Do physicians deserve credit for the work nurses do?

  1. from center for nursing advocacy:


    do physicians deserve credit for the work nurses do?


    recently, the nobel prize-winning médecins sans frontières / doctors without borders (msf) launched a u.s. tour of an exhibit highlighting the global aid group's vital work in conflict zones. [color=#54198c]"a refugee camp in the heart of the city" features msf aid workers guiding visitors through a model of actual relief facilities. the exhibit explains the challenges msf faces in providing care, nutrition, and decent living conditions. this is a perfect time to thank the group for its admirable work--and to note that its continuing use of the name "doctors without borders" sends an inaccurate message about who is doing that work. we understand nurses are the most numerous health professionals among msf workers, and they play a central role in the group's efforts. yet when journalist suzanne gordon suggested to a physician msf leader that the group consider adopting a name that did not slight its nurses, the leader said that she hoped msf would never be so "stupid" as to do so.

    the center has tried to discuss the matter with msf for two months, but we have gotten no real response. the group's name seems to reflect the undervaluation of nursing that is undermining health worldwide, particularly in the developing nations msf tries to help. we doubt that msf would suffer by phasing in a similar name, like "soins sans frontières" ("health care without borders"). we urge msf to give its own nurses the credit they deserve--and that nurses everywhere need to help their patients. [color=#54198c]read more or [color=#54198c]go straight to our letter-writing campaign!
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 6, '06
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Now, that's a political cause I could get behind. If there was a campaign to get them to be honest in their presentations of their work about the role of nurses, I would donate to it.

    llg
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    It goes with the territory of angels. Angels don't get credit for the work they do, rather, they take a personal victory in being the winning voice of reason on your shoulders.

    The lack of credit is a symptom, not the disease.

    It comes down to a basic question: are we a vocation? Or a profession?

    Shoot, even WE don't know. Nurses in the trenches STILL harbor suspicions of those 'in it for the money'. That's why professionals do what they do. Or, more to the point, money is a neutral valuation system. The respect we get directly translates from the cost to obtain our services.

    And nursing school? For our newest proteges: they are served up, in their first week of school, a lecture about how we AREN'T professionals because of a lack of minimum 'entry to practice'.

    We have let agendas cloud our OWN view of professionalism. Can there be any doubt that doesn't translate negatively to those we barter with for power and respect?

    Why WOULD doctors or TV execs, or anybody else for that matter, consider us professionals? How have we voiced in ANY unified way that we even view ourselves that way?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 6, '06
  5. by   Keysnurse2008
    hmmm.....that is just it. i think that it is ridiculous that md's take credit for everything that all members of the healthcare team do. it is like they are "starved" for attention and want to steal credit away from other healthcare team members. many...are still blissfully trying to live in the past era of healthcare where the physician is "the captain of the ship". but...in todays healthcare most facilities ( teaching) acknowledge that anything is a team approach and treat each other pretty much as equals...bc we are! nurses cant operate on patients...so we need surgeons. surgeons cant administer medication 24-7 and take care of all of the patients medical needs 24-7 and continue to operate on new patients each day...so they need nurses.....nurses cant administer all the respiratory txs so we need rt's to assist in managing pulmonary issues. md's/rt's/rn's/cnt's cant be there to prepare all the nutrition/meals that a patient needs to heal so we need dieticians and dietary workers.....nor can we be there to mix and dispense all the medication so we need pharmacists. it is a team effort and every member is needed and cant be deleted or this whole "healthcare thing" will collapse. it really irritates me...when one service takes credit for things like that. the best leaders....publically reconize the other players contributions and receives respect for that acknowledgement.
    i was watching tv a few months back and happened to notice a tv update on the poor guy who was the sole survivor of a coal mine collapse.the patient was very critical ...but he survived. when that physician went on tv to give an update he publically stated the success/outcome of this patient was due to his wonderful and highly skilled team of physicians ,anesthesiologists,residents, icu nurses and other healthcare team membersthat had cared for that patient. he acknowledged his entire team...and i bet he does that often at his facility .....and is greatly respected. if i were a 'betting person" i'd hazard a bet that those icu nurses have alot of respect for him . so...even though you have some low performing md's who have to "steal" recognition for work that isnt theirs...there are also physicians out there like the coal miner doc....who gladly acknowledge his entire team and thus are known for many many great things in their careers. thats just imo..
  6. by   StNeotser
    Of course not. But they'll get it.
  7. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I clicked on the link, wrote a letter, and submitted it.

    I suggest we keep bumping this thread up, so as many allnurses members as possible can participate.
  8. by   EmerNurse
    OK sent my letter too - would LOVE to see this change! Especially since all those unrecognized nurses on those missions have to PAY for the experience, from what I understand.
  9. by   OC_An Khe
    Added my opinion to the campaign. It is away to help Nursing and others to be recognized for their invaluable contributions to project.
  10. by   EmerNurse
    Just got a lovely (NOT) canned email response:

    (in part)
    "One of the most critical challenges we face is gaining recognition and acceptance for our presence and our work in volatile and insecure environments. This is why we have made such great efforts over the past 35 years to establish recognition for our name, logo, and ultimately our identity as an independent impartial medical humanitarian organization.....Against the backdrop of the urgent lifesaving assistance our field teams provide, the consequences of changing our name could be far-reaching and potentially harmful."

    Signed by an RN, no less. In other words, docs win again.
  11. by   talaxandra
    Because I had thought about this myself, and because I contribute to MSF, I sent off a letter, too.
  12. by   agoodusername
    So, what is this fight about? Ensuring that we, nurses, get due credit for all of our accomplishments, ie, "tooting our own horn," or making sure that doctors don't?

    I understand, and completely agree with the need for recognition and societal change in attitude towards nursing in general, but for the purpose of playing devil's advocate, which would you prefer: public attention, or patient gratification? When was the last time you saw a patient cry out of gratitude to one of their physicians? And now think about how often you see a similar experience occur with nurses. Perhaps we don't get international acclaim, but that has never been the goal of nursing -- from the very beginning, it was, and should remain, about the patients.

    That's why, evertime I tell someone that I'm going to be a nurse, they break out in praise of good nursing experiences that they and their loved ones have been fortunate enough to receive during difficult times. Nobody says stuff like that about their surgeon.

    Not discrediting the media acclaim and attention that is rightly due to nurses, but I'd much rather be recognized in a true, meaningful and personal way -- without trying to force compliments and attention to myself -- than to be known as proud, conceited and attention-seeking, like most physicians are.
  13. by   gonzo1
    Did you'all know that nurses are ranked the number 1 most trusted worker in the world. Doctor are number 7 on the list and police are I believe number 4. So although we don't get shows made about us and we appear to be the silent majority, we are making an impression on someone. I do wish it were a little more noticible though, but somehow we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. For example at the last staff meeting the floor nurses were ******** about us bringing them pts at shift change, and not in gowns or the IV isn't started, and the day shift was ******** that the night shift doesn't stock. As long as we are all so busy bringing each other down we are never going to move up the food chain. Maybe having more men come into the field will help change the status quo.
  14. by   decartes
    Hmmmmmmm...I'd like to think of it as a collaborative (team) effort. All those involved in caring for the pateint get the credit.

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