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‘What is the nurse-doctor relationship supposed to be?’

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Can you advise this student nurse?

“I witnessed a really interesting interaction last week between my mentor and a registrar that got me thinking about how nurses and doctors work together.

“The registrar asked her to take some bloods and it was clear he then intended to go and take a break. My mentor refused saying there was no reason to delegate that task and that by doing so he was preventing her from doing other things for other patients.

“It was so uncomfortable but my mentor stood her ground and the registrar ended up doing the bloods while she went and did another nursing task.

“I’d always sort of thought as doctors as being more senior and therefore we had to do as they say but it’s really got me thinking about whether that is the case. I’ve heard a thousand times that ‘we’re not doctors’ handmaidens’ but this is the first time I’ve understood that.

“I’d love to hear what other people think about this incident and about the nurse-doctor relationship in general?”


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Readers' comments (1)

  • I work in a paediatric A&E department and before I started this job I always saw it as doctors were the seniors too. After a few weeks in my job I thought actually, from the sounds of things the nurses are the bosses. At the end of the day we all work together as a team to do what's best for the patients and in my opinion i don't think anyone is more senior we just have different roles that work together for the best of the patients in our care! Just in different situations either nurses or doctors take a more senior role.

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