Interoperative care is a highly specialized area. Patient care is methodical and almost ritualistic, which results in a unique culture in the operating room.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced-practice nurses who are certified in administering anesthesia. Depending on the state, they may practice without physician supervision. Due to a widespread physician shortage, advanced-practice nurses are taking a more prominent role in healthcare delivery-including the field of anesthesiology.

While healthcare continuously progresses and evolves, there are still remnants of "old-school" hierarchies that exist between physicians and nurses and yes, male and female providers. Some physicians have difficulty coming to grips with a nurse practicing at an advanced level and performing the same work as medical doctors. Additionally, tensions run high during a surgical procedure. Everything must be precise and organized to allow for the best patient care outcome. The strain of this considerable responsibility often brings the worst out in people- and a hierarchical environment doesn't help matters.

In healthcare, new practitioners sometimes must "prove themselves" to experienced staff to earn respect. This is true for new doctors, nurses, and APRNs. There are many anecdotes of nurses and APRNs verbally biting back when they are snapped at by a physician, and the hostility stops. However, it's not acceptable for any verbal abuse or harassment to occur in any setting, including the operating room. It doesn't matter if the culture is "old-school" or not. If discussing the issue directly with the surgeon doesn't end the behavior, it should be reported immediately to a supervisor or hospital administration.

It's important to realize this hierarchical culture does not exist everywhere. In fact, the increasing prevalence of advanced-practice nurses, including CRNAs, coupled with new physicians entering the workforce (who have likely worked closely with advanced-practice nurses during medical school and residency) has led to an increasing amount of respect in the workplace.

Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Amanda Bucceri Androus is a Registered Nurse from Sacramento, California. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She began her career working night shifts on a pediatric/ med-surg unit for six years, later transferring to a telemetry unit where she worked for four more years. She currently works as a charge nurse in a busy outpatient primary care department. In her spare time she likes to read, travel, write, and spend time with her husband and two children.
Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Latest posts by Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Our Visitors Found These Nursing Topics Useful

NCLEX-RN: Ten Ways to Prepare for the Exam

Sitting for the NCLEX-RN is one of the most important experiences in a new nurse's career. After spending years in school, the NCLEX-RN is what allows nursing school graduates to be able to become licensed and practice in their state.…

Smiling Female Nurse

How Do I Display My Nursing Credentials?

Congratulations! You have earned that challenging nursing degree and/or certificate and you are ready to add the abbreviations after your name. But how do you display all of your titles, licenses, and certificates the proper way? Your guide is as…

Why 2016 & 2017 May Be the Best Time to Start a Career as a Registered Nurse

For many years now, the new graduate registered nurse has a difficult time finding a job. The 2008 recession hit the healthcare sector hard and finding a job as a new nurse graduate, or Resident Nurse, was very difficult, and…

Male vs Female Nurse Salary Phenomena

The gender pay gap is a common discussion and debate over the (seemingly) entire nation, if not world. Strides to minimize the disparity in pay between men and women performing the same work have made slight improvements but have stagnated…

Beyond the Bedside: Nurse Navigator

Nurses have numerous options beyond caring for patients in a hospital setting. Communities need nurses throughout the continuum of care; from preventive health services to complex disease states. When patients and their families are facing a health crisis, nurses are…