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Dear View: The Stethoscope is a Tool for ALL Healthcare Providers

In light of the member's of The View's ignorant statements about nurses, how we dress, and the tools we use to do our jobs, let's review a few things.  We can discuss how their behavior denigrates women in general by engaging in catty, superficial commentary focused on nothing substantive at another time.

Stethoscopes are used by the following healthcare providers in addition to physicians:

  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants
They all use the stethoscope as a tool to double check the findings of other professionals. It helps prevent mistakes and catches problems that could be life threatening. Clearly The View thinks only doctors save lives when it is a team effort.

Nurses using stethoscopes in the United States and other countries was a hard fought battle. Physicians did not feel nurses and other healthcare professionals were qualified to use stethoscopes for many years.  Nurses fought long and hard to use them.  Now it is a tool that helps us do our job better and helps us catch problems, often life threatening ones, much earlier.

This battle over who gets to use a stethoscope continues in many low and middle income countries too.  Physicians do not want nurses using stethoscopes simply because they think that tool for healthcare delivery is only for them. Someone else using a stethoscope means incompetence is caught more easily. Symbolically, it is a way to maintain professional dominance over the "market of patients."

The only thing that dynamic does is hurt patients and their quality of care.

And producers of The View, guess how lots of nurses found out about these comments? While working in the hospital, their patients were probably watching. How many of them do you think are going to tell their patients about what the cast said and change the channel?

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