Why Nurses Make the Best Partners
May 6-12, 2017, is National Nurses’ Week. Here at Skilled Wound Care, we’d like to recognize and thank all the wonderful nurses we’ve had the privilege to work with across the country. You’re amazing! We’re taking this opportunity to talk about the partnership between doctors, nurses, and patients: we’re truly honored to be part of the same team!
There’s no question about it: nursing is tough, tough job. And the demands of healthcare today aren’t making it any easier. But nurses are a critical part of the healthcare team, and it’s important that all their teammates (like those of us here at SWC) stand up and proclaim that fact, loud and clear.
Nurses, in our opinion, make the best partners you could ask for. They’re conscientious, unbelievably hard-working, smart, compassionate, and attuned to small changes and details. And the consensus is clear: the best health outcomes arise from great teamwork between physician providers and their nursing counterparts. “As providers,” wrote one physician, “we need to be in tuned to these unsung heroes, tapping into the valuable resources and cultivating relationships that impact patient care.” (“Good Doctors Listen to Nurses,” Jeffrey McWilliams, MD) That seems exactly right, but we’d go one step farther.
A reality of healthcare is that nurses will spend far more time with patients than doctors will; as such, they are the frontline of care and play a huge role in the success or failure of a particular path of treatment. As one RN put it:
Many doctors will tell you that it’s nursing care, not physician care, that makes the biggest impact on a patient’s recovery. (“When the Nurse Disagrees With the Doctor,” Theresa Brown, RN; New York Times)
We’ve seen the truth of this firsthand, over and over. It doesn’t matter how good an idea or a plan is: if the entire team isn’t on board, it won’t happen. Despite what some dinosaurs in the profession may think, the days of all-knowing doctors dictating treatments to wide-eyed nurses are long gone (and let’s be honest: those days didn’t work so well in the first place!). As one writer put it,
...we are shifting away from a paternalistic model of care, and more towards a team-based approach.
This team-based approach is at the center of Skilled Wound Care’s approach to healing, and it’s why we continue to emphasize that our mission is a partnership. That’s also why one of our company’s founding principles focuses on empowering nursing staff at long-term care facilities through education.
Doctors and nurses have different jobs, to be sure, but their ability to work together is the cornerstone of outstanding patient care. Great communication, mutual respect, a willingness to maintain an open mind, and a sense of team are all essential to keep that partnership in good working order.
So thank you to all the nurses out there - for all the hard work that we see you do, and for the huge amount that we don’t see, we deeply appreciate you. We value your insights, your expertise, and your commitment. We’re proud to stand next to you!