I know I will have a divided response from my fellow Nurses and Midwives. Some Nurses will not agree that Medical Doctors are enemies to Nurses. Meanwhile, I am very sure a significant number of my colleagues will agree that Doctors are Nurses’ greatest enemies. Each category have their respective evidence to proof their response. In this short article I want to proof that Doctors are not our enemies but we perceived them to be. I use to spend time thinking where did the idea of enmity and rivalry come between a nurse and Doctor. To this moment I couldn’t find the reason.
Firstly, Nurses and Doctors have absolutely different job description which is clearly spelt out. And every professional doctor or nurse should know and master his/her job description. For example, I know as a nurse drugs administration to patients on admission is my duty and responsibility. While the Doctor knows that to prescribe drugs for the patient is his duty. So if the Nurse and the doctor know their duty clearly and carry them out effectively how will the enmity, hatred or rivalry come in?
Secondly, both the nurse and the doctor work for govt. It is govt that employ them. The doctor can not sack or withheld the salary of the nurse nor the nurse can do that for the doctor. So if I don’t work for you and you don’t pay my salary why will I take you as my enemy?
Thirdly, the patient who is the king in the hospital belong to both the nurse and the doctor. They have equal right over the patient. The Doctor can not deny the nurse access to the patient. And the nurse can not do that to the doctor too. Then where is the enmity coming from?
Fourthly, Doctors and Nurses have two different and distinct professional bodies. The Doctors have NMA while the Nurses have NANNM. Each will fight for the rights of it members from govt. All the two associations have equal status before the govt and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). If nurses are not paid well they shouldn’t blame doctors or NMA but NANNM and govt. This is the same for doctors too.
Power And Influence? Yes, Nurses Have Them
With the above mentioned reasons I hope I am able to proof that Doctors can not be enemies to Nurses. Some Nurses will tell you Doctors are arrogants. I don’t agree with this. Majority of the doctors I came across so far are very humble, easygoing and professional. Yes there might be those doctors who are truly arrogants. But we must not forget that some people are naturally arrogants. It is there personality. We also have them among Nurses. Sometimes we presumed in our minds that Doctors are arrogants and rivals to Nurses. Then because of this presumption it affects our relationship with them. One thing we must have in mind is that Nurses and Doctors must work together anywhere and in any settings. That is why almost every specialty that is in Medicine is present in Nursing. For instance, you have orthopedic doctor -orthopedic nurse, surgeon- periop (theater) nurse, paediatrician – paediatric nurse, cardiologist – cardiac nurse, gynaecologist – midwife etc. The nurse and doctor must work together. Then why the enmity and rivalry? If the nurse and doctor do not nurture a harmonious working relationship it will affect the quality of care they both render to their patient. The two of them have taken an oath to render the best of care to their patient.
Therefore, there is no room for enmity between the nurse and doctor. Infact, the nurse and doctor supposed to be the most closest of colleagues among all the various members of the heathcare team. If I may recommend, doctors and nurses should even have the same professional association. This is because their similarities and yearnigs are very similar. Doctors are fighting for better working conditions, more investment in the health sector, increase hazard allowance, banning of medical tourism etc. These are the same issues nurses under their association are fighting for. If Nurses and Doctors can come together and unite each maintaining his boundary govt will respect them more and promptly respond to whatever demands they may have.
The unity of unity of doctors and nurses is the starting point for having an enviable and standard Healthcare system in Nigeria.
By: Hon. Bilyaminu Bala Yahya (BNSc,RN,RPHN)