Anger at plans for nurses to chaperone doctors - UK - page 2
by brian 3,457 Views | 14 Comments Admin
DOCTORS will be forced to use nurse chaperones during intimate examinations under plans being considered by ministers. An independent inquiry into the conduct of doctors is to recommend that “qualified healthcare... Read More
- 0Jun 28, '04 by smk1WHen they say "qualified" do they mean in the sense that the chaperone needs to know if the exam is warranted and being performed correctly (the right procedure in line with AMA standards, and sterile technique being observed if needed etc..) or do they mean just qualified in the sense that anyone working in the clinic would know if a breast exam is needed when the complaint is an earache? If they are going for the former definition of "qualified" then definitely a nurse probably RN should be used, in which case what could be the objection? that RN's don't know how all of the procedures are performed? possibly, in some cases, but are they willing to pay for a NP/PA/MDor DO to come chaperone every exam and procedure to ensure that the person is completely "qualified"? the main issue is having someone of the same sex as the patient in the room to help ensure that no funny business is going on. I also think that it should ideally be a nurse because they are patient advocates and know when certain exams are warranted in most cases and when they are not. But if you can't have a nurse present then at least having the same sex in room will help.
- 0Jun 29, '04 by UK2USAAs a nurse from the UK I can relate to the frustration that this causes the Dr and the nurse.
The UK historically has not been as 'sue-happy' as the USA, although it is heading that way. That being said I agree with the comments about common sense and avoiding accusations of indecency. However, the frustrations of these doctors are born of the assumption that they are no longer regarded as professionals who treat without hidden agendas.
When I qualified from nursing school (and I interviewed for my first staff nurse position) the Royal College of Nursing released a proposal that all male nurses be chaperoned when treating female or paediatric patients. As someone who had just qualified as a paeds nurse I was asked how I would feel if I were to be chaperoned for every patient? My reply was that if the unit wanted to head in this direction then I was wasting my time interviewing for them. I got the job, stayed for two years and was very happy.
I don't know how I feel about chaperoning. Common sense - yes, lack of faith by my employers in my intentions - maybe, suggesting to the genral public that male staff are not to be trusted - maybe, protecting staff from wrongful accusations - definately.
My summary... Go with what is safest for you, if you feel hard done by then it is a shame, if you are suspended because of someone's need to get rich quick then it would be a travesty.
- 0Jul 2, '04 by karenGinteresting this.. I have lived in the UK all my life and been a nurse for over 20yrs.. its accepted that I will chaperone when needed to. I think this is a big fuss over nothing! we do chaperone- especially when the patient is young and the examination is intimate. there are times when the lady says- dont be silly! go away!! but most of the time ladies are happy to be chaperoned. But then I work in general practice now and my docs try hard not to need a chaperone! sadly the spectre of being sued is becoming more a reality over here.
dont understand what the fuss is about!
- 0Jul 3, '04 by OC_An KheDoesn"t this presume that all RNs are female and that all MDs are male? It doesn't even consider the sexual orientation of the provider and chaperone!
Seriously though, patient comfort and safety is important but I have two thoughts on this. First the patient should decide if they are comfortable not having another health care provider as a chaperone or requesting same gender if that is possible.
Secondly, abuse of a patient, whether sexual or by other means, needs to be reported to the appropriate authorties. The patient has a responsibility in this area too. As to all providers of care to patients.
- 0Jul 3, '04 by chris_at_lucas_RNsadly the spectre of being sued is becoming more a reality over here.
I'm not saying there are no unsubstantiated suits or "misunderstandings," because I'm sure there are. But having treated three women who were molested by their physicians during examinations, chaperoning is much, much less of a to-do than the PTSD these women (and the other victims) experienced for years afterward.