Recognizing Our Nurses

Can you imagine a world without nurses? As a physician and patient, I can’t. Nurses are essential members of the healthcare team. They deserve our respect and recognition for what they do for patients, doctors and the rest of the healthcare team.

I have been working with nurses for over twenty years, ever since I was in medical school. However, it seems that when you spend a long time with someone, you tend to take for granted what they do and forget to recognize their value. At least that was my case until just recently.

Experiencing it firsthand

It so happens that I had to undergo elective surgery and spent the night at a local hospital a few days before writing this article. It was the excellent attention that I received from the nurses in charge of my care before, during and after my surgery that helped me “open my eyes” and remember to value their very special role.

As physicians, we are used to working alongside nurses, but our interaction with them is usually limited to writing or verbalizing orders for them to follow. We are so busy taking care of our doctor duties that we rarely witness the work they do. So, when a doctor becomes a patient it helps him/her view the work of a nurse from a different perspective. It also made me wonder what it would be like if nurses were not an integral part of the healthcare team. And I did not like that idea.

The power of teamwork

Patients and doctors alike need caring, dedicated, compassionate nurses.

Patients and doctors alike need caring, dedicated, compassionate nurses. Many times our recommended treatments could not be put into place or be successful without the help of a nurse. We need each other. We are a team.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Nursing Program is considered to be the number one nursing school in the world. An online article on their website entitled, “American Nursing: An Introduction to the Past,” states the following:
“Professional nursing holds a unique place in the American healthcare system. As members of the largest healthcare profession, the nation’s 3.1 million nurses work in diverse settings and fields and are frontline providers of healthcare services. Nurses are critical links in maintaining a cutting-edge health care system. Nursing continues to be an indispensable service to the American public.”

Beyond the USA

Another article, entitled “Nursing in Today’s Society“, and found on the website of the Ingram School of Nursing – McGill University, in Canada, reads as follows:
“Health care has been identified as Canadians’ number one public priority – and nurses play a central role in delivering health care. Nurses help people and their families cope with illness, deal with it, and if necessary live with it, so that other parts of their lives can continue.”

Multiple roles, every one invaluable

Nurses have a broad role as health care professionals.

This comes to show the importance that nurses have not only in the American society but also in other societies. Their work is not limited to caring for patients in the hospital. They have a broad role as health care professionals that include health promotion, education on prevention of injury and illness, health assessments, providing support, participating in rehabilitation, home care, nursing home care, some serve as nurse practitioners, just to mention a few. 
 So, it’s time we give our nurses the respect and recognition that they deserve. We never know when we are going to be on the receiving end of their care.

Last updated: 09.22.2018
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Written byDr. Mariel Gonzalez-Mendoza

Mariel Gonzalez-Mendoza, MD is a primary care physician at The Villages Health® (TVH) Pinellas Care Center in The Villages®, Florida. She feels that everyone should have the right to see a doctor when they need to and explains her role at TVH further: "As a primary care physician it is my responsibility to listen to my patients and educate them about the importance of prevention and guide them in the management of their already established chronic illnesses. In doing so, I feel I am fulfilling my role as their medical advisor and caregiver."

Coach Image

Written by Dr. Mariel Gonzalez-Mendoza

Mariel Gonzalez-Mendoza, MD is a primary care physician at The Villages Health® (TVH) Pinellas Care Center in The Villages®, Florida. She feels that everyone should have the right to see a doctor when they need to and explains her role at TVH further: "As a primary care physician it is my responsibility to listen to my patients and educate them about the importance of prevention and guide them in the management of their already established chronic illnesses. In doing so, I feel I am fulfilling my role as their medical advisor and caregiver."

The Villages, The Villages Health, America’s Healthiest Hometown, and their associated logos are trademarks of Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., and are used with permission.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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