What Do Nurses Really Do ?

Over the years, the question of what nurses really do on a daily basis has confounded not

only the general public, but also those who work in the healthcare field. However, one cannot

attempt to explain what nurses do on a daily basis without first understanding what nursing is

and why the healthcare field even exists. The field of nursing exists primarily to assist the

physicians and to facilitate the recovery of ill, weak patients. Nurses exist to show each patient

compassion, so the patient will feel welcome, and not like a burden onto others. It is the nurses’

obligation to possess the knowledge necessary to ensure and facilitate the patients’ health and

healing process.

According to Suzanne Gordon (2006), “Nurses use their considerable knowledge to

protect patients from the risks and consequences of illness, disability, and infirmity, as well as

from the risks and consequences of the treatment of illness. They also protect patients from the

risks that occur when illness and vulnerability make it difficult, impossible, or even lethal for

patients to perform the activities of daily living” (p. 1). Gordon’s personal thoughts on what

nurses do basically wraps the nurse’s duties into a nut-shell. Although her statement is quite

vague, with no clear-cut answer to what nurses actually do daily, one gets an idea of the overall

role of the nurse in the healthcare environment and, more importantly, to the patient. Even some

of the most obvious roles of the nurses, such as building a relationship with the family, has a

positive impact on the patients’ health and the family’s coping with a loved ones’ illness. The

main idea in Gordon’s belief of what nurses really do is protection. Everyday a nurse’s main goal

is to protect the patient from existing and future complications of illness and disease. Patients

realize this and tend to develop a close, trustworthy relationship with the nurse because the

nurses is usually the first person to interact with the patient while he or she is going through a

health crisis. For example, the nurse is the first one who come to the patient’s rescue when he or




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