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Nurses and doctors

Image: Corbis Photography | Veer

Up until this point in school and in work, I have had very little contact with doctors. Sure, we see them writing orders and making rounds, but we don’t get the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Even as a student, you might get the off chance to be included in rounds, or asked questions by the MD if they’re feeling friendly enough to spare a few moments, but I’ve always felt there’s been a lacking relationship, until this weekend.

I floated for the first time at work this weekend, and left my floor for the ED and urgent care units. Both were exceptionally different from what I am used to on our floor, but still interesting places to work – and of course there are kids there, so for me, at least that made it worth it. But while I was floating in the urgent care, I found myself in a very different dynamic. There is one doctor, two nurses (one triage and one helping the doc) and a tech (me!), and they all work closely together to make the clinic run smoothly for the day. It was the first time I had really seen the doctors and nurses work so closely together. I mean, obviously it has a lot to do with the set-up of clinic. It’s meant to be outpatient, with the off chance of getting sent to ED or admitted to the hospital. And there is one doctor for the day. It changes the dynamic yes, but it also changes the mood.

When you’re working in close quarters and have to work together to get everything done efficiently, there is more to it than just work. There’s suddenly small talk and jokes and laughing, and the relationship is built off of helping the patients, but it grows from working together as a team. Even when I went to the ED, there were MDs and residents all over the place, but because the dynamic of the floor is different, the working relationship is different. From a student perspective, seeing the docs working together with everyone was a big change – a good change. It made me wonder if they dynamic could every be switched on regular med-surg floors in the hospitals I’ve rotated to, to allow for this better interaction between the doctors and nurses. Of course, the other part has to do with everyone’s attitude (::cough, cough – the doctor’s – cough, cough::) but all in all , it just made me think about how much more effective we could be at providing care if we had to work more cohesively together throughout the day. Experienced nurses: what are your thoughts on working with the Docs? Does it depend on the Doc, or on the unit?

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
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One Response to Nurses and doctors

  1. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    Ani,
    Unfortunately it is all of the above. It depends on the doc, the facility and the actual unit you work on.
    I’ve experienced the ‘spectrum’ of wonderful, collaborative, collegial relationships to the negative, bark-like communication, authoritative relationships. There is sometimes no rhyme or reason, although I have my theories.
    In the end, we as nurse must be steadfast, trustworthy and consistent with our relationships with the physicians to ensure our care is delivered in the best manner possible.
    Great post!

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