Utilizing Nurses

Three cheers for Suzanne Gordon for her article, "Nurses as Partners for Better Care" (Commentary, April 28). She succinctly captured the essence of the doctor/nurse lack of communication. This power struggle negatively impacts patient care. Everyone is the loser.

A large percentage of the nation's health care could be performed by registered nurses. It has been estimated that 90% of diagnosis and treatment of a patient can be determined by active listening. In this way, predisposing factors and symptoms can be utilized to give improved patient care. Nurses listen to patients.

Doctors do not heal patients. Nurses do. It is in the centuries-old history of health education and disease prevention that nurses shine. This has been our agenda since the beginning of nursing care. Until nurses are utilized to their fullest, health care will continue to founder. Nurses can turn this situation around.

NORMA GUEST SMITH RN

Los Angeles

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