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Classism in the Hospital-MD vs. RN

Nurses   (1,682 Views 34 Comments)
by paramedic-RN paramedic-RN (Member) Member

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This is not at all meat to be a rant about doctors, I have a ton of respect for doctors and love the doctors I work with but my boyfriend made a recent observation about how hospitals play into the classist separation of nurses and doctors I thought it was an interesting point that I just wanted to share.

 

At my hospital all the ER nurses have to park in the garage then walk to the hospital but the ER physicians have premium spots right next to the ambulance bay. Why can’t they park in the garage with the rest of us?

Our “doctor’s lounge” is fully stocked with free snacks and a mini buffet all the time. There’s no “nurse lounge” just break rooms.

At many free standing ER’s and small ER’s there is a “sleeping room” for the doctors and I’m not talking about an “on call” room I’m talking about the doctors who are like on the clock working that shift. Why don’t nurses get to nap on night shift? Sure someone has to stay awake but the nurses could take turns napping.

Why are physicians formally addressed as Dr..(last name) but nurses aren’t formally addressed as Nurse (last name). Why is it blasphemy to call a physician by their first name but not a nurse by their first name?

 

All these little details add up and subconsciously play on the psychology of nurses and doctors so it’s not surprise when you hear a near who’s hesitant to page a physician because she doesn’t want to “bother” them with an order they forgot to put in! Or nurses that are scared to question physicians over an order.

 

Do you guys see any other examples of this in your hospital?

 

 

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I think that in most industries, those with better education and higher paying jobs get better benefits, like parking and the like.

I also think that doctors, as a group, are better at negotiating things like snacks in the break room.

I don't know that this is classism, though I think it is a reflection of class.

As far as sleeping goes- often docs are on call for 24 hours.  I have never seen a doc abuse his/her privilege to sleep.  I could imagine if that was an option for nurses, there would be more abuse.

I call most of the docs I work with by their first name.  If I don't know them well, I will use the term "doctor".  I have no issue with that, and don't in the least bit feel less valued when they use my first name.  If I ever decide I want to be called Nurse Nancy, I will let them know, and expect them to do so.

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Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

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Hey, it's better than before.

When I was a student nurse, we (students and nurses) had to stand up and give the doctor a chair at the desk. There was one seat at the desk in ER that only doctors could use. And the little doctor's library in ER was off-limits to nurses. 

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35 minutes ago, hherrn said:

I think that in most industries, those with better education and higher paying jobs get better benefits, like parking and the like.

I also think that doctors, as a group, are better at negotiating things like snacks in the break room.

I don't know that this is classism, though I think it is a reflection of class.

Interesting point but who's making theses decisions? Doctors aren't usually the ones building hospitals so what makes a hospital CEO say I think the doctors should park right next to the door or have a fully stocked lounge?

I doubt doctors are calling up hospital CEO's who are building a hospital to ask for premium parking spots so why does that just automatically happen?

And I agree with you on the 24 hour shifts but I"m talking about 12 hours shifts.

 

Edited by paramedic-RN
typo

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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The naming is an interesting thing. Where I work, residents are called by their first name. When the resident reaches the status of an attending physician, only then are they called "Doctor So-and-so".

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23 minutes ago, Kitiger said:

Hey, it's better than before.

When I was a student nurse, we (students and nurses) had to stand up and give the doctor a chair at the desk. There was one seat at the desk in ER that only doctors could use. And the little doctor's library in ER was off-limits to nurses. 

Oh wow now that's crazy. I worked on a unit where we had like 10 COW's just for MD's and every time the MD's rounded they would never use the COW's that were "off-limits" to the nurses but instead always take up a nurses charting area lol. (insert face-palm emoji)

Again no hate here for the MD's, just starting a discussion. 

Edited by paramedic-RN
typo

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TriciaJ has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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In most hospitals MD = revenue; RN = expense.  Most hospitals are run by bean-counters so most things (and people) are broken down into incoming beans and outgoing beans.

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mmc51264 has 7 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

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I work at a teaching hospital. The attending physicians are great. They teach the residents how to treat the nurses and they learn very early on to never throw the nurse under the bus. 

We have residents that count on us their first year or two to help them find stuff, help with procedures that we have a lot experience with. 

When they become 4th, 5th years/chiefs, they remember us and then if they come back as an attending, they are good. 

There is the occasional doctor that is a butthead, but, in my experience, the doctors earn the respect they get. I call most of them by their first names, but not in front of patients. 

I don't have a problem with the hierarchy. Up until a year ago, a nurse was the president of the hospital. Now it is a doctor. One that I have worked with and still has patients occasionally. And this a huge facility (>1000 beds)

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1 hour ago, paramedic-RN said:

Do you guys see any other examples of this in your hospital?

Nope. I have seen it go the exact opposite in recent years. If you perform a clinical role, you're officially the little people.

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1 hour ago, paramedic-RN said:

Why are physicians formally addressed as Dr..(last name) but nurses aren’t formally addressed as Nurse (last name). Why is it blasphemy to call a physician by their first name but not a nurse by their first name?

It isn't in my neck of the woods, and I could care less about this stuff anyway. I'm not old, but apparently I'm old school and I will call someone Dr. unless they request otherwise. Whatever problems nurses may or may not have with gaining respect, these will not be improved by enlarging the groups of people who must be disrespected.

If your beef is with other clinical types (those taking care of patients) you have a very limited view of the situation.

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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4 hours ago, paramedic-RN said:

Interesting point but who's making theses decisions? Doctors aren't usually the ones building hospitals so what makes a hospital CEO say I think the doctors should park right next to the door or have a fully stocked lounge?

 

Things like that are absolutely part of negotiations in employment packages and are offered to lure practitioners to work at facilities.  It's simple---MDs bring in revenue, nurses are an expense.  Do I wish we lived in a utopian, classless society?  Sure, but that's not how the world works.

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fibroblast has 5 years experience.

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6 hours ago, paramedic-RN said:

 

Our “doctor’s lounge” is fully stocked with free snacks and a mini buffet all the time. There’s no “nurse lounge” just break rooms.

 

Of ANYTHING you post about, this is the ONLY issue that would bother me. Please make all snacks free and have a buffet for nurses and doctors. 

I have no issue giving my seat up for a doctor and I often ask if they want my chair.  If they're parking is closer to the door or have designated parking, I have no problem with that. They make the orders. The nurses should be able to park closer as well. 

Edited by fibroblast

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