Nurses’ views on challenging doctors’ practice in an acute hospital
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Nurses’ views on challenging doctors’ practice in an acute hospital

Jackie Jane Churchman Clinical lead and regional operations manager, InHealth Group, High Wycombe
Carole Doherty Lecturer, University of Surrey, Guildford

Aim To explore the extent to which nurses are willing to challenge doctors’ practice in everyday situations in an acute NHS hospital.

Method Qualitative data were collected using in-depth interviews with 12 nurses in an acute NHS hospital in England.

Findings Participants believed that they challenged doctors’ practice and acted as patients’ advocates. However, data revealed that nurses questioned doctors’ practice only under specific circumstances. Nurses would not challenge doctors if they perceived that this would result in conflict or stress, if they were afraid of the doctor or feared reprisal.

Conclusion Nurses are discouraged from challenging doctors’ practice by the structural inequality arising from the gender division of labour and doctors’ expert knowledge and status (medical dominance) in the workplace.

Nursing Standard. 24, 40,42-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.06.24.40.42.c7830

Correspondence

jackie.churchman@inhealthgroup.com

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review