Changes in Medical Profession Over Last 50 Years

Subject: Health Care
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 845
Topics: Bible, Career Path, Dress Code, Job, Medicine, Nursing

Medical profession has changed a lot since 1970s and most of these changes are visible in the nursing profession. Earlier, nurses were helpers to doctors with few responsibilities to dispense the medicines to patients as prescribed by the doctors. However, currently nurses are seen as health-care professionals, while their relationship with doctors and other para medical staff has progressed over the years. Such changes are predominant in medical profession as every aspect of nursing has changed, since the days of Lawrence Nightingale and specially during last 50 years.

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Nursing profession changes

Nurses’ uniform

While dresses for nurses changed during the decade of 1960 to 1970, the dresses became a bit shorter with caps losing their traditional importance during 1970s. However, the period of 1980s witnessed real reforms for nursing uniforms as nursing caps vanished with cloth aprons. Thereafter nurses had disposable aprons while authorities became more liberal for nurses wishing to apply cosmetics and wear jewelry. Later, during 1990s till now, scrub suits replaced nursing dresses as they came in assorted colors. While nursing staff now has the choice of selecting the color, certain hospitals have prescribed color codes for dresses of different healthcare staff. However, the result has been progressive as the current dresses are more user-friendly and functional.

Nursing salaries

As demand for nursing staff has increase over the last 50 years, their salaries have also seen quantum jump during this period, which have risen tremendously since last 20 years. While the demand for nurses is bound to grow further, the registered nurses (RNs) earn a starting salary of almost $40000 per year. However, this figure can go up depending on the demand and supply position regarding nursing profession and their working capacity. (Blanche)

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Career Path

Nursing career has witnessed more changes during the last few decades as compared to other professions. Currently, the training program for nursing is available to both male and female candidates, while the program requires specific basic qualification for nursing candidates. In addition, various training programs, degrees and further specialization courses are available now, as compared to required basic skills for nurses recruited few decades back. Currently, such training programs include lessons regarding various aspects of patient healthcare, which includes treating patients, providing customized healthcare facilities to individuals while addressing each patient’s needs and educating them about required precautions. With changing medical scenario, nurses are now required to take independent decisions, in case of any emergency, without waiting for the doctor’s advice. Additionally, interaction between doctors and nurses has progressed over the years in more positive manner. (Ranard)

Nursing profession progressed with the establishment of National Center for Nursing Research in 1986 which eventually became National Institute of Nursing Research in 1996. Additionally, foundation of Nursing Union in Michigan during 1975 facilitated better pay and working conditions for nurses, while the job requirement included more detailed patient care.

Role of doctors

The last few decades also witnessed changing role of doctors with respect to their relationship with nurses. While, earlier, nurses were deemed to be helpers for doctors who will dictate their commands, the current role of nurses has defined their job as being an associate for the doctor. At present, there are clinical nurses as well as nurse specialists who possess advanced knowledge and they can successfully manage better collaboration with doctors. On the other hand, doctors’ perception towards nursing profession has also changed progressively. In the direction of promoting collaboration between nurses and physicians, American Nurses Association and National Joint Practice Commission was formed in 1971. This resulted in prescription of guidelines that encouraged nurses’ independent decision-making ability, establishment of integrated records for patients as well as joint reviews of patientcare records. (Greenfield)

Changes in medicine and doctor’s perception

While Lasix was used before 1970s to facilitate access urination, it was prescribed for reducing the hypertension and blood pressure. However, during later decades, doctors realized the relationship between high B.P. and heart stroke, among other terminal diseases. Similarly, more investigative equipment came into use at hospitals that included body scanners, CT scanners, MRI machines. All of them helped in better diagnosis by the concerned medical professional. In addition, artificial joints became available as that facilitated successful knee and other joint replacement surgeries with ease. These progressions resulted in better and safer care for patients. (Altman)

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Christian and biblical perception

While bible has maintained that god is the only healer, as mentioned in the verse “I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26), there has not been any notable change in the spiritual perception of medical profession. According to Christian perception, disease is a spiritual problem and only praying as well as faith can heal the human diseases. In addition, bible says that drugs treat the symptoms but not the disease, while praying to god heals everything. While true Christian believers may opt for investigative medical practices, they certainly believe that ultimately following the ten commandants will redeem them of their diseases. This is evident from the verse “Turn to me and be saved/healed” (Isaiah 45:22) depicting the instructions of god for all humans beings. (Day)

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  1. Altman, K. L., “So Many advances in Medicine”, Article from, Dec. 26, 2006,   Accessed 14 March 2018
  2.  Blanche, J., “Nursing 50 Years Back and Today”, Article from, Nov.02, 2010,  Accessed 14 March 2018
  3. Day, L., “What Does the Bible Say About Doctors?”  publication from Good news About God magazine, nd, Accessed 14 March 2018
  4. Greenfield, J.L., “Doctors and Nurses” pmc publication, Sep. 1999,  Accessed 14 March 2018
  5. Ranard, C., “How Nursing has Changed Over Time” Article from, Nov. 04, 2015,  Accessed 14 March 2018
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