More than a Nurse

Providing the most comprehensive care for a patient is the cornerstone of every medical institution. The best coverage will aim to address the physical, emotional and spiritual pain associated with the individual patient’s condition.

Now, don’t get me wrong — no one healthcare professional can possibly address the all of these needs, regardless of their role. That is why entire medical teams take care of a patient, not just a doctor.

Nurses are arguably the most underappreciated component on any patient care team. The question, “what do nurses really do?” is omnipresent in their daily lives and the answer, is actually pretty simple.

A doctor or a surgeon may provide a cure or treatment for a patient, but a nurse heals.

Now, in order to fully comprehend the difference between curing and healing, it is important to understand what each means. Curing can be defined as, “eliminating all evidence of a disease,” while healing more often refers to, “becoming whole.”

If we apply these definitions to the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery, curing relieves the physical, while healing alleviates the emotional and spiritual needs of a patient.

Nurses bring the personal touch to patient care. Most patients enter treatment feeling vulnerable and anxious, and a nurse is often the first point of contact for a patient upon admittance.

The calming nature of a nurse leads the patient to a better place emotionally and spiritually to face their upcoming physical treatments.

While your doctor will be prescribing and detailing your chemotherapy plan, your nurse will be there to help you answer questions like, ‘How will my 2 year old remember me when I’m gone?’ Care and compassion given during these interactions are vital elements for successful treatment and nurses are on the front lines.

The connection between a nurse and patient is a unique partnership. While other members of the medical care team will write your plan and read your charts, nurses are the frequent points of contact helping you get through your day comfortably.

There is no denying the value any member of the patient care team provides. Those charts your doctor is reading you are extremely important, the relationship is just not as personal. And sometimes, when you are recovering, a warm heart and tenderness can be just as important.

Day in and day out, appreciated or not, a nurse will always be there to add the personal layer to patient care. They are, as the saying goes, “The real MVP” of the patient care team. Think about the last time you were at the hospital. What was your doctors name? Any ideas?

Now, what about your nurse?

I bet you remember that one.

So, let’s all take a minute to to reflect on all the great nurses we have had over the years and celebrate National Nurses Week in honor of them. Next time you see that person you know who’s a nurse, thank them.

They deserve far more credit than they get.