When it comes to this very simple question, the answer is always simple: My patient's. I'm their advocate, and I am on their side. My goal as a nurse is always to do what is in their best interest.
Of course, every nurse knows that sometimes the biggest challenge to working in the patient's interest, is a patient themselves, or their family. In my field it seems that sometimes people just want things done their way. Whether it's a routine they've had at home, a medication they're sure should be a certain dose, or a bad habit they don't want to end, it can be hard to convince them that there's a reason to change.
I've been a nurse, I've been a patient, and I've had both parents and children in the hospital. It's the same in every unit. There are either the patients and families who realize that you're all on the same team trying to make things better, or they've decided that only they know what's right and that the medical staff must be fought every step of the way. As a patient, parent, and family member, I know which one of those I'd rather be. As a nurse, I understand that the family members who fight us, generally do so out of genuine concern for their loved ones or bad experiences they've had. In those cases I do my best to show them that I will work with them, and that I'm there to help.
Personally, I have no other purpose than to do the best I possibly can for my patients and I am blessed by meeting their needs and caring for them.
Huh. That's pretty much how I feel about being a mom, too.