In a British Medical Journal cover story, Professor David Thompson from Queen's School of Nursing and Midwifery has appealed for the end of the Doctor – Nurse Game.
Professor Thompson writes: "Professional hierarchies appear to be endemic in health systems, but we have now got strong evidence that they harm patients and contribute to an organisational culture of fear in healthcare".
Thompson also asserts that, "Subservience and deference are not benign traits or signs of a good nurse, in fact we can see that they contribute to a culture that is killing patients, with professionals fearing dire consequences if they question or challenge colleagues in terms of their practice or behaviour".
"Cognisant that healthcare is delivered by multi-professional teams, we now ensure that professional practice, leadership and teamwork are embedded as core elements in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes."
"The new Simulation Centre being developed at Queen's will help to embed such a culture at a formative stage of development between doctors, nurses, and allied professionals. It gives us the opportunity to cultivate far more than clinical skills in our students. By learning together in a realistic clinical environment they will develop the leadership and autonomy that characterises professional practice. This BMJ paper demonstrates that healthcare needs nurses and doctors willing to challenge poor practice and stand up for patients to ensure these scandals are a thing of the past. At Queen's we take that responsibility seriously".
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