There is something sacred about nursing.
As a doctor I can’t say enough about the importance of nurses and the nursing profession. I remember little about them as a child except that they were the ones that gave the shots. By my teens I had been hospitalized several times so I had seen a lot of nurses and held them in high regard. It wasn’t till medical school that I really learned about nursing.
Nurses are the front line of medical care. They triage patients in the battlefield. They institute emergency life saving measures. Their manner paints the first impression that the patient sees.
Nurses sift information for relevance. They clean wounds and stop bleeding. They assist the doctor in examination and treatment. They gather specimens and administer medication. They also screen and administer orders of the doctor. In this role they often help the physician by clarification and correction of these orders. I can’t begin to count the number of times a nurse has gently asked me if I really meant to give a patient a medicine to which they were allergic. Nurses are often the first to evaluate treatment effectiveness.
Nurses have to walk a razor sharp line. They know when to reassure and when to call the doctor. When a nurse calls me to see a patient I come as quickly as possible. They know the value of time and rest and even making a dollar, so when they call I usually drop everything and am grateful they are watching the patients for me. They know when urgent intervention is called for.
Nurses give of themselves despite the hardships, adversity and danger of the profession. Nurses witness some of the most inappropriate human behavior, and it is not always from patients. Demands flow from patients, family, doctors and administrators. Then there are the insurance companies. And yet through it all, somehow, nurses maintain a degree of compasionate professionalism that is a constant source of amazement to me.
Medicine without nursing would be a violin without bow and rosin. They are the contact point of caring.
Medicine without nursing would be breath without air. They are the breath of medicine.
Medicine without nursing would be like trying to fly with one wing. Nurses provide balance to medical care.
Medicine without nursing would be body without soul. Nurses are the spirit of healing.
I take my stethoscope off to nurses.
“I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.” Clara Barton
“After two days in hospital, I took a turn for the nurse.” W.C. Fields
"Nursing would be a dream job if there were no doctors.” Gerhard Kocher
“O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse.” William Shakespeare
Link to Nursing Set: www.flickr.com/photos/drphotomoto/sets/72157624274469905/…
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