are formulated as well as how they best regain their social energies. After a long, tiring week an extroverted person gains their energy back by partying with their friends and engaging in social events while an introverted person will find more comfort in staying at home, napping, reading a book or watching TV.
People who are introverted tend to focus more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation, which is why they would actually make great additions to the nursing occupation! They have very unique characteristics that will contribute to excellence in their career such as:
1. Being great listeners
Introverts tend to be keen listeners because they naturally tend to think things through before voicing their thoughts. They seek an understanding of what is being said to them before they respond and listen attentively, which would be helpful if they are pursuing a career in nursing because they will have a better understanding of their patients' needs beyond what they can read from their chart.
2. Being able to stay calm in stressful situations
High-stress situations are more than likely to arise in a healthcare, especially in a hospital setting when dealing with emergency care. Nurses with introverted tendencies are able to remain calm instead of getting agitated and are able to refrain from latching onto the business of others, which can make them appear more dependable and trustworthy.
3. Knowing when to give people their space
Introverts are innately observant and so have a better chance of understanding when a patient might want to avoid small talk, because they might see similar attributes in themselves. "Silence creates space for things that are important in any healthcare setting. Silence allows a patient to process what you just said, and to share something they haven't shared with anyone else," advises Jennifer Doering (PhD, RN)
4. Working well with a team
We prefer not to be in the center of attention so we work well in a team! Introverts think deeply before they speak while extroverts are capable of thinking as they speak, so in a collaborative setting with people of both traits in the mix, introverts will digest all the information at hand and look at a situation holistically and offer a well-thought out response based on all the information presented after it is said by the majority.
5. Being soft-spoken
Individuals with softer voices are often seen as more approachable and are more likely to be confided in, so when nurses approach patients and their families, they can put them at ease in a stressful and unknown environment. Introverted nurses would definitely find their place working in Hospice or in a clinical psychiatric setting.