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Doctor Spends a Day Working as a Nurse

How 1 Doctor Learned to Never Take Nurses For Granted

Ever thought about spending the day in another's shoes? Well today Dr. Laurance Lequier, medical director of the...

Posted by Stollery Children's Hospital on Thursday, February 4, 2016

As a way of raising money and conducting a sort of workplace experiment, one Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) doctor in Alberta, Canada, shadowed a nurse for a 12-hour shift — an experience that he found utterly eye-opening.

After staff and physicians agreed to donate money to the PICU social committee if Dr. Laurance Lequier, Medical Director of the Stollery Children's Hospital PICU, spent a day as a nurse, Lequier shadowed registered nurse Brittany Collins for a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift. According to Alberta Health Services:

As a critical care physician, Lequier spends 15 to 30 minutes with each of his 12 to 16 patients; during his RN shift, he spent the day with one patient. "As a physician I think we take for granted that we write an order and the work just gets done," says Lequier. "As an RN I get to care for one family throughout the day . . . After my day as an RN, I am going to suggest that all the residents who train on our unit do the same. RNs spend more time with patients than we as physicians do, having an understanding of how they care for a patient and experiencing a completely different view can only make us better physicians."

While the experiment took place in early 2016, it picked up steam all over again on Facebook this week, as clearly the internet agrees with the value of this workplace role reversal, and gaining compassion and respect for your colleagues never goes out of style.

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