Roles of Doctors & Nurses

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Doctors and nurses can be found in hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities designed to diagnose and treat the sick and the injured. Doctors and nurses share many similar skills but function differently. A doctor examines a patient’s health and finds a cause and solution for the illness while the nurse assists in the records, equipment and application of medicines. There are many types of doctors and nurses, but all help treat the sick and injured in some way.

Doctor

A doctor is a medical professional who examines the sick and tries to find a way to help them. Doctors can prescribe medicines, different treatments, and can give health advice. A doctor will usually make observations first, then make a list of possible causes and perform tests to find the right treatment. Most doctors have a doctor of medicine, or an M.D.

Role of Doctors

Family doctors or general practitioners are often the doctors we would go see when we are sick. These doctors treat common problems and perform general checkups. When a more serious problem is present, these doctors can send their patient to other doctors who are specialists. Specialists include pediatricians, neurologists and gynecologists, among others. Doctors often work long hours and may have to rush to a hospital in cases of emergencies.

Nurse

Nurses, or registered nurses, help doctors and specialist take care of ill and injured people. Good nurses not only treat wounds and handle medicine, but also provide emotional support to their patients. Because nurses handle many sick people on a daily basis, they have to avoid the risk of infection.

Role of Nurses

Nurses usually assist doctors when dealing with patients. Nurses are usually in charge of handling information and records pertaining to patients and help with testing and lab work. Nurses can also teach patients how to care for themselves. Some nurses can specialize like doctors, and focus on children, surgery or intensive care. Some nurses do office work. Nurses may also work long hours like doctors, and may work more irregular hours. Office nurses usually have regular hours while part-time nurses work selected shifts.

Education

To become a doctor, four years of college, four years of medical school and four years of hospital work are often required. Doctors study physics, chemistry and math, as well as biological sciences. Nurses can take two, three or four years of college depending on the field they want to train for. Nurses also take tests to obtain licenses and to keep their skills up-to-date. Nurses take many biology and science classes like anatomy, chemistry, psychology and nursing theory.

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