Nurse to Doctor Professional Working Relations


As Nurses, in any field of practise, we interact with doctors, or Visiting Medical Officers, as some like to be called.

How have working relationships changed over the last 20, 30, or even 50 years?

Good working relations

We hear of terms like ‘handmaiden’ of the doctor, but is this true today?

Let’s hear from as many readers as possible, about how their working relations with doctors have changed over the years.

Do you still think you are only a servant of the doctor? Do you feel you are the one who directs the VMO in your working environment?

Are the popular TV shows an accurate reflection of Nurse and Doctor working relations?

Tell us what YOU think on this issue.

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  1. Oh come on now !!! Most of you Nurses out there watch at least ONE TV show with ‘ doctors & nurses ‘…….

    What do you think about how their working relationships are displayed ??

    As a side topic, the ‘ emergency services ‘ actually endorse certain TV drama shows, that are deemed to reflect meaniful depiction of what life in that particular service is like.

    This goes for SEA PATROL – the Royal Australian Navy actually lend their real equipment to the TV producers for the show. It is known via stats, that many young people have signed up for servive in the Navy, as a direct result of watching the TV show, and thinking – this life is for me !!

    So, you anybody wastch the ‘young doctors’ and want to be a nurse ( so they could marry a doctor ?? – just kidding – or am I ?? )


  2. I started nursing in 1965 to do just that. It wasn’t because I had seen a TV show. There was no TV in our house when I was growing up! I chose nursing because that’s what I wanted to be. In those days a nurse was the handmaiden to the doctor and everyone else above you in seniority! As time passed and into the eighties, things changed substantially and nurse became far more autonomous for about 10 years.It was a wonderful time but since then we have moved back to the Medical Model and now it’s ‘do as the doctor says or we might get sued’! I also think that in some areas nursing has lost it’s compassion and bullying has taken over from emotional intelligence. Now, we have to actually teach nurses to develop emotional intelligence, how to maintain boundaries, sexual safety and the list goes on. I wonder what is taught in the universities sometimes!

  3. My mother started in 1958. She told me, there was only two semi professional options for young women in those days …. it was either Teaching or Nursing. You didn’t really have to think about what you were going to do, it was already chosen for you !

    I suspect much hadn’t changed by 1965.

    Perhaps this topic would have made a good thread by itself ?

    My mother had to leave her course, because she fell pregnant ( yes, to my father ), and in those days, you simply could not stay in your training group whilst expecting. It wasn’t that you just couldn’t stay, I believe there was a deal of anger from the Training Matron, and the young women were actually dismissed as if they had commited an ‘offense’.

    Further, you were advised to have your baby at another hospital, never the same one you started Nursing at. You could imagine why.


  4. i find that i have a great relationship with the drs at my workplace and most of them treat nurses as their equal and the younger ones actually learn a lot from us nurses and will admit t it


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