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Narrow Passageways: Nurses and Physicians in Conflict and Concert Since 1875

  • Joan E. Lynaugh
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 29)

Abstract

Nursing and medicine are interdependent entities that hold common goals of caring for the sick and curing or preventing illness and share social values of altruism and professional accountability. Still, physicians go about their work of diagnosing and treating disease without giving much thought to nurses; nurses teach patients, clean them, feed them, and support them through illness without paying much attention to physicians. But, as a condition of their practice, nurses and physicians occupy the same space at the bedside of the patient. This shared tenancy may be amicable, tense, or full of outright hostility. Whatever the emotional character of the relationship between nurses and physicians, the relationship itself rests on tradition, beliefs, and laws that stem from ideas of moral responsibility, control, expert knowledge, and correct social order. Any re-examination of the moral and social validity of the role of medicine in contemporary society requires scrutiny of the nurse-physician dyad. It is much easier to understand the issues related to the distribution of work and authority between nursing and medicine when the two disciplines are studied in historical context.

Keywords

Watchful Waiting Trained Nurse 19th Century Hospital Nurse Leader Graduate Nurse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan E. Lynaugh
    • 1
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

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