Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Professional Roles

It has come to my attention that there are one or two expectations in Nursing and Medicine which can not be met.

The first is impartiality. A Nurse, Patient bond is essential for adequate delivery of care. The second you meet a patient small connections occur, you share a joke, tell a story. Little things that put the patient at ease and allow you to get a read on what kind of person they are and get a baseline personality so you can determine any change. However Nurses are expected to be impartial in delivery of care. This is impossible to do once you have made that vital bond. The patient is no longer "Bed D3", they have a name, This again is important because one of the little known roles of a Nurse is to be a patients advocate. A nurse is expected to analyse the patient care based on his or her training and ensure that the patient is receiving the best possible care.

This moves me on to my second point. "Informed Consent". This is a hideous concept. It requires a patient to understand concepts Doctors spend five years in med school trying to get their head around. The patient is then expected to make a decision that will generally effect the path of the rest of their life. The nurses advocacy is largely beneficial here however a Nurse can only explain the procedures to the patient, they can quote facts and figures, they can not express opinion.

Largely a patient is required to have blind faith in their Doctor. And why not? the Doctor is a highly trained medical professional who is working in a system which minimises the risk to the patient. Unfortunately the doctor is only human, mistakes and error in judgment happens. This is not a reason to lose faith in the doctor(s) unless it is a regular occurrence. I believe this is why the Doctor has to appear arrogant, and distant. If the doctor shared the same bond with the patient as a nurse the patient would see that the doctor is just a normal human being.

To conclude. Impartiality should only apply to Doctors because it already does. And Informed Consent is a ridiculous notion.

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