Friday, September 13, 2013

The More Things Change...


Last week I brought up a concern about a patient to the patient's physician while in the room during rounds.  I wasn't really concerned, a family member was.  I knew the doc wouldn't be concerned about it either, so I brought it up in front of the patient and the family member in the room for a reason - I wanted the family member to hear what the physician had to say about it directly from, as they say, the horse's mouth.  When we left the room, the physician told me that I should have waited until we were out of the room, away from the patient and family, to tell him about the concern.  Even used a chastising tone. 

Wow.  Really?  Are we taking that giant leap backwards now?  I thought we were long over the days when we kept secrets from the patients and families and when we didn't respect the experience and education of nurses.

I couldn't help but think about what a physician in 1893 said about nurses:

"They make suggestions of their own as to diagnosis and prognosis. They
elevate themselves in a measure to the order of the medical practitioner himself. Their
smattering of knowledge of anatomy and physiology leads them to suggest to their patients
diseases which never could, by any possibility, have entered the heads of the
patients themselves."

Sigh.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

*From A History of Nursing Ideas by Andrist, Nicholas, and Wolfe (2006)

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