I’m wondering what the overall experience is between nurses and female docs at teaching hospitals. I’ve encountered some nurses that seem to feel that when a woman became a physician, she somehow betrayed all of women by going to the “dark side”. They seem to question the female doctors more than the males(‘why are you ordering THAT?’; ‘do you really think he needs THAT?’) and be less helpful in facilitating procedures or care. Any thoughts?
I definitely understand your frustration about the general animosity between female doctors and female nurses. Hopefully I can give you a nurse’s perspective:
Nurses know that a female doctor is ten times more likely to acutally listen to their question than a male doctor. Half the time they don’t even bother expressing their concerns about a pt to the male docs anymore. Trust me, the male MDs are questioned just as much as the female ones, only the women hear about it firsthand! 😮
From my perspective, most nurses are kind, outgoing people who love the teaching/learning aspect of health care. They probably question you because A: they really do want to know for their own reference why that treatment would be good for the patient or B: they want to share with you what they know about the situation. Sure they may question you in a snotty way, but that’s because their used to getting snotty answers. If you reply with courtesy and confidence, they’ll realize that you DO know what you’re talking about and that you DO acknowledge the hard work they do to put your orders into practice–and maybe they’ll get off your back, too! 😀
It’s an uphill battle for both female nurses and female doctors to gain respect in their professions. But hopefully our generation can be the one to change that!
Best of luck in your residency!
ps- It is always unacceptable behavior for a nurse to question your judgment in front of a patient. If this is the problem, you should report it to the clinical nursing director at the hospital.