Doctoring Health Care

Dear Nurses…Thanks

This came today from a social media stream.  It was penned by a hard-working conscientious nurse.

“Somewhere right now, a nurse is getting yelled at for being late with meds, holding their bladder because they don’t have time to pee, starving cause they missed lunch, being puked on, pooped on, bled on, yelled at, and is missing their family while taking care of yours. In the minute it… took you to read this, nurses all over the world are saving lives. Repost if you are a nurse, love a nurse, or APPRECIATE one.”


Double yes.  I appreciate nurses.  You should too.

As the comment stream from the above status update so noted, doctors do get most of the credit. But enlightened insiders know the real story–that nurses are an irreplaceable component of good patient care.  Things that come immediately to mind are:

  • Try doing a pacemaker, ablation or cardioversion without well-trained, committed nurses. 
  • While in a cauldron of pain, try untangling yourself from an IV and chest-tube in the middle of the night without the compassion of a nurse. 
  • Try dressing your own wounds on your backside without the tender touch of a nurse (who doubles as a mom).
  • Try figuring out what’s going on with a patient over the phone without the sound judgement of a conscientious nurse.

There’s plenty more.  You get the picture.

If I could do one thing for nurses; I would help them unshackle themselves from the portable computers, endless non-narrative documentation and heavy-handed regulation in which they currently toil.  It hurts my heart to see them–like us doctors–with keyboards rather than patients. The mantra, “don’t take my fun away,” applies just as aptly to nurses.

And if I was granted another wish, of course, I would be nicer.


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