The New York Times ran an article this weekend by Lawrence K. Altman, M.D. in their health-related blog, The Well, highlighting the importance of nursing in our healthcare system.
The article notes that RNs provide the personal touch that is so often missing in our healthcare facilities today, but it also notes that nurses have also "saved many doctors from making fatal mistakes in caring for patients."
Altman reports that Dr. Arnold S. Relman, a former eminent medical educator that is now recovering from an accident, expressed his newfound appreciation for the role of RNs in medical care in his recent article on his injuries and the medical treatment he received in the New York Review of Books. Relman is 90 years old, and spent an entire career working in healthcare. As the author notes, the fact that his appreciation is "new" is what is perhaps so surprising and indeed disturbing.
Altman suggest that medical professionals are often taught in silos, and perhaps a more dynamic and collaborative approach should be explored to provide holistic care in the future.