I was reading your book today on the train and thinking about cops and nurses. I was a one-woman nurse academy for the last year and it's such a maddening process. I had to teach new nurses:
1) the rules of a system;
2) that nurses don't always follow the rules, they do it another way, but please know the rules; and finally—if the nurses can handle such cognitive dissonance and it doesn't utterly disillusion them:
3) that the system is misguided and broken, and the informal way nurses do it doesn't really benefit laboring women or respect birth either. And that just about everything in the labor room goes against evidence-based practice.
I feel some success when the new nurses start talking about home birth. It's the only sane response to learning about hospital birth at **** (or most NYC hospitals). But then after orientation the nurses have to go out and do the hospital job anyway, which means being asked to fit all patients into the same tight, wrong mold.
I am about halfway through the book. It sounds like nurses have a similar response to cops. There is a lot of dehumanizing of patients, and gallows humor, and gory details over drinks. They get very good at writing reports (documenting in the chart) that fit a certain picture even if not really accurate.
To an extent, nurses have a sisterhood and look out for each other, but there is also quite a bit of undermining and backstabbing (women culture vs men?). And yet it is amazing how often the nurses can still be kind and creative and still see the screaming bleeding whining person in front of them as an individual human needing support.
November 10, 2008
Cops and Nurses
I'm not the first to point out that cops and nurses have a lot in common. This is from a nurse/midwife:
Labels: police culture