I am now 48 years old and as such am subject to both speaking and acting in a way as I would never have believed; i.e. I am now a middle aged parent type. Therefore, when reading a book by a nurse who trained in the 1950′s I am able to see that many of the great things about nursing generate from that era. Of course if I had read such a thing in 1982 I would have declared this the work of some old timer, stuck in the middle ages. This is of course the way of the world!!!
In the 1950′s the sister was the queen, and the consultant, however he believed himself to be was only some kind of lowly prince, perhaps akin to prince Harry. Close to the throne, but without the deaths of his Granny, dad and brother never likely to be the king!
I can’t deny that I remember medical students being told to heed the word of sister and her qualified nurse colleagues. I can’t even deny that I have been party to the idea that we were equal beings; and even to the idear that they complied.
I haven’t ever been a ward sister, since I escaped to the world of district nursing and the super being of the GP Of course District nurses are superior to any hospital nurse!.
But even I was shocked recently by the behaviour of a Consultant at a meeting. The way he spoke to the matron; the very person who he should be respecting; the very person who will understand his patients and the nurse who care for them. He was beyond rude and try as she did to appear in control she sounded like a 19th centurary servant. This is not good and may be contributing to the way in which the people who work in the NHS are showing themselves to the world?