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From The CriticsReviewer: Bonnie L. Saucier, PhD, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: This book is the second in an interrelated set of books that provide a comprehensive perspective on gender and nursing. The second volume in this series analyzes resources that exemplifies the writing of social scientists, nurses, and physicians on gendered relationships from very early periods to the 1990s. The first volume relates the status of women to the status of nursing and to nurses' awareness of feminist issues. The third volume focuses on recent role changes involving nurses and their interactions with physicians. A fourth volume focuses on the historical interrelation between nursing and the discriminatory patterns inherent in patriarchial educational and economic systems. There are two additional volumes that address major published sources and problems of male nurses.
Purpose: The purpose is to examine sources on gendered nurse-physician relations over time. The authors trace the centuries- old effort of physicians to dominate and to achieve a monopoly over healthcare. The book also adresses the efforts of women healers and nurses to sustain medical-nursing functions. The objectives of the book are met and are indeed worthy for all nurses to develop an awareness of the historical perspective of a medical monopoly.
Audience: Nursing students, particularly those in graduate education, and nurses can excel in their practice by becoming aware of social contraints in the development of the profession. Authors identify nurses in the profession to profit from the book. The authors are experts in the subject.
Features: In this book, the authors trace the development of the continued efforts by physicians to achieve a medical monopoly. Early women healers, prior to the nineteenth century are analyzed. Nurse-physician relations, before and after the turn of the century, are examined. The consolidation of the medical monopoly in the 1920s and 1930s are discussed and the growing unease in nurse-physician relations from the 1940s to the 1960s is addressed. Reference lists are extensive and the index is inclusive.
Assessment: This second book in a related series provides a thorough examination of the effforts by physicians over time to achieve a monopoly in healthcare. Historical events are reviewed while the activities of the early healers/nurses are covered in a thoughtful and inclusive manner.The phases of organized medicine and nursing throughout the 1990s are described in-depth. This book is a valuable asset for all nurses to better understand and explain what the impact of medical monopoly is on the healthcare system today.