Intended for healthcare professionals

Lessons From Everywhere

Garages and hospitals, doctors and nurses

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1621

Dr Khan's Stereotypes

As educators of future generations of nurses, we cannot refrain from
responding to Dr Khan's comments on Dr Leavitt's article. For we feel
anger and insult. We
were shocked to read that in the twenty-first century, a physician defines
the nurse's role as one-dimensional, stereotypic and limited. It is sad
that Dr Khan has not had the opportunity to work with the many nurses who
do not fit his stereotype.

By the way, historically, the functions which nurses and midwives
perform in caring for patients are older than medicine.

For Dr Khan's information, the nursing profession has been taught in
academic frameworks for more than fifty years. It is in a constant
process of expansion and deeping of knowledge and skills, and there should
be no need to mention post-graduate nursing education for advanced degrees
and professional specialization (including advanced courses in emergency
room nursing, which is the subject of the current debate). A glance at
the academic nursing journals in any hospital library will also show just
how scientific nursing research is getting. We also wonder whether, in
most parts of the world, medical students receive nearly so much
psychology, anthropology, ethics and other medical humanities, as do
nursing students.

There is room for everyone in caring for patients, provided that the
carers are professionals and are capable of cooperating for the patient's
good. It is a lucky patient who receives care from a team in which each
mes the work of the others.

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 January 2001
Pnina Romem
Psychiatric Nursing Instructors, Recanati School of Community Health Professions,
Regina Moisa
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel