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Is the doctor-nurse game still being played?


This is being debated in another thread too. I don't want to repeat myself to much, but want to say straight from the bat that THIS IS NOT ABOUT NURSES TRYING TO BE DOCTORS!!! WE CAN BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PROFESSIONS WITH COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PARADIGMS AND COMMON GOALS, BUT STILL FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND PARITY BETWEEN THE PROFESSIONS!!!! Right, now that's over with! To answer your specific questions "Have doctors tactically delegated tasks to nurses so they can move onto more sophisticated aspects of care?" No, they haven't and that is a ridiculous notion. Nurses have taken on a whole range of clinical tasks that used to be purely a Doctors remit, yes. But this does NOT in any way make us mini Doctors or Doctor Wanabes, this make us NURSING professionals who can perform these tasks from a Nursing paradigm, with a wider range of clinical and specialist skills that can complete the cycle of care for our patients and offer more support and better care. I mean, what 'more sophisticated' aspects of care are there exactly? I would argue there are none. There is still a significant way to go, but I believe we will reach a point where Nurses and Doctors can perform a lot of the same tasks from different paradigms, both will be seen as equal in terms of status, respect and professionalism, and who performs certain tasks will depend on which is best for the patient at that time. Take prescribing for example, sometimes a patient may need to see a GP who can prescribe certain medication after an evaluation. Other times it will be more appropriate for that patient to access a Nurse led service and see a Nurse who can perform the same task from a Nursing paradigm. What is needed, is for our profession to get equality and parity with our medical colleagues in terms of professional status and respect, and also for the general public to see us as such, without - as I have said in other threads - always asking the Nurse led service 'shouldn't you ask a Doctors permission to do that? Because make no mistake, professional image and public perception DOES play a vital role here. "Is it relevant to measure the progress made by nurses in terms of medical functions they undertake?" Yes and no; no because we are still seen as a separate profession with uniquely Nursing paradigms, and yes, to an extent, but only when we are demanding equality and parity with the medical profession. We should be seen as professional equals, not a cheaper option than Doctors. If Nurses are now on a par with medicine in terms of education and qualification (this will become more relevant as more Nurses gain Masters and Doctorates as is very slowly becoming more prevalent) and we perform many of the same tasks, then surely our pay should be more on par too? Surely we should be able to have the professional status, respect and power to determine our own professional practice and working conditions (again, as I said in another thread, can you imagine the threats to our pay and pensions, the job freezes and post cutting, dangerous staffing levels etc, all happening if Nursing wielded the same power as Doctors do? Can you imagine their being any issues around Nursing not having any say or influence 'at the top table' in the new government reforms? No, that's because there wouldn't be!) The Doctor - Nurse game IS still being played by some Nurses and a few more Doctors (by no means all), who cling to ancient, defunct and archaic stereotypes. But these views are slowly becoming increasingly irrelevant in professional practice. I think perhaps our biggest hurdle in this Nurse - Doctor game is overcoming the still much more prevalent public and media attitudes and stereotypes of Nursing. "Nursing is more dependent on medicine than ever before and medicine still holds all the cards" This is still true to a limited extent, but only because Nurses for some inexplicable reason that escapes me are ALLOWING it to be that way!!! Instead of fighting the current Doctor led consortium's for example, Nurses all but rolled over and grinned inanely when we were given token seats like nodding dogs given a biscuit; look at the apathy on strike action for all the other problems that beset our profession. It's no wonder we are seen as 'poor relations' and 'handmaidens' sometimes!!! Nursing HAS changed, and it continues to change. But it risks being kicked back down to the dark ages unless Nurses as a whole stand up and fight for it!

Posted date

31 October, 2011

Posted time

1:19 pm