We, as individuals of the general population, often tend to disregard the significant role nurses play in the care of patients. On a personal level, I believe that I and most other individuals like me take nurses for granted. We do not consider the services they perform as important. Sometimes we even scorn at them or look down upon them, not giving them their due respect, which is wrong.
Today, our health care system has become so vast and diverse that most of us fail to recognize the important contributions of the several different components of this system, which on the whole appears to be amalgamated. As correctly identified by Gordon, once a patient recovers, the entire credit is given to those who are higher in the hierarchy, in particular, the physician under whom the patient received treatment, ignoring the efforts of all others.
Moreover, most of us have a common misperception about the nursing profession as a whole whereby due to the menial tasks that the nurses perform, in addition to their other duties, we fail to recognize that this profession requires years of training and skill acquisition like all other professions. This misperception perpetuates the wrongly-held belief that doctors are superior to the nurses since, by virtue of their extensive training, they are more skilled whereas nursing as a profession involves the performance of tasks of daily living and hence does not require much training. This compounds the already existing problem of the nurses being deprived of the true status and respect that they deserve from patients and also from other healthcare professionals.