Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A quick answer for Anne

Anne, in a comment on the post below, linked to a blog I hadn't seen before. It's written by a guy who calls himself "Switchblade Doctor" and contains some frankly misogynist and anti-nurse crap.

Anne wanted to know if that attitude is common among doctors.

It's not. Not by a long shot.

I probably work with at least one real jerk; the kind of guy I would cross the street if I saw him coming. I probably work with at least one doctor who believes nurses/advanced practice clinicians/doulas/midwives are full of shit. I probably work with at least one misogynist.

The point is that I don't know it. The doctors I work with are acutely aware, as are the rest of the people in the hospital, that we are part of a healthcare team. Ain't nothin' gonna get done on time or done well unless everybody puts their personal egos and soapboxes by the wayside and busts ass.

I don't much want to go in to what SBD wrote on his blog: I don't much care. That sort of thing provokes a handwave and a bored "wev" from me. Everybody's allowed to vent, rage, be an asshole, or even make up an entirely new identity in order to get frustrations out. (How, exactly, do you know *I'm* not a sixty-five-year-old guy in overalls?) The issue for me is how this guy acts at work: if he's a jerk to me in the work environment, I feel perfectly at home using both official and unofficial tactics to get him not to be.

Work is work. Blog is blog. As long as you're professional and courteous and we treat each other with respect, I'm not real concerned with what political or social views you espouse. And, thankfully, the men and women I work with are smart enough and self-aware enough to understand that, regardless of their feelings toward "Nursing" or "Nurses" as a whole, they gotta work with *this* nurse, and work well with her.

We all get along pretty well. We know each other well enough by now to point out errors or missteps without anybody getting a bent nose, and there are several docs and other nurses I count on to curb my asshole tendencies. (Mostly by saying, "Jo, don't be an asshole.") Everybody is there to do a job; nobody's there to prostelytize or convert or ruminate.

So, Anne, don't be afraid. Besides, if you *do* run into somebody who's actively anti-nurse, remember: you will know where all the really big catheters are.


Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

You're so right. And plus, it really doesn't pay to get a reputation for being a jerk, whether you're male/female or doctor/nurse/tech. Because in the medical arena, what goes around usually comes around, kind of like murphy's law...

anne said...

Wow, thank you for the personal answer! It's actually pretty exciting to me that you addressed my question in a post. I've read you for a long time and I definitely pay attention to what you say. Thank you.

Since I wrote my comment, I'm feeling a little bit better. The reason I feel better is because of exactly what you point out to me - if such attitudes as his were to be (openly) prevalent in the workplace, nothing would get done. I agree - a blog is a blog, and you can say what you want there. It's actually a helpful outlet.

I'm so new to nursing that I was shaken a bit by his words. I think I took them too much to heart. Also, tonight was my first clinical wherein I worked with actual patients, so I was feeling a tad nervous. The night went swimmingly, though - my patient was a lovely, bright, interesting 94-year old, and I wasn't as awkward as I'd worried I would be.

That aside, thank you for your answer. I really should know better - I've worked with PhD's and DVM's my whole professional life, and I've long since learned they're all only human. And they run the gamut from jerkbag to near-saint. MD's, I suspect, are no different.

Again, thank you.

Switchblade Doctor said...

I'm not a misogynist or a nurse hater. I simply think that many nurses, especially those with extra training, do a huge disservice because they don't know what they're doing. (And, by the way, you've made the assumption that when I write of nurses, I'm referring only to female nurses, which makes you a man hater.) I also think doulas are ridiculous.

that big girl said...

I haven't looked and I'm not going to - quite happy to leave a stone unturned.
I'm super new as well, anne (I haven't had a clinical rotation yet - not til may) and I'm finding that feeling so overwhelmed and out of my depth with this material and the new environment, blah blah blah -
It's as if I suddenly have NO experience to draw upon. Or rather, that I feel so inexperienced/anxious/inept that I forget momentarily that I do in fact, have some skills and knowledge to bring to this party. They won't help me with my IV push eval next month, but they will be what I'm drawing upon for interpersonal stuff. And I shouldn't forget that, since it's all I've got until I can attain some proficiency with needles and whatnot.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anne

I'm a doc. I've been a doc over 20 yrs. The world is evolving. When I started med school, I thought I'd have to fight all manner of idiots. But, my class was 1/3 women. Now, 50% of med school graduates are women. If they want to be sexist pigs, they don't have the old-boys club as a refuge. We're taking over the joint!!

There are still jerks out there. And some specialties seem to have more of them. But, speaking as a woman physician, who trained in some pretty rough areas, if you want to have your patients get good care, it only makes sense to have the nurses on your side. And we want our patients to have good care, right. So, why not work as a team??

Of course, women can be shitty too. But, in my opinion, having to deal with sexism ourselves, we're in a position to realize how stupid it can be.

Anne, do your best. Take the best care of your patients. Know your patients. We docs know when a good nurse is on board. & it makes all the difference in the world when you've got a good nurse watching your patient (and your behind as well.)


detecting the stupid said...

"I only hate black people, that's why I said black people are stupid, imcompetent, and can't make decisions for themselves. But I would never act on that hatred. Trust me."


"Did it sound like I hate black people? Of course I don't! Trust me, I'm a doctor."

GingerJar said...

WOW, can we say some people can act stupid! And here I was all upset because a patient hated me on sight because I was not Hispanic, did not speak Spanish, and had the nerve to have blonde hair, blue eyes, white skin .... and work in the Valley!!!! Later the same night, this same pt. who spoke perfect English (except to me...who he refused to speak to) was forced to follow instructions in English...(which he understood perfectly, by the by), well after all was said and done (with his life being saved and all in the meantime..... long story) he spent the next 4 days speaking English to me (and me alone) while he made everybody else speak only Spanish to him....he decided he liked me....because I was a good nurse...even if I was blonde...and it were.