From a doctor to a nurse: I wouldn’t survive without you


Sometimes I’m not the nicest. Sometimes I don’t say “thank you” or “please.” Sometimes I seem gruff or insensitive. Sometimes my tone does not put you at ease.

It’s not because I disrespect you. I value our interactions each and every day. It’s not because I don’t like you. Some of it is just the way I was trained.

You are at the bedside more than I am. You are the front line of patient care. You referee the families. You ensure that patients are treated fair.

Our relationship is symbiotic. Without each other we cannot survive. Our willingness to work together benefits our patients the most. I appreciate that bond.

Sometimes you are apologetic when you call me. You don’t have to feel bad. You are doing the best for the patient. A characteristic you should always have.

Three times I’ve been an inpatient. Three times so very impressed. The TLC and bedside care made my experience a success. Less than an hour per day with my doctor, but nursing was round the clock. My lasting impression was not what my doctor did, but what you did day in and out.

You are an integral part of the patient experience. You make the trains run on time. The culture of our team is mutual respect. It is important that we all have a moment to shine.

I don’t say this enough, but “much respect.” Respect for all you do. I value your contributions and appreciate your passion. I wouldn’t survive without you.

Eve Shvidler is an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of Burning the Short White Coat: A Story of Becoming a Woman Doctor.

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