We have our favorites, and sometimes it is inevitable. Favoritism is technically not wrong because one can better than the other, and it’s a fact. Well, this also happens in the hospital. Some patients preferred to have or talk to their nurses than their doctors. Before, I give you some of the reasons why, let me also underscore that this article is merely an opinion based from different experiences of patients and nurses.
We have favorites because we have preferences. These preferences give us the reasons why we find one person better than the other, or why we sometimes look for the same person, even though there are several other staffs available to serve us. I’ve talked to some patients and also to my colleagues about why we are often preferred than doctors, and here are some reasons they gave me.
Nurses spend more time with us (patients)
The time we spend on our patients is part of our job, because we need to monitor the progress of their condition. But aside from this, there is more than just being with them for a good number of hours. Some of the patients I spoke with, told me that they love their nurses because they can really feel that they spends time with them, and not simply get inside their room, check their vitals, and leave the patient.
For patients, spending time is not only knowing their health condition but also knowing them as a person. This entails talking about simple things that is not related to their disease, or merely talking about how great the weather has been. I remember, one of my previous patients told me that he detrimentally felt bored in the hospital, and his children rarely visited him. In fact, he even said that he felt like he don’t have a family anymore. However, with his nurses around, who always spend time chatting with him, he felt as if he has an extended family in the hospital.
Nurses tend to be more attentive when we talk
We can say that this is part of spending time with our patients. Listening to our patients is very important, because nursing diagnosis is not limited to the physical aspect of our patients. We also need to understand what other factors that could possibly help them improve their condition, such as customizing interventions that would be relevant to their interests.
We know how complicated the conditions of our patients’ are, and we fully understand that sometimes, regardless of how advance our technology is, their conditions won’t simply improve. But, caring shouldn’t be just about curing disease, but also improving quality of life. By making your patients feel how important they are, and making them smile in every possible way, is a way of improving their quality of life.
Nurses give more feedback or explanation
We have to consider the fact that doctors don’t have all the time in the world to address all the inquiries of their patients, and sometimes, patients have follow-up questions that can’t be immediately answered simply because their doctor already left. This is when nurses help doctors in responding to patient’s questions.
Patients thought that we provide more feedback (which is true) but this is because we also have more time for them. However, our feedback would usually be about our nursing diagnosis or a simple explanation of their medical findings. Although we understand the diseases process of our patients, we are not allowed to provide evaluation or personal opinion of their potential outcome as to avert false hope.
According to Jackson, there has been a survey conducted which analyzes why some patients are more satisfied with nurses than doctors. This survey utilized the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) questionnaire, wherein the result shows that doctors scored better and had an average global score of 7.2 / 10. However, nurse practitioners (NP) have a better global average, with a score of 9.8/ 10. The findings to this survey expound that NP appears to provide patient satisfaction due to the following rationales:
- Show more respect for patients’ opinions
- Provide more feedback
- Spend more time with patients
- Listen more closely
The level of satisfaction is not the only factor that directly states how effective an individual or professional is. Everyone has limitations that should be considered, we must not underestimate or demean other’s effort and capability merely because of that. Nurses and doctors have their respective limitations, but such margins create teamwork that allows them to become effective. In addition to this, the boundaries of their role helps health care professionals to further hone their skills, because it is utopian for us to expect that they both know and are seasoned at everything. Overall, favoritism is not a crime or has never been wrong, but let not this be our reason to disparage one from the other.
Jackson, S. (2011). Study: Patients prefer NPs over physicians. Fierce Healthcare. Retrieved December 18, 2015 from http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/study-patients-prefer-nps-over-physicians/2011-06-28