Competent nurse

I read this article as part of a reading assignment, and thought it was a great breakdown of why nurses are important, and what we do to contribute to a patient’s wellbeing. It’s short, but very good at giving some perspective on what nurses actually do for patients. You can find it here.

I’m going to assume that the nurse in the letter is not the guy pictured above.

Does anyone else have problems explaining exactly what makes a nurse important? Does your support system think the breadth of your job is giving shots and pills? Fluffing a pillow? Wiping a dirty ass butt patient?

Next time you’re explaining, it might help to point out some things:

Doctors treat conditions for the most part, not the patient. You see a doctor for an ache, a pain, a disease. Said MD will talk to you to find out what’s going on, then prescribe medicine or a procedure to address the ache/pain/disease. Then doc leaves. In comes the nurse, to teach about and administer the medication, teach about the ache/pain/disease, prepare you for treatment or perform the needed procedure. Your next visit from the doc may be far away, but the nurse will be around.

Seems like the perception of nursing is still behind the times. I guess it’s not surprising since all the docs on TV do nursing stuff and have so much time to spend with the patients. The nurses in the background are relegated to unwanted tasks and nasty stuff the other “professionals” don’t want to do. If Joe and Jane Public see docs acting that way on TV, that’s what they’re going to expect.

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