Not the Doctor’s Assistant
You probably have the same perception.
That nurses are just but assistants to the doctors.
The Aliping Sagigilid.
(insert other derogatory descriptions you would call a nurse here.)
Pardon the exaggeration on the first few lines but allow me to expound on that claim in a while.
I was reviewing my brother weeks ago about their lesson on “Community Helpers”. It was a thin pamphlet on the different jobs that people do in the community. You probably know the drill on these types of lessons. The students identify the job based on the description indicated, vice versa. Things were going quite well until we got to the item about the nurse. I knew back then that what I saw would readily feed my next blog entry. I just had to take a picture of that specific number.
Here’s it is:
No wonder why society looks down on nurses! It’s probably because even in the primary level of education, they had been accustomed with the idea that nurses are assistants to the doctors, that they are inferior to them. That they are sunod-sunuran to whatever the doctor orders.
This notion may be traced to the early history of the nursing profession when nursing was viewed as a vocation with their actions being limited to what the doctors instruct them to do so. This was the scenario until Nursing finally became a profession and later on developed its own organized body of knowledge and scope.
From my three and a half years of taking up Nursing at the UST, I was in no way acquainted to this ridiculous idea of being an “assistant” to the doctor. We were taught that we are an independent profession that focus on the more humanized aspect of health care. Yes, we may collaborate with doctors on the medical management of the patient but nurses clearly do more than work on the disease’s pathophysiology!
What I’m trying to say is that although assisting the doctor may be part of the responsibilities of a nurse, it does not constitute their entire scope as professionals. In R.A. 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 it is stated that the functions of a professional nurse are as follows:
(a) Provide nursing care through the utilization of the nursing process. Nursing care includes, but not limited to, traditional and innovative approaches, therapeutic use of self, executing health care techniques and procedures, essential primary health care, comfort measures, health teachings, and administration of written prescription for treatment, therapies, oral topical and parenteral medications, internal examination during labor in the absence of antenatal bleeding and delivery. In case of suturing of perineal laceration, special training shall be provided according to protocol established;
(b) establish linkages with community resources and coordination with the health team;
(c) Provide health education to individuals, families and communities;
(d) Teach, guide and supervise students in nursing education programs including the administration of nursing services in varied settings such as hospitals and clinics; undertake consultation services; engage in such activities that require the utilization of knowledge and decision-making skills of a registered nurse; and
(e) Undertake nursing and health human resource development training and research, which shall include, but not limited to, the development of advance nursing practice;
As far as I’ve read and studied in my Professional Adjustment subject, there was no single line that mentioned about nurses in the same light as the textbooks would put it.
Sometimes it pains me to see some staff nurses panicking when a doctor arrives. One of our clinical instructors, who our group dearly call Mama V, would tell us that “Hindi kayo utusan ng mga clerks (4th year medical students).” And I loved her for that. If the nurses themselves won’t stand up for their profession, who would?
As stated in the Philippine Code of Good Governance,
” No one group of professionals is superior to or above others. All professions perform an equally important, yet distinct service to society.”
READ: NO NURSE SHOULD BE AN ASSISTANT TO ANYONE.
Let this be a call to the Philippine Nurses Association to look into the erroneous descriptions of nurses on text books and other educational paraphernalia. I believe that this issue, albeit small, directly affects the society’s perception on the profession and thus must be addressed immediately.
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