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The image of nursing: The handmaiden


We have a TV in our waiting room that is tuned to BBC 1, which means that patients on a Saturday and a Tuesday sit and watch Casualty and Holby City; and people definitely expect real life to reflect what they see on the TV. The attitude of some of our senior medics towards nursing staff tends towards 'I am a doctor and I am superior to you', although a consultant being called 'nurse' by a member of the public because you happen to be female wouldn't help. It is not only medics that demonstrate this attitude, I have seen it in nurse practitioners who seem to have lost the word nurse that is present in their title. Sometimes I feel dismayed that here we have two sides of the same coin trying to score points off each other, neglecting to see that we are both trying to achieve a positive outcome for OUR patients. I will admit that if had a PhD, then I would insist that my ID badge included the title Dr. on it, although my role would still show Nurse. As it is, could I insist on my current title Mr. be included, or could I be mistaken for a surgeon? That is another example of the medical professions historical snobbery, calling someone who practises surgery Mr., because they were considered inferior by physicians as surgery was traditionally performed by barbers without training. Now on transition from physician to surgeon adapting the title Mr. is seen as a step up, bizarre.

Posted date

12 October, 2010

Posted time

9:34 am