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The image of nursing: The handmaiden
Anonymous | 11-Oct-2010 10:18 am, first of all, Doctors do not actually have a Doctorate, that is a fallacy. The have a Medical DEGREE, which because of the length of time it takes (longer than a traditional degree but not as long as a Doctorate), and because historically they were the sole proprieters of medical knowledge, the title 'Doctor' is an honorific bestowed on them by the academic community. A more correct and traditional term would simply be 'physician'. Anyone who DOES study for a true Doctorate in any academic discipline is - academically speaking - superior to a Physician, and that includes Nurses with a Doctorate in Nursing. So bear this in mind when talking about intellectual equals.
I respect Doctors and the role they play, it is a very different - if often intertwining - role than Nurses. But I will not accept the attitude, often from Doctors themselves, that they outrank Nurses and are superior to us. They are not, in both respects. To be fair, this attitude is getting less prevalent and is ususally worse in the older Doctors (just as the subservient attitude is still prevalent in many older Nurses). We are EQUALS, performing seperate yet similar roles in the care for our patients. Yes they get things wrong and are corrected by Nurses, just as Nurses get things wrong and are corrected by Doctors. It is a partnership, our two professions support each other and work well together to encompass a full circle of care for our patients.
Yet despite this being the reality, the image is STILL (amongst some Doctors, some Nurses, and the public especially) that OUR medical opinion and body of knowledge is not to be respected, it is inferior to that of the Doctor and it is them to who they should turn. This has a knock on effect to many aspects of our profession, from lack of respect from the government and the public, low pay and a continued belief that we can be the easy targets for cuts and low pay (please read my post on the 'open letter to the NHS' thread, I asked why the government would not go after a GPs bloated salary for example and continue to cut our already woeful salary instead). ETC ETC ETC.
11 October, 2010
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