Hire a “Burnt Out” Nurse?

I recently came across an online article where an MD with a dermatology
office practice is quoted advising his physician colleagues to hire a nurse who
is “burnt out” and “no longer passionate about saving lives.” I was so shocked
and appalled by this and other statements in the piece (and that this web site/writer
even quoted him and published this), it stopped me in my tracks. I have written
and posted a response to the article asking them to take it down and apologize to
nurses. You can read the article here if it stays up, which I suspect it will.

As I write this, my response is visible on the article page. But their site states that they reserve the right to not post comments, so it will
be interesting to see if they leave my comments up or take them down. Therefore, I am including my response here for you to see:

Dear Editor,

I read with disgust and dismay the article posted on your web site June 26 “Nurse injectors offset growing demand for nonsurgical procedures.” The piece quotes Edwin Williams,
MD encouraging his colleagues to hire a nurse who is “no longer passionate about saving lives” and “burnt out.” I was appalled to read this and shocked that you would even print such a thing. Didn’t any of your “professional staff” see a potential problem with such statements and “advice?”
Dr. Williams statements, and your “reporting” on this shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of the registered nurse and the scope of his/her practice in dermatology and in general. He implies, purposefully or not, that the specialty of dermatology and the position of nurse injector is so boring that only a burnt out hospital nurse would take the job and stay. That is incredibly insulting and degrading. And just for the record, if there was a medical emergency in the office/setting, including the physician himself having a life-threatening occurrence, would he really want a nurse working there who is “no longer passionate about saving lives?”

Of the over 3 million registered nurses in the US, only about 50% work in hospitals. The bulk of the other 50% work in ambulatory/outpatient settings as well as alternate inpatient settings. Contrary to his clear implication, nurses who work in ambulatory/outpatient settings are not there because they are “tired of the hospital and emergency scene” or because they are “no longer passionate about saving lives.” Nurses who work within the bona fide and highly specialized nursing specialties of: Ambulatory Care, Dermatology, Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery, and Medical/Nursing Esthetics are there because they love the work, are skilled and passionate about what they do, and because it is a setting where their knowledge, education, credentials, and vast skill set including – yes – their life-saving skills, can be utilized in a clinical, therapeutic, and administrative way.

I urge you to take this insulting and misguided piece down from the internet (it does not serve you, your reader, physicians, the healthcare profession in general and
certainly not nurses) and issue an apology to the nurses who work in the specialty and nurses everywhere.



  1. Since writing this blog post, the editor of the above mentioned publication changed the article to remove the offensive and insulting language. See his response to me in the comments section.

    • Thank you for being a great advocate for nurses. Although that doctor said he was trying to be a proponent for nurse injectors it appears that his TRUE feelings about the nursing profession were expressed during the interview. His patients should be concerned that he hires what he believes to be burnt out nurses who don’t care about saving lives. As we know the cosmetic industry is not free of adverse outcomes and a knowledgable, experienced, caring nurse can be the difference between life and death.