Sharona B Ross, MD, FACS, Carly E Waldman, BS, Keiyana D Morris, Darrell J Downs, BS, Alexander S Rosemurgy, MD, FACS. Florida Hospital Tampa
Introduction: This study was undertaken to determine whether nurses’ attitudes reflect discrimination against women in Surgery. In Surgery, traditional gender roles have dictated surgeon-nurse relationships. However, the increasing number of women in Surgery may have altered these relationships, thereby affecting nurses’ attitudes toward female surgeons.
Methods: 134 hospital-based nurses were queried using a validated survey, which included binary, multiple choice, and Likert scale questions. Responses were assessed based on nurse age: (1) <30 years (younger), (2) 30-45 years (mid-aged), and (3) > 45 years (older).
Results: 95% of nurses deem female surgeons as capable as male surgeons; 85% do not consider the knowledge base of male surgeons’ superior to female surgeons and 78% do not believe women have it easier than men in Surgery. 36% of nurses accept differences in the doctor-nurse relationship between male vs. female surgeons; 53% think male surgeons have the best relationship. Fewer older nurses, relative to mid-aged nurses, agree that nurses treat female surgeons differently (p=0.01). More older nurses, compared to younger, disagree with: “Is there a negative attitude toward female surgeons at your institution?” (p=0.02). Of all nurses, 38% think Surgery is sexist.
Conclusion: Relative to male surgeons, the majority of nurses, but notably not all, consider women to be capable and knowledgeable surgeons. Older nurses are more likely to disbelieve that gender plays a role in nurse–surgeon relationships and that discrimination against female surgeons exists in their institution. While only a minority of nurses have a disparaging view of women in Surgery, none should. Still today, women in Surgery face discrimination which must end to foster careers of women in Surgery.
Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.
Abstract ID: 80377
Program Number: P651
Presentation Session: Poster (Non CME)
Presentation Type: Poster