Physicians VS. Nurses: Roles in The Healthcare System

Physicians VS. Nurses: Healthcare is a multidisciplinary field that requiresa team effort to thrive and grow consistently. The healthcare forceis a collaborative associationcomprising several important components. Of these, two critical elements without which a medical institution can simply not function are nurses and physicians. Both are highly valued and significant professions in the field of healthcare. Together, they form the backbone of any medical organization.

Nurses VS. Physicians

Students pursuing the field of medicine often find themselves confused between two career paths; Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) of Doctor of Medicine (MFD). At the core, the role of both physicians and nurses is to utilize their skills to serve humanity.

Nurses are the first to interact with patients that come in through the hospital door. They assist individuals in navigating multiple healthcare facilities provided by the hospital and bridge the gap between patients and doctors. They communicate with patients to understand their needs and concerns, then direct them accordingly to the relevant physician.

Physicians have a unique grasp on the functioning of the human body. They utilize their expert skills in human anatomy, medical ethics,andpharmacology to diagnose and treat a patient’s illness, wound, or injury. They evaluate the current physical state of their client and then devise a relevant treatment strategy as per their needs and concerns.

However, choosing a career path is indeed difficult as it is a life-altering decision. If you still find yourself confused between DNP VS MD, keep reading to get a better understanding of what either of these professions has in store for you. 


  • Roles

As a nurse, it is critical to master the skills of communication and the art of multi-tasking. While it is your primary duty to support patients and their families, you must also simultaneously assist doctors and physicians in performing their tasks. Nurses cater to individuals of all ages, genders, and cultures. They have several different duties in the healthcare sector, for example:

  • Nurses are required to interact with patients to assess their medical needs and concerns. They must also evaluate the patient’s current physical state and symptoms. 
  • They must study their medical history, ask about past diagnoses, surgeries or treatments, any existing allergies, and current medication they are on. They must utilize this information to create a conclusive report for the doctor. 
  • Nurses also work alongside doctors, physicians, and other professionals, convey the patient’s concerns and help create an appropriate treatment plan. 
  • They conduct relevant tests like blood tests and take urine samples to monitor patients’ health. They administer the prescribed medications and keep a constant lookout for any side effects or allergic reactions.
  • Nurses ensure a patient’s hygiene by tending to their wounds and injuries. They perform regular dressing or bandage changes. 
  • They educate the patient and their family regarding the diagnosis and how the doctors plan to proceed. They help provide comfort, resolve any concerns and soothe their anxiety during this stressful period. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, get more details from UTA here.


The duty of a registered nurse varies on a day-to-day basis. It is largely dependent on the organization they serve, their team’s size, and the patient load. They have a variable number of shifts with flexible timing. Job openings for nurses are available not only in hospitals and clinics but also in schools, rehabilitation facilities, detention centers, old-age homes, and homeless shelters. Nursing is a very stable and in-demand career. The field is continually expanding and creating more job opportunities. Research conducted by The Bureau of Labor Statistics has suggested that between 2020-2030 the demand for nurses will increase by 45% owing to the growing aging population.


  • Roles

There are numerous similarities between the role of a physician and a nurse. Like nurses, physicians too must provide the basic care and support to patients and their families. But due to their higher level of education and experience, they have a larger number of responsibilities. For example:

  • A majority of illnesses are complex; their symptoms vary from person to person. Physicians must utilize their expertise in human anatomy and pharmacology to correctly diagnose a patient’s illness. 
  • Different combinations of medications, treatments, and remedies work for different patients. A regimen that works for one patient may not help another patient effectively. Therefore, physicians must create personalized treatment plans for each of their clients as per their condition. 
  • Physicians must observe their patients throughout their treatment period and post-recovery. 


Physicians hold more power in the healthcare force and can work independently without supervision. Some states even allow them to start their private practices after obtaining a license. Moreover, they are qualified to pursue numerous career opportunities. Some common specializations include: 

  • Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists are physicians who study pain management. They make sure patients stay pain-free during and after medical procedures. They also assist surgeons by monitoring a patient’s vitals during surgery and adjusting anesthetics if need be. 

  • Pediatrician

Pediatricians cater to newborns, infants, growing children, and teenagers. They study the disorders, diseases, and illnesses common amongst youngsters. They also administer and schedule vaccinations. 

  • Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist specializes in mental disorder treatment and prevention. They study the impact of the human psyche on behavior, mood, and physical well-being. They provide counseling and therapy to struggling patients and help them find healthy coping mechanisms. 

  • Surgeons

Surgeons perform operations, repair tissue damage, insert medical equipment, remove cancerous tumors, or change the physical appearance of a patient. They must create a surgical plan and manage unexpected situations in an operation theatre. 

Both nurses and physicians are significant members of the healthcare force. Regardless of which profession you choose, you will be helping better the lives of people all around you and making an actual mark in the world.

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