Bob Bury has written another excellent article in “Hospital Doctor”. In it he touches on something I think we have all noticed over the years, and which he describes perfectly as our nursing colleagues “unrequited desire to take up the mantle of the white coat and stethoscope.” He also makes the statement “I can’t help thinking, like the unreconstructed, arrogant, paternalistic monster of a consultant that I undoubtedly am, that it would be a lot better for the NHS, and certainly for patients, if nurses would just get on with the job of nursing.” a statement with which I identify totally.
One of the commenters to the post has said “Bob is retired. That kind of outspokenness and standing up to the nurses is never displayed by consultants in post” He don’t know me vewy well do he.
A retired friend of mine used to give his patients a first class service. If one of his patients phoned his secretary with a problem she would put a note on his desk and he would phone that patient back within 48 hours, and if the problem could not be resolved that way he would see them in his clinic within 2 weeks. Since his retirement he has been replaced. But now if a patient phones with a problem they are told they can have a phone appointment, with a nurse specialist, in six weeks time. What bloody use is that. You may as well ask the cat.
The implication here is that the nurse specialist is more knowledgeable about the subject than the GP who sent in the referral in the deluded hope that his patient would get the attention of a Consultant. If I were the GP I would be bloody insulted.
But it’s not just nurses who want to play at being doctors. Bloody Pharmacists! If I go into a pharmacist’s shop to buy some Paracetamol I get asked the third degree from some numptie, a mini consultation, with no privacy, from a fucking shopkeeper. And at work I am periodically told by one of these jumped up pedlars of quack remedies that I can’t prescribe drug X because it is not in the Trust fomulary, or not licensed for that indication. Let’s get this straight. As a fully registered medical practitioner I can prescribe what the hell I like, for whatever I deem fit, and this principal has been confirmed by the highest court in the land. And all I expect of the pharmacist is that he takes it off the shelf and gives it to the patient. To quote a previous president of the British Pharmaceutical Society “The interests of patients are best served when doctors prescribe, and pharmacists dispense”
And bloody physiotherapists. Every time I see one of these posing idiots poncing along the corridor with a stethoscope around his/her neck I want to strangle him with it. The meaningless jargon they come out with is one step removed from quackery and I am not alone I know in wondering what exactly they do that is of any use. Whenever I see what I think is a physio doing something useful it turns out to be an Occupational Therapist.
And as for “I’m an independent professional, don't tell me my job” midwives, I’m not even going to go there.