Children's views of nursing and medical roles: implications for advanced nursing practice

Authors: McDonald, H. and Rushforth, H.

Journal: Paediatric nursing

Volume: 18

Issue: 5

Pages: 32-36

Publisher: Royal College of Nursing

ISSN: 0962-9513

Abstract Aim: Changes in healthcare delivery make it increasingly iikeiy that children accessing ambulatory care will receive their health assessment and management from nurses rather than junior doctors. As part of a larger study exploring the safety and efficacy of nurse-led pre-operative assessment (Rushforth et al 2006) this study aimed to discover children's views of nursing and medical roles.

Method: Data were collected from 63 children using drawing and writing activity sheets during preadmission events.

Findings: Findings suggest that there is a clear demarcation in children's minds between doctors and nurses. In addition to the gender differences, children saw 'caring' as a nursing role and 'curing' as a medical role. However, there has been some change since earlier studies with only three children noting that nurses 'helped doctors' or 'did what doctors tell them' and less than a guarter of the children drawing nurses with hats. ' • Conclusion: As with all other patients, children should be fully informed of the status of the practitioner undertaking their care; understanding how they perceive the roles of doctors and nurses will support this information giving.

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