Five Ways Nurses Use Their Intuition To Understand Patients

Modern healthcare systems have advanced, and several fields have emerged. As healthcare practitioners, nurses are crucial to any medical facility because of their diverse roles. 

Nurses need to understand patients’ conditions and comprehend their health issues to assist them in the recovery process. While nurses use their skills and academic knowledge to provide patients with the best care possible, they can’t ignore their instincts to recognize patients’ needs.

This evidence-based practice takes center stage. Many people believe that nurses use only logic and reasoning to determine patients’ health issues. The truth is the intuition-based pattern is hidden in nursing and often devalued.

Nurses have a strong presence of mind, good observational skills, and are trained to pay attention to detail. They do not generally miss out on anything and can use their intuition to understand their patients well. Sometimes when evidence-based practices fail, instincts help nurses determine a patient’s problem and assist in recovery.

Their guts guide them, and while acting on them, they often get down to the root of the problem and help patients deal with them.

Following are some ways in which nurses can use their intuitions to understand patients:


Nurses have dozens of things to looks after, and almost each of them needs their attention. They need to learn the art of ‘putting first things first and prioritize their tasks to help patients. But prioritizing patients itself doesn’t count as intuition; it is known through proper education. The art of prioritizing which patient comes first is a skill that many nurses have mastered by earning a masters of nursing online degree.

Quick Assessment

Nurses assist doctors in diagnosing diseases and devising treatment plans. As patients’ condition changes with medication and time, nurses need to assess their situation frequently and change the medicines accordingly. While nurses use evidence-based practice to evaluate, their gut feeling helps them significantly in quick assessment.

Nurses must understand that critical patients require thorough examination. They cannot rely only on intuition while dealing with severely sick people. Nonetheless, one cannot deny that intuition plays an integral part and assist nurses in getting an idea about their patients’ needs.

Many nurses have years of experience, enabling them to attend to patients at the proper timings. They listen to their gut feeling, which supports them in examining patients quickly and taking necessary actions.

Diagnosing an Illness

Nurses are responsible for multiple jobs, and diagnosing illnesses is a part of their duties. The modern-day nursing world has technical nursing equipment, which has made the diagnostic processes easy. Nurses possess strong senses, and they can assess patients in one glance.

Their experiences and intuitions tell them not to ignore signs, and sometimes they follow these signs and diagnose disease. While medical tests often take a day or two in results, nurses follow their instincts and help in early diagnosis. In the medical arena, early diagnosis holds a lot of significance.

Sometimes it becomes a reason for delivering timely and appropriate care to the patients. A nurse’s instincts, alongside academic knowledge and experience, help break down symptoms of illnesses and lead them to an accurate diagnosis.

Analyzing a Patients’ Emotional Needs

Many sick people who have visible physical scars and show signs of diseases also suffer from psychological and emotional issues, which they often try to hide. Nurses have a keen eye, and they can read body language very well.

Insignificant gestures, such as trembling fingers, wavering voices, or lines on the forehead that others might not notice do not escape a nurse’s attention. Apart from administering drugs, taking patients’ vitals, they also provide emotional support to patients.

Nurses’ intuitions can read that the patient is going through emotional turmoil. They often talk to patients, and since nurses are equipped with efficient communication skills, they counsel them and raise sick people’s morale. 

Nurses are generally compassionate, treat patients as individuals, and try their best to meet their emotional needs. Some nurses go out of their way and discuss patients’ emotional problems with the patients’ families. When the need arises, nurses calm patients down and give terminally ill patients hope for a better tomorrow. 

Educating Patients and their Families about Aftercare

Doctors do not spend much time with patients, but nurses are generally around them. Nurses are the ones who stay with patients and help them on their road to recovery. Several patients get discharged from hospitals, but they require care at home. Some patients have to live with their medical conditions forever.

This is where nurses’ intuitions come into play as patients find it hard to live with the new reality. Acting on their instincts, nurses help patients accept their situation and educate them and their families about different treatment methods at home.

Several patients insist on staying at home post-surgery. Nurses help their families understand the postoperative care processes and educate them on making at-home recovery more comfortable.


Nurses can perform their job more efficiently when they understand their patients. Intuition is the ability to understand without reasoning, and intuitions play an active role in almost all nursing practices. Nurses who act on their intuitions often succeed in making timely decisions, which helps improve patients’ condition. 

Experts say that nurses shouldn’t ignore their intuitions but should also consider facts and logic while making important decisions. Impulses help deal with patients, but for severe health issues relying only on instinct can be dangerous. Nurses must consider academic knowledge and experiences and decide based on both practices.

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