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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NCP, the Un-MD

Smiling because she hasn't encounterd bullies like Angie in 7th grade....
or that horrible LT in BOLC

I never took kindly to bullies.  The baby in a family of all girls, I grew up clueless to the ways of the bully.  My wake-up call happened Kindergarten, Fall of '77.  Having waited patiently for my turn at the drinking fountain because waiting patiently is something all good, little girls did, I was shocked when leaning down for a drink, the wild child of the class shoved my face in the fountain.  I didn't mind getting my ponytails and sporty. yarn ribbons wet nearly as much as I minded the trail of blood snaking down my nose from the cut on my forehead left by the faucet.  I was shocked.  I was speechless.  I was a vibrating mass of wet, angry indignance.  What manner of barbarism was this?!  Sure, my older sister tortured me when my mom wasn't looking, but that was different.  That was sibling-on-sibling tough love.  This attack by a total stranger was something completely foreign and I was pretty sure my sister wouldn't have drawn blood; she was too smart to leave marks.

Sadly, this was my first, but not last encounter with a bully.  There was "Keri" in 4th grade who refused to let her group of friends use my name, "Carrie" because it was her's.  And Angela Whaley.  There's a special place in one of Dante's circles reserved for Angie, a rather large child with an unfortunate last name.

Bullies are everywhere.  They are driving next to you at rush hour and in line behind you at the grocery store.  If you want to observe them in their natural habitat, spend quality time watching a line for one of the popular rides at Disney World.  In my experience, bullies share common traits:  insecurity, inability to accept change, a wee bit of narcissim, and low self esteem.  They're almost to be pitied, if only they weren't so mean!

This week, our class has been reading about bullies in health care.  Health care, what patients seek during times of distress, illness, or injury.  Hospitals and clinics are places to be viewed as safe havens and instead, for some practitioners, they are the site of acts of covert and overt aggression and belittlement. 

I don't wish to give the impression that nurse practitioners are chronic complainers or incapable of defending themselves from their detractors.  Any good NP knows her most useful skill is the ability to coordinate care across multiple organizations with multiple disciplines.  What we are discussing is the accepted belief of the inferiority of nurse practitioners.  Nurse practitioners are viewed as somehow less-than.  To prove the point, I encourage the reader to google the simple phrase NP vs MD and read a few of the 33,330,000 results.  The most venomous of the results are found on "doctor blogs".  Below I've posted the link to an article a classmate posted during our discussions. 

If you are confused by the NP vs MD debate, I encourage you to talk to an NP or DNP student.  We're more than happy to talk about our practice!


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