Is blaming the nurse a ‘time honored tradition’?

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How should a nurse feel when a doctor (or any other colleague) jokingly tells a patient to “blame the nurse”?

In this case, a patient wanted to know who was to blame for a long wait for test results. The doctor jokingly pointed at Nurse Theresa Brown and stated, “Scream at her.”

Brown wrote about the experience in an op-ed piece in The New York Times titled “Physician, Heel Thyself.”

She discusses the experience and the range of responses she’s received from the medical community in this episode of NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

What do you think? What is the root cause of the incivility seen in the medical profession?

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