Instructor trouble

  1. I am just finishing my first semester of school but i am having a hard time dealing with what one of my instructors is "preaching" in her class. She seems to want to portray physicians as the enemy of nurses, and she is basically giving these young impressionable students a loaded gun and telling them that "it is our business to question physicians". I understand that pt advocacy is key to the nursing role, but I think there is a definate line that must be drawn and to realize that we are all on the same team. It is almost hate speech she is getting into and she generalizes all physicians. Have any of you come across this in your schools too? I am doing my best to get the opposing viewpoint out there, but I fear that some of my fellow students might be dressed down a bit when they tell an attending MD that he doesnt know what he is talking about. Is this a common attitude of nurses?

    Bolt.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I'm really sorry that is happening. Out in the real world, we are a team. I have great respect for the docs I work with but they are not perfect and neither am I or the nurses I work with.

    The atmosphere of dissention drives me crazy - we do not have to be enemies. And yes, sometimes it starts in nursing school.

    I'd just say that the instructor is stereotyping and that is wrong. Ask her if she would allow you to stereotype about women?

    In every profession there will be jerks. That should not color the entire profession though. Like the stereotype regarding nurses eating their young - I hate that one too.

    Good luck.

    steph
  4. by   jov
    Hey, Bolt, I know what you mean about impressionable.
    Since the academic world tends to be an extremely liberal environment (no wonder as it is somewhat out of touch with reality - i.e. summers off, profs with full bennies, pensions, tenure, etc) I find myself sometimes really shaking my head during discussions within class.
    It's important that adults with some life experience to share do so, in a professional way, of course, if for no other reasons to offer an alternative side of the coin. Good for you for doing your part.
    I haven't found that snickering-at-the-docs thing at my school from the instructors. I have known some really fine docs who were exceedingly smart, kind and caring besides and certainly would avoid generalizing that profession as a group.
    I guess you could just let it go. If a little 22 year old is going to come out of 4 years of college and walk into a hospital thinking she knows more than the docs, maybe a dressing down-reality check might be in order?
  5. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from jov
    Hey, Bolt, I know what you mean about impressionable.
    Since the academic world tends to be an extremely liberal environment (no wonder as it is somewhat out of touch with reality - i.e. summers off, profs with full bennies, pensions, tenure, etc) I find myself sometimes really shaking my head during discussions within class.
    Give me a break. The topic the author is discussing has nothing to do with liberal teaching!!! If it was truly liberal it would be open minded rather then closed minded and bigoted as many conservatives preach (I mean teach).

    OP: I agree with ignoring this professor. He/She can think and teach as he/she pleases. It is no concern of yours if the students are silly enough to "dress-down" a physician. Everyone has an opinion and so if the students cannot see that then he/she will have more problems then the nursing world will deliver.

    By the way, physicians are not gods. They are apart of a team. Those that think themselves as gods will have a hard time in many medical settings too and it will not be because of one nurse heard a lecture like the ones you describe.
  6. by   BSNtobe2009
    Well, technically she is correct. However, if her new grads want to keep their jobs at a hospital, to openly question a seasoned doctor unless you are 400% sure you are correct, is a career killer.
  7. by   danh3190
    I had a similar feeling during our Intro to Prof. Nursing class. Not so much that they were bashing physicians, but they always were stressing independent nursing actions and playing down the medical teamwork aspect. Sort of like for pain, worrying about all the things the nurse could do to help (elevation, distraction, etc.) when what would really help would be an order for narcotics.

    However, I was assuming that because it was an intro class they were trying to stress that we can do some things to help. I figure later classes will get into the more medical things that we need an order for.

    Of course, sometimes the patient does need protection from the MD.
  8. by   focker-male nurse
    Obviously I wasn't there to hear all that your instructor said but I will tell you that as a liscensed RN you will be legally responsible for med errors even if th doctoer writes the order. So I think what she is stressing is you to be an independent thinker.
    As a christian I was taught to always question the preachers sermon by holding it up to scripture.
    In the same way you should always feel comfortable second guessing MDs orders by holding it up to current standards of care and safe practices.
    After all MDs like everyone are human and can make mistakes. This was probably Fundamentals class where they cover malpractice, ect. You won't dwell on it much longer.

    That being said, my 1st semester I laughed at some of these young students in one of my labs "ganging up" on MDs. Here we are in our first semester of community college and we can even critique doctors.
    Usually when someon talks about MDs like they are all idiots it throws up a red flag for me.
    I think we are all wiser. MDs deserve respect but we as nurses are also considered professionals and are expected to scrutinize our collegues in a checks and balances fashion

    matt
  9. by   PsychNurseWannaBe
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    Well, technically she is correct. However, if her new grads want to keep their jobs at a hospital, to openly question a seasoned doctor unless you are 400% sure you are correct, is a career killer.
    I would rather question a Doc then to have a dead patient. Career killer vs. patient killer? Hmmm....
  10. by   GardenDove
    I've never encountered this attitude. The instructor has an issue for a reason that is somewhere in her past, most likely. I had an instructor who had been dumped by her MD husband for a bimbo. Everyone has a history and a reason for their strong opinions.

    Just ignore it. I find all our docs to be amiable and pleasant, for the most part. Never had a problem.
  11. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Quote from Boltthrower
    I fear that some of my fellow students might be dressed down a bit when they tell an attending MD that he doesnt know what he is talking about.
    Questioning an order you are unsure about is one thing, but to start Doctor bashing wouldn't be a good idea (of course). Honestly, my feeling on the subject is that I agree the prof isn't projecting the best message to her students. However, there is the expectation that students in college are adult learners. If a student honestly takes your profs doctor bashing non-teamwork attitude to heart, maybe that student deserves to be "dressed down". It will be a big wake up call, will likely never happen again, and make them actually think about what they are being told. As a nursing student and frankly as an adult one should know better than to take that attitude in a health care setting regardless of the prof's preaching. Good for you for knowing better, and putting forth other opinons for students to consider.
  12. by   JentheRN05
    I have a resident I take care of who totally does NOT respect the fact that I refused a doctors order. She has her doctor (also mine) up on a pedestal and he made a mistake (ordering 4 different bp pills for someone with an arrhythmia and only slight HTN) including one that caused such severe constipation that the resident would have to 'dig it out'. So I all and all I see it as my duty as a nurse to look out for the patients. New nurses need to be taught to do this, as well as understand that doctors are NOT our enemies and work together. Just my .02 on it
  13. by   Daytonite
    Boltthrower. . .let me get this right. Your fellow students are being told by this instructor to tell attending MDs that they don't know what they are talking about? She's using those exact words?

    You know, we all make a decision as to how we are going to behave. If some people can't tell the difference between respect and disrespect, nothing you say or do is going to change them unless you are in a position of authority to influence that change. Some students are going to see this instructor as a guru. You can't change that. Unfortunately, there are people who see the world from a negative point of view.

    Yes, learn what expected treatments should be. Yes, question any doctors orders that seem inappropriate. If you ever need to approach a doctor do it in a way you know is courteous and professional. That's the way you'd want to be treated, isn't it? My advice is to not interfere with whatever power trip this instructor is on. And, if you have fellow students that are too dumb to see the stupidity of this instructor's asinine approach to getting along with physicians at this point in their adult lives, then so be it. I doubt that anything you say is going to influence them.

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