The Center for Nursing Advocacy doesn’t like the way House, M.D. portrays nurses

“The show itself is a damaging lie: that a team composed entirely of physicians would rove the hospital providing all significant care to desperately ill patients as the few nurses and other professionals stand silently in the background or simply disappear.”

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  • Anonymous

    Those people are actually pretty kooky. I came upon their website a few months ago, and they have a very shrill, primal dislike of doctors, instinctively blaming and castigating them for very bizzare reasons. Its actually comical. Their main fight seems to be how they are prtrayed in the media and Hollywood (Er, Gray’s Anat, etc), and they seem to think they have to fight this by slamming doctors to feel good about themselves.

    Pity.

  • asd

    From the CAN website:

    Should we refer to physician care plans as “orders?”

    In the popular media, especially Hollywood products, nurses often follow physician “orders” automatically, as if they were mandatory military orders. In fact, this use of the term “orders” is a misnomer which should be discontinued, as nursing leader Lydia Hall suggested a half century ago.

    Nurses are autonomous professionals who view physician “orders” as medical “care plans” or “prescriptions” which nurses must evaluate before implementing, in order to determine if they will benefit the patient. If a nurse believes that a care plan is not in a patient’s best interest, he will act as a patient advocate in negotiating with the physician for something better.

    Nurses commonly question physician care plans, and on those rare occasions when a better alternative cannot be negotiated, nurses decline to implement the plans.

    One example is the giving of medications. Nurses have an independent responsibility to determine whether the drug, dosage and method of administration is appropriate. If it is not appropriate, nurses are ethically bound to advocate for the patient and to obtain a more appropriate drug, dosage or route.

    <--------- That's a bit frightening.

  • Greg P

    As if Dr. House was someone we all want to emulate.

  • Elliott

    Why frightening? Over the top to be sure, but frightening? At one time or another, every doctor has had their order questioned by a nurse. These people seem to want that interaction to be confrontational rather than collaborative, but it happens all the time.

  • asd

    Sure, nurses question orders all the time, and I think that’s the way it should be. What’s frightening is the implications of the language being used. “Care plan” may be a better term than “orders”; “prescription” certainly isn’t — it implies that doctors are present to give advice which need not be followed. They also use the word “negotiate”, which implies an adversarial relationship between nurses and doctors. Finally, in the last paragraph, I’ve seen plenty of cases on the wards where the nurse freaks out because the physician is ordering something out of the ordinary (but with sound clinical judgement). I understand their responsibility to advocate for the patient but this should include taking physicians seriously.

    I mean, the whole website is pretty kooky, as the first poster pointed out. But laypeople fall for this nonsense.

  • Anonymous