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Rookie Wit & Wisdom
The Frightening First Step

We’ve heard about them—and maybe even worked with them: the cranky, power-trippy docs. The ones who don’t want to associate with nurses at all, and see them as sub-par professionals.

I work in Labor and Delivery--we do a lot of waiting for people to deliver, and the tendency is for nurses and doctors to segregate in two different areas. This seems to promote the idea that doctors and nurses aren’t part of the same team.

But I’m sick of it, and I’m not leaving it to the doctor to change his/her behavior. I’m learning the importance of building relationships with the doctors. When that happens, you know them as people, and you work a lot better as a team.

Yeah, it’s frightening to make the first step. And at first I didn’t know how to bridge the gap. I would sit next to them and start talking about our patients and what they might need. I’m learning to take the conversation a step further. I ask things like, “How are your kids?” or “What are you and the family doing for the holidays?” or “What did you think about the game last night?” When I see the “realness” in their lives, I am less intimidated by them and more willing to seek their support. And they see me as an open, approachable peer. We’ve found commonality.

I also have learned the value of the “ego boost.” Pick their brains about medical conditions; most doctors like talking about their specialties and what they’re learning. And you may actually learn something interesting and valuable to your job—the stuff you didn’t necessarily learn from the books in nursing school.

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