Clinical Medicine Vs Nursing (Nursing Vs Clinical Medicine Compared)

Quite a number of you people (our readers) have asked to do a Clinical Medicine Vs Nursing comparison because you are torn between the two courses.

So below is our Clinical Medicine Vs Nursing comparison (Nursing Vs Clinical Medicine Compared) ..and we hope that it will help you make a good decision.

Clinical Medicine Vs Nursing (Nursing Vs Clinical Medicine Compared)

Now, we will simply list the biggest upsides (advantages) as well as the major downsides (disadvantages) of each course.

And we shall start with nursing

The case for doing nursing

What we love about Nursing

  • You can work anywhere on the planet…demand for nurses is huge even in the diaspora
  • More employment opportunities even outside the hospital (in hospices, homes of elderly people, etc) can even be going to patients home for home nursing services (and you get to earn more) after work

The case against doing nursing

Issues with nursing

  1. There’s a lot of work…nurses work for long hours sometimes (though it can depend on where you’re working)
  2. You are never a doctor…at best, patients will be calling you ‘sister’..but that is not a big deal really…or is it?

The case for doing Clinical Medicine and Surgery

What we love about Clinical Medicine and Surgery

  • Slightly higher income when it comes to salary (nurses get somewhere in the Kshs.55000 to Kshs.65000 range while clinical officers get somewhere in the Kshs.75000 to Kshs.85000 range)
  • You don’t get as tired as nurses..your role is initial diagnosis and follow-ups..later on, you just need to issue instructions to the nurses on the medicine to administer/tests to do/ referrals to make
  • You will be called ‘Doctor’..which can make your heart feel nice and important (I understand that some of you want to be called Doctors in life…

The case against doing Clinical Medicine and Surgery

Issues with Clinical Medicine and Surgery

  • You are never a doctor….clinical medicine does not make you a doctor really even if you upgrade to a degree in clinical medicine (you still remain an assistant to the consultant physician)
  • There are no opportunities to go to the diaspora as the course is not really known beyond Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda…Yeah. Nowhere else is the course recognized so you have to do something special to make it take you to those Western countries
  • The course has lately become flooded because people who miss out on medicine and surgery take it as a substitute (and the numbers are surging)

Difference between clinical medicine and nursing

The main difference is that clinical medicine makes you an assistant to doctors..

Let’s look a bit deeper into the course..

In essence, when you take clinical medicine and surgery, you become a Clinical Officer (CO)…who is basically a middle level health professional whose role is to supplement what medical doctors do at various health care levels – from local health centers (where you could be in charge) all the way to Level IV and also level V Hospitals.

Meanwhile, if you take a post-diploma course in clinical medicine and surgery, let’s say a higher diploma or degree, you can get work as a trainer in medical colleges.

In addition, you can be deployed to areas where a specialist is not available(mainly rural areas) to help offer  critical healthcare.

On the other hand, nursing is literary about nursing sick people back to good health, both during their stay in hospital or even afterwards in their homes.

To be clear, you can be working part-time as a freelance nurse visiting the sick in their homes to offer important care (for example, it may be difficult and costly for the elderly to visit hospitals for routine checkups)

Below is a summary of your duties and responsibilities(the primary ones) as a nurse…

  • Assessing patients’ needs
  • Preparing the needed nursing diagnosis (also care plans) depending on the condition of a patient.
  • Caring for sick people who need drawing of blood as well as caring for them as they undergo blood transfusion
  • Applying aseptic techniques in the management of different
  • Wounds, inserting IV(intravenous) tubes, administration of drug and management thereof.
  • Monitoring the heart rate plus other vital signs in patients.
  • Removing stitches
  • Helping in preparing sick people for scheduled surgery.

Keep in mind that when it comes to Nursing, there are several specialties you can pursue to get promotion and start earning more.

These are:

  • Critical Care nursing
  • Ophthalmic nursing
  • Perioperative nursing
  • Anesthetist nursing
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Neonatal nursing
  • Psychiatric nursing

Reminder: While CO’s are mostly confined to formal medical facilities, Nurses find work outside health facilities too including hospices, homes of the elderly, schools (some employ Cos but many have nurses), airlines, research institutions, among others.

Clinical Medicine Vs Nursing –Final words

While it doesn’t hurt to know about the difference between clinical medicine and nursing, we urge you to follow you heart and passions.

But, of course, beware of the above pros and cons …

Also, know your personality…..

So, are you the type who doesn’t mind attending to wounds and injuries? If yes, nursing will be fine.

But if you cannot even bear looking at blood, then nursing may stress you.

Best of luck from us here at


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