Nurses Are Friends, Not Food or Just Caretakers

Monica Lin - 08/02/19

Nurses are wonderful, and almost everyone knows that. They help doctors out with parts of their job that they cannot do, they offer support — both emotional and medical — to patients and the families of patients, and with all of this, they save lives. They can seem like heroes, and they are incredibly trustworthy, but it’s important to remember that nurses are more than that. Oftentimes, they can be seen as just caretakers, but in addition to being in charge of a patient’s health, they are also a patient’s friend. After all, they wouldn’t be viewed as the most trustworthy profession for no reason.

So, in lieu of National Friendship Day, we’re writing a blogpost to celebrate all the things that nurses do when they are on the job that they don’t necessarily have to do, highlighting the things that they go out of their way to do for patients in order to make patients feel more at home and loved. 


A nurse’s honesty and trustworthiness plays a huge role in why they may appear to be inviting, open, and welcoming to patients, and it’s no coincidence that all of these characteristics also appear in friends. When a prognosis is poor, they are usually the ones who deliver this news to the patients and family, and because they try to tell them in terms that are as mild yet straightforward as possible, this creates a mutual bond of trust. One important part of a nurse’s job is to interpret what doctors say; often, doctors don’t really understand how to communicate with a patient as they use loads of medical terminology that don’t get through to the patient, but nurses try to speak in a more personable manner. Oftentimes, patients will turn to nurses after a doctor speaks to make sure that they understand what is going on, even though a nurse’s interpretation of a doctor’s prognosis may require a hard truth. Patients often expect nurses to be honest because the connection between the two is usually incredibly intimate; for this reason, nurses are trusted and can be like a friend who truly cares about your getting better by telling you a direct problem, no matter how hard to deal with. Moreover, they stand by you as you go through whatever you are going through and try to better you and your health in the process. What more could you ask for in a friend?

They are also CARING

Additionally, nurses are incredibly caring. More than just asking about your medical health, they also ask you questions that have to do with your personal life and wellness in other sectors. This matters a lot because it elevates the relationship from patient-nurse to one of friendship; friends often ask one another how they are doing. Beyond this, they also give comfort and condolences to those that they care for. One of my high school friends had an experience with a nurse that gave her a positive view about nurses. She stated that her nurse, when she was younger, was very kind to her, going above and beyond to care for her, her family, and her sick father. When she began crying, her favorite nurse would reach out and hug her, tell her words of encouragement, and lead her elsewhere to try to distract her when she needed. These actions are much more than that of a medical caretaker; nurses see patients’ needs, highlighting the human-side of the job, and a lot of doctors aren’t able to do these small acts of kindness and care that mean so much. These things allow a patient to feel cared for on all levels, adding more to their trust of nurses. Nurses care deeply for their patients and their patients’ families, forming strong bonds of friendship in times of hardship and need.


Because nurses care so much about their patients and are there for them even when they don’t need to be, standing by their bedside or holding a hand and telling someone words of comfort during a hard time, they are also incredibly compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. This affects their mood and how their personas are perceived, allowing them to appear incredibly genuine. Additionally, nurses are cheerful, and they exhibit the moods that are appropriate to the situation at hand. They give bad news with empathy and compassion in their eyes, but they try to keep spirits high when patients need that kind of treatment most, whether that be through trying to distract a patient, always having a smile when necessary, or speaking in a kind, welcoming tone of voice, not one that is standoffish. It is a lot easier, then, to perceive nurses as warm, caring, and kind characters, and these are the kinds of qualities we often look for in friends as well.

Nurses, then, deserve so much more for what they do, and part of what they gain from being on the job are the wonderful and meaningful relationships and friendships that they make in between, whether those friendships be with doctors, other nurses, or patients. Without friendship, trustworthiness, care, and compassion, nurses would not be so trusted as they are. Being a nurse comes with being a friend to a patient.