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Why do doctors think so little of nurses?

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Image: Michael Hitoshi | Digital Vision | Getty Images


What do they teach medical students in school?  Obviously there isn’t a class for common sense.  No class for copier/fax usage.  Penmanship, bedside manner, courtesy?

Today I had a physician call me from another floor to ask me to do an incident report on a mistake one of his residents made.  First thing I asked him was why he didn’t come talk to me when he was on my unit right outside my door five minutes before he called me.  No answer.  I told him that incident reports were to be completed by the person that finds the error; it is not just a nursing job.  He stated to me he did not have enough time.  “Excuse me Dr. but you had time to call me about this when you could have completed the report by now.”  No Answer.

I don’t know why physicians think so little of nurses, but at the same time rely on us so much.  We talk about critical thinking from day one in nursing school and work on developing those skills throughout our education and career.  Then you come to work and meet a physician with years and years of education that can’t think their way out of a paper sack.

Granted, working in a teaching hospital can be much worse when dealing with this type of nonsense.  Between the medical students, residents, fellows, attending and all the mid-level practitioners, it is exhausting teaching them all how to print a document and then fax it.

Maybe it is too much education that causes them to not think anymore.  Maybe it is the long hours of residency that rots the brain.  Who knows, but you would think that people that smart could figure it out.

By the way…….I didn’t do that incident report.  Score one for nursing!

[main image: flashfilm | Digital Vision | Getty Images]

Rob Cameron
Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed. Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university. Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.

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