No, we don’t want to be doctors. And no, it’s not because we’re not smart enough. (Insert eye rolls here.) Nursing is a strange profession. When you think about the many negative aspects of our job, we’re insane for showing up to work every day. Yet, nurses love their profession and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Here are a couple of reasons why we don’t want to be doctors.
1. Less Quality Time with Patients
Physicians treat many patients. Because of this, there is less time spent with each person. As nurses, we get twelve hours to spend with our patients. We get to know them on a level that a physician isn’t able to.
I feel like I can help patients better when I know them on a deeper level.
Nurses are there to comfort and encourage when people need it the most. We are able to spend more time explaining procedures or doing important patient education. I feel like I can help patients better when I know them on a deeper level.
2. We Treat Patients, Not the Disease
There is more to caring for a patient than one might expect. Doctors are excellent at what they do and save lives every day. But it seems there are too many patients and not enough doctors. This places a heavier workload on physicians, not allowing them to be as thorough about treating the whole patient. The truth is, patients not only need treatment for their body, but they also need treatment for their spirit and mind, as well. As nurses, we get to help people endure some of the most challenging situations one could experience. I love that nursing allows to me help heal my patient’s body, mind, and spirit – a true holistic care.
3. Too Much Responsibility
As a nurse, I feel like my patient’s lives are in my hands. But a physician’s level of responsibility to his or her patient is way more than nurses are willing to take on. A nurse must check for patient improvement or decline. We administer medications and start treatments per a physician’s order. That is a lot of responsibility already. But, imagine having to make the medical decisions for a patient. A patient’s life can hinge on any decision a doctor makes! No, thank you. I’ll stick my much smaller list of nurse responsibilities.
4. The Bearer of Bad News
I’m sure many of you will agree. Delivering bad news would be my least favorite of a doctor’s responsibilities. Although we know a patient’s test results, it is not our job to tell them the bad news. For that, I am thankful. I want to heal and encourage patients. I want to comfort them when there is no treatment available to improve their state of health. I do not wish to be the one to give a patient a death sentence, so to speak. You can keep that responsibility too, Doc.
So there you go. These are just a few reasons why we are still nurses (and we are happy about it!) Rather than underestimate a nurse for what they do or don’t do, acknowledge them for who they are. Nurses are compassionate, brilliant, and extraordinary individuals who perform miracles under the supervision of the well-paid and over-stressed doctors!