As much as I appreciated the respect Dr. Beach described showing her nurse colleagues, the notion that physicians should have to be taught that nurses have a lot to contribute to the care of a patient is ultimately patronizing and serves to reinforce the “one-down” position of the nursing profession. It's difficult to imagine an article called “A Smart Nurse Listens to the Doctors,” because there's no need to imply they have something useful to contribute to patient care—everyone assumes they do.
For our profession to be taken seriously, we need to feel powerful because of the knowledge we possess and the work the we do—and stop relying on others to say that what we do matters. Celebrations of such accolades and attitudes need to be relegated to the dustbin of nursing history, along with starched white uniforms and the notion that we should give up our seats to physicians.
Andrew Penn, NP
Redwood City, CA