5 Reasons Why Doctors and Patients Need Nurses
Here are five reasons why clinics and hospitals would not survive without the support and help of nurses.
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Dedicated to Patty, Stella, Tiffany, Susan, and Pauline—the invaluable nursing team that I have the pleasure of working with every day.
If you’ve turned on the television recently, then surely you've seen the Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson versus The View controversy. In case you missed it, here's a short recap: co-hosts Joy Behar and Michelle Collins shamefully made fun of the Miss America contestant’s talent segment. Miss Colorado, a proud nurse, entered the stage wearing scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck, reciting a monologue describing her compassion and dedication to the profession while working in an Alzheimer’s unit.
Unfortunately, the co-hosts insulted Miss Colorado’s candid performance by stating that it’s not a true talent compared to the other contestants who sang opera and played the violin. Then, Joy Behar, perhaps due to lack of awareness on the subject and how the healthcare system functions, made a rather unsophisticated comment, asking why the contestant was wearing a “doctor’s” stethoscope.
Needless to say, the healthcare community has been offended at the hosts’ insensitivity towards nurses. This situation has been a real eye opener to those in medicine, who have realized that the rest of the world may not truly comprehend what any of us—from nurses to administrators to doctors—do on a day-to-day basis. The unquestionable truth is that hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities could simply not function without nurses.
I’ve described the typical day in the life of a clinic doctor in the past. Hospital doctors, although their duties differ due to the nature of the hospital environment, run in circles like a hamster too. The candid truth is that we simply cannot function alone in the clinic or at the hospital. We need help. A lot of it.
Here’s five reasons why doctors cannot do our jobs without nurses:
1. They are our hands
They administer treatments. This includes not only life-saving medications, but also vaccines, intravenous fluids and treatments, transfusions, hemodialysis, chemotherapy. They inspect, clean, treat, and heal your wounds. In some places, they may be the ones who even draw blood. They work very diligently to make certain your treatment is administered precisely and on schedule, every day, all day and all night long.
2. They are our eyes and ears
They are our frontline soldiers—they monitor your ongoing health while in the hospital up close and continuously (and yes, that means they use a stethoscope). They routinely check vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, breathing rate, etc.), assess physical status and symptoms, read the heart monitors, and closely monitor progression through a patient's entire hospital stay. They are the ones who often alert the doctors on the team when something goes wrong. They are the ones who often call a “code” when a patient’s heart stops. They perform CPR. They are the key people on the healthcare team who spend the most time with patients at the hospital. They collaborate with others on our medical teams and must have keen eyes, ears, and communication skills in doing so.