What's the difference between medical and nursing care? The answer is not straightforward, but shortages in the medical workforce mean that nurses are increasingly called on to undertake work that was previously done by doctors (such as undertaking surgery,1 prescribing drugs, performing triage in emergency departments), whereas shortages in the nursing workforce mean that healthcare assistants now do many tasks that nurses are trained to do. This fluidity in professional roles and competencies enables the health workforce to respond to need, but are outcomes for patients being improved? Do these benefits come at an additional cost, and if so, are they worth paying for
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