Letters to the Editor

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HEALTH CARE: Thanks for physicians

Letter by Greg Kidwell, RN, MSN, COL (RET), Puyallup on April 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm with 2 Comments »
April 9, 2012 2:13 pm

On Sunday, Richard Waltman, M.D., asked “Have you hugged your doctor today?” (TNT, 4-8). As a registered nurse I have shared fears and tears with physicians in a combat zone. We have been shot at together, shelled together, scrambled together to find cover during artillery attacks, and then frantically tend to the wounded and dying as they poured into our combat hospital.

I think physicians and nurses are cut from the same (human) cloth. Our lives and disciplines intersect at the needs of the patient. Nurses require a physician’s order to accomplish much of nursing, and nurses greatly facilitate the physician’s plan of care.

I admire physicians for their accomplishments, intellect and tenacity. More than all of that, I admire them for their humanity. Waltman’s piece reminds us all that physicians are people with feelings and frailties like you and me. Many patients only see the physician in front of them in the hospital or the clinic.

Most patients have no idea of the behind-the-scenes obstructive, time-eating administrative and bureaucratic hurdles physicians jump through just to take care of them. In this day of Medicare cuts, litigation, ever-changing science, long hours, rules and regulations, it is miraculous that anyone would choose the life of medicine. Thank goodness some do.

Here’s one RN’s hug and a “thanks.”

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. boo-hoo!

    I’m not in any mood to hug a physician when he makes me wait 45 minutes in the big waiting room in order to wait another half and hour in the little waiting room before he spends 5 minutes with me. When doctors act like considerate humans maybe is when the rest of us mere mortals will have some compassion towards those Minor Deities.

  2. Whoa, bBoy, speaking of “boo-hoo!” Too bad you don’t have a greater appreciation for the fact that your doctor can see you privately within that short a time. Go stand in line with 300 others in sub-Saharan Africa for a day and a half hoping to see a visiting nurse (and often not ever getting to). Or walk 20 miles to the hospital when you are full-term p.g. and sleep outside the hospital hoping you can get seen when the baby is about to deliver.

    Thanks Col for your insightful and honest remarks, and thank you for your service. You and your cohorts are very much appreciated.

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