A nurse is neither an assistant nor a medical doctor


In 2016, there were arguments from Basuki Cahaya Purnama (Ahok), the Governor of Jakarta who mentioned that nurse and medical doctor are the same. If people want to have medication, they can just ask nurses to come to give the treatment. Meanwhile Dr. Slamet Budarto, Chairman of IDI Jakarta mentioned that nurse and medical doctor are different. Nurse cannot do as medical doctor do. It means nurses cannot prescribe drugs, and nurses act through their nursing care. It seems so interesting, and here I provide my perspectives regarding this issue for consideration.

I can say that Nurses and Medical Doctors are equal, but not the same. It seems wonder why we need to rethink the differences between these two professions.

First, when we are talking about nursing, we talk about caring, not a medication. That is the essence in nursing discipline. Meanwhile, medical doctor talks about medicine and treatment.

Second, it is useless if we debate between the positions that medical doctor should be on the top and nurse in the lower position. In fact, they are in the same position, Medical doctors and nurses appear to work harmoniously together. Nurse work without medical doctor in hospital setting will be incomplete; otherwise medical doctor without nurse is impossible. Nurses are standby 24 hours. Therefore, whether you are a patient or a medical doctor, one of the best things you can do is get on the good side of the nurses. But, we all know the image of nurse does not seem good enough. The traditional role and image of nurses can be seen as the expressions of an oppressed group, in this case the medical doctor. Nurses might be viewed as the Assistant of Medical Doctor, which is not true. Nurses are not the assistants of any professions.

Third, Nurses are often viewed by society as a medical doctor because the existence of nurse is truly good. People tend to feel comfortable when talking to nurses rather than medical doctors, especially in remote or rural areas in which is also difficult to find medical doctors. However, again, nurses are not going to replace medical doctor, they work through nursing care.

Fourth, all registered nurses who their basic is bachelor nurse do not have any rights to prescribe drugs, except Advance Practice Nurse (APN) and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who are certified and eligible to prescribe drugs as medical doctors do in every setting. But, we need to consider again that the majority of our nurses in Indonesia are Diploma and Bachelor Nurse, not APN or CNS.

Fifth, Nursing is a very good profession. Considering if you are a patient, a nurse watches over you and your care. Nurses make sure that you will not fall. They make sure they give the right dose of the right medication in the right route to the right person at the right time. They also provide education about medicines and health conditions. They also make sure you know what day it is, where you are, and who you are, including monitoring your progress and try to ensure that your health only improves. On the other hand, if you are medical doctor, nurses page you that patients need you. They can find out when you are scheduled to go through a procedure, as well as can find out what you are waiting for. Nurses wake you up at night when the patients need help. Nurses do your delegation jobs regarding your instructions, such as injection, giving an oral drug, etc. Can you just imagine a bit how if the world without nurse?

I wish my perspectives would help you to rethink again about nurse before jumping to conclusion.