Quote from DizzyJon
Finally, a good point. I'm shocked people don't make this point more often. Although, I personally don't think we (PA/NP doctorate holders) should introduce ourselves as Dr. So and So, I think this point you are making is a good argument and I can't dispute what you are saying.
If I go to the dentist then I expect the doctor I see to be a dentist. If I go to the chiro I expect that doctor to be a chiro. Going to psych well....that can be a bit more tricky as I know there are LMFT, LISW, LPC, psychologists, etc. Now if going to a hospital does the public really understand their OMFS, podiatrist, DDS is not a medical doctor? Most people don't even know there are two different types of physicians. So, probably not. Would we add to the confusion when there is already a variety of doctors in a hospital setting? I think only when the patient is unhappy or feels they were treated poorly would they even care the provider introduced themselves as doctor instead of PA/NP.
I'll chime in here with my opinion since I'm currently killing myself to obtain my doctorate and in student loan debt more than the cost of a mortgage.
I have a visceral response to any other healthcare professional who takes the stance that after I've finally earned my doctorate I am not allowed to use it unless I decide to teach. Especially considering my degree is not a PhD designed for research and teaching but a clincal DNP whose whole focus is to train me to be capable to the fullest capacity in the practice of anesthesia. While my degree does include some leadership and a little teaching it certainly isn't the focus of the degree, so why can I not use my title unless I go into an area my degree didn't even specifically train me for?
The valid point was already made that there are numerous other healthcare professionals who are allowed to use their degree title so I won't repeat that.
On to the tired point that using your title in the hospital can be confusing for patients. I would argue that there are an infinite number of things that are confusing for patients in the hospital and this one thing seems ridiculous to harp over. I personally think that using your title and saying your specialty is the best method for everyone in healthcare. I'm Dr. Smith your rheumatologist; I'm Dr. Jones your physical therapist; I'm Dr. Harris your endocrinologist; I'm Dr. Moore your CRNA, etc. No healthcare professional should just be walking into a room and saying I'm Dr. Jones and just start doing things on the patient, you should also say what your specialty or career is. Patients see so many healthcare professionals in the hospital and everyone should use a couple words to be specific.
Physicians like to argue that we (nurses) specificially should be outlawed from using our title (of course they don't care about anyone else doing it) because we will try to trick the patient into thinking we're a physician. Not sure if they realize how childishly narcisistic they come off with that statement. I have to say that after I get done performing the best anesthetic a patient has ever had, experiencing a smooth wake up, no pain or nausea and quick recovery I want them to know I (a CRNA) did it. Why would I want an anesthesiologist stealing my credit?
Some others who are achieving their doctorate just take a passivist approach to it. They don't want to deal with the arguement or snide words from physicians. Many will say, why fight it, just submit to the overlords of healthcare and hide your degree or achievement, what does it matter. Why it matters is not to try to elevate yourself with a title or stroke an ego, it's the best public relations move you can do as a nurse. The public in general has very little info on advanced practice roles. There are others in healthcare who tirelessly bash the roles and spend money on advertising and fear mongering that APRNs are uneducated and dangerous. They imply we are just nurses who got tired of checking temps and passing aspirin so they did a couple months of easy online work and now are trying to parade as educated healthcare professionals. When you introduce yourself as Dr. Jones your CRNA they may not know much about CRNAs but they do know that a doctorate means this person has invested a lot of time and money to obtain a terminal degree. It symbolizes that you are highly educated and take your career seriously. It symbolizes that this anesthesia you're about to perform for them was important enough that you dedicated years of time learning the skill. Ultimately they will trust and respect you, feeling more confident placing their life in your hands.
That is what it's all about, building a relationship with the patient built on trust and confidence. They may have heard all kinds of negative things about NPs or CRNAs but when they hear doctorate they at least know you're educated and invested in your training, they are in good hands (also one of the reasons physicians hate the idea). #micdrop