Doctors may get all the credit and prestige, but when it comes to actually spending time with patients and doing the dirty work of routine patient care, nurses rule.There are more than three million nurses in the United States -- that's around four times the number of physicians. That means while you'll spend a few minutes to an hour with your doctor, most of your hands-on care will come from a nurse, especially in a hospital or in-patient facility. It is nurses who respond to basic patient needs, handle testing, take vitals and get patients checked in and out.
All that patient care comes at a cost in the form of a jam-packed schedule for the average nurse. In fact, a 2011 study by BMC Health Services found that the average nurse performs 72.3 tasks per hour, with an average task length of just 55 seconds, meaning nurses are relentlessly pressed for time.
To make the most of every second in a field where a delay can be the difference between life and death, nurses have developed their very own professional jargon, allowing them to communicate quickly and efficiently and achieve the best possible outcome for patients.
Think you can decipher the language of nursing? Take our quiz to find out!