Viewpoint: When families don't respect nurses, patient care can suffer

Patients and their families often place more weight on a physician's words than a nurse's, which can threaten care quality, a registered nurse of 14 years wrote in an article for Healthline's Anonymous Nurse column.

"I've seen this scenario play out time and time again, when the doctor repeats the same explanation the nurse provided moments before, only to be met with more of a respectful and confident reaction from the patient," the nurse wrote in the column.

The nurse argues that these scenarios can affect care quality. Nurses who don't develop a good relationship with a patient or his or her family may not check on the patient as often or respond as quickly. In contrast, nurses who develop a good rapport with these individuals are more likely to offer medical advice and treatment information that the patient and family are more likely to follow. 

"The next time you meet a nurse, remember that they're never 'just' a nurse," the nurse concluded. "They're the eyes and ears for you and your loved one. They'll help catch signs to prevent you from getting sicker. They'll be your advocate and voice when you don't feel you have one. They'll be there to hold your loved one's hand when you can't be there."

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