Thursday, October 07, 2004

Is it time to go home yet?

I've never understood why doctors don't hold the "support" personnel who are crucial to the delivery of medical care to the same demanding standard of work intensity and time commitment as the one to which we are held.

When they tell me a patient needs to be seen, I don't say "I'm on my break." I don't leave the operating room after 5 hours because my shift is over.

And it may be controversial to say this, but my impression is that nursing organizations (ie, unions, lobby groups) are always making a big deal about how their contributions are crucial. And they are! But they are also notable for the fact that their hours are governed by union contracts. They are shift workers, who except in rare circumstances go home when the whistle blows (almost no matter what is going on at the time). There are times when I have had three full and completely different teams of operating room personnel come and go during a single case. This isn't good for the patient under anesthesia, and it isn't helpful to me.

Everyone wants to share the credit.

And yes, I know they get paid less (they also get trained less), but I think it would be more appropriate if they recognized that what they are doing is supporting doctors, while they are also helping their patients.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by