Written by Jeanine Clancy, MEd, BSN, RN
Nurses represent the largest group of the healthcare workforce and contribute significant value to healthcare worldwide.
The nurse/doctor collaboration is critical to providing high-quality healthcare.
Just in time for Nurses Month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Young, a board-certified anesthesiologist, to learn about his experience working with nurses over his 30-year career in medicine. Dr. Young practices in Las Vegas, Nevada, caring for adult and pediatric patients at several hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Also, Dr. Young is the medical director at Green Valley Surgery Center and StoneCreek Surgery Center.
What do doctors appreciate about nurses...
“Throughout my career, I have always thought of my interaction and work with nurses as a team approach. In the operating room, the essential team members are the surgeon, anesthesiologist or CRNA, surgical nurse or technician, and circulating nurse. This collaboration focuses on one patient and their care. The best part? You are not juggling multiple patients.
We all work together to deliver the best possible outcome for the patient, and all have the same goal. The camaraderie and trust among the team is an added benefit.”
“Every step of the way, the nurse ensures the team follows procedure, protocol, and safety measures, while ensuring that the team does everything in the patient's best interest. The nurse is the glue of the team in all clinical and professional settings.”
“Also, my respect and trust in the nurses I work with allows me to work more efficiently and comfortably, knowing that the nurse is collaborating and executing the prescribed treatment plan. This collaboration allows the team to work at the highest level of performance."
“Another critical component that comes to mind is the nurse's role in communicating with the patient, family, and other healthcare providers. The nurse has the most interaction with the patient and typically has already established a rapport before seeing the patient.”
“I am grateful for the nurses I have worked with over the years. It has been a collaborative experience that has helped make my professional career rewarding.”
Would a physician want to be a nurse?
Dr. Young shared that he is a first-generation immigrant. His father, from a young age, directed his career towards becoming a physician and did not consider nursing as a profession for his son.
Dr. Young explained, "I started medical school four decades ago when the landscape of career choices was different from today.” Following his father’s wishes, he did not delve into nursing but was able to observe the parallel profession from afar.
“Reflecting on my thirty-year career, I have far more insight into the nurse's role and can advise someone interested in nursing.”
“In my work environment and opinion, nurses are vital to good patient outcomes. However, I am aware that is not always the case and that many nurses feel undervalued. Nurses are often not appreciated for the level of education, expertise, and effort they bring to healthcare.”
Nurses' Value in the OR
Who else touches as many lives as nurses do? As highly competent, caring medical professionals, nurses are the frontline and backbone of healthcare. It is no secret that anxiety runs high in the pre-op area. Still, as the calming force before a surgery, nurses make a challenging situation much easier for everyone involved. In addition, the joint effort in highly collaborative departments such as the OR creates an opportunity for shared responsibility for problem-solving on the fly. Knowing you can lean on your team sets the stage for success.
And the best part? The value of nurses is finally being recognized.
The perception of nurses is changing for the better, evolving from Florence Nightingale in a traditional, white nurses uniform, to experience to today's nursing workforce in butter soft scrubs. In addition, the top-down hierarchy is shifting to a collaborative healthcare model. These developments are likely to accelerate as patients continue to benefit from the team approach.
The bottom line, when the nurse and doctor collaborate in care, the patient wins.
What Can You Do to Elevate Nurses?
Be vocal and educate the public about nursing as a profession.
Join professional organizations, such as the American Nurses Association.
Build awareness of all nursing career paths.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
Dr. Danny Young
Board-certified anesthesiologist, Las Vegas, NV
President of Freeman and Young LLC
Medical Director of Green Valley Surgery Center and StoneCreek Surgery Center
About the Author
Jeanine Clancy MEd, BSN, RN, has been a nurse for twenty-seven years with an extensive background in perioperative services, school/community health, quality, education, and leadership/administrative roles. Jeanine creates high-quality health content and is a mom (to 4 fabulous kids), dog mom, and avid hiker. For more information on my services, please visit inspiremedicalwriting.com.