As a nurse, what does it mean to be in medicine?

  1. 0
    Is it wrong terminology to say you are in medicine if you are an ICU nurse?

    I know when one says, " i am in medicine" it most oftens refers to a medical doctor.

    However, don't nurses practice medicine too? Especially in the ICU, where nurses are not only constantly assessing but actively and independently adjust medicines like vasoactive drips for very sick pts and continuously doing hemodynamic monitoring and ...I feel like that in itself is very much the practice of medicine....

    Just curious to see what others thought.
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from BINOC
    Is it wrong terminology to say you are in medicine if you are an ICU nurse?

    I know when one says, " i am in medicine" it most oftens refers to a medical doctor.

    However, don't nurses practice medicine too? Especially in the ICU, where nurses are not only constantly assessing but actively and independently adjust medicines like vasoactive drips for very sick pts and continuously doing hemodynamic monitoring and ...I feel like that in itself is very much the practice of medicine....

    Just curious to see what others thought.
    You could say that in most nurse roles but why be ambiguous?
  4. 3
    I feel saying "I am in medicine" is very misleading and uncomfortable. It is just as easy to say "I am a nurse". I get what you are saying about drips and hemodynamic monitoring, but you could really say that about any specialty. There are going to be things on every floor that require specialized knowledge and skills. That is more considered nursing assessment and judgement. Practicing medicine is something that is reserved for doctors. Be proud of being a nurse.
    Last edit by yuzzamatuzz on Oct 23, '12
    Fiona59, DizzyLizzyNurse, and llg like this.
  5. 3
    It annoys the heck out of me when someone calls nursing "medicine" or worse yet uses the phrase "medical field." It is misleading and disrespectful of nursing as its own discipline.
    Fiona59, anotherone, and llg like this.
  6. 0
    If you heard someone talking about "medicine", maybe they worked in the Medical ICU and not the surgical ICU or the neuro ICU.
    When I hear "medicine", often people are talking about patients being managed non-surgically.
    I used to work on a medicine floor. Most of our people were elderly with many many chronic health issues.
    So patients who aren't admitted to renal, orthopedics, cardiology are "medical" in hospital language.
  7. 5
    Nurses practice nursing, physicians practice medicine. Why can't you just say "I'm an ICU nurse"?
    SHGR, Fiona59, Wnurses, and 2 others like this.
  8. 4
    I am a "medical nurse"; that is, I work on a "Medical Unit" caring for patients with "medical" issues, as opposed to surgical (or orthopedic, or whatever) issues.

    But I don't practice medicine, I practice nursing, a separate discipline.
    SHGR, Fiona59, anotherone, and 1 other like this.
  9. 1
    Part of it may be the proliferation of non-nurses calling themselves nurses and this person does not want to be lumped in with them. I recently had a pt who said to me "oh, I understand...I'm a nurse." This was while her work badge, identifying herself as a CNA, was visible. And, I would say that a CNA could say that he or she was "in nursing." (enough on that, I don't want another drawn out discussion about CNAs, MAs, etc. calling themselves nurses)

    I do, however, find it misleading to say "in medicine." Nursing is not medicine. They are different fields with different foci, even if their final goal is often, but not always, the same. I think this person should say "I am a registered nurse" or "I am an RN in the medical ICU" or something else to that effect.
    Last edit by psu_213 on Oct 23, '12
    Fiona59 likes this.
  10. 3
    Nurses provide care under the nursing model of care provision. Doctors, PAs, and medical assistants provide care under the medical model of care provision.

    Regardless of the specialty, you are practicing nursing. You are not in medicine. Be proud!
    SHGR, Wnurses, and cp1024 like this.
  11. 0
    Yes, you're making an error in terminology.

    I have a license to practice nursing, not medicine. A physician has a license to practice medicine, not nursing.

    So no, you don't practice medicine if you are a licensed RN, working as same.

    Don't mislead anyone, simply state "I'm an ICU nurse". Period.


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