chapter  18
14 Pages

Challenges to Feminist Rights in Health-Care Systems: A Case of Social Justice in Work and Caregiving jane G. Halsey and Terrance L. Albrecht

Historically, nursing has been a subservient profession comprised almost entirely of women, whereas the majority of those in the strategic ranks of physician and hospital administrator have been men. In the key aspects of the hospital environment, the women in nursing services have played a subordinate role to the males with whom they work, with power and decision making having been traditionally male dominated. Physicians dictate patient care orders to nurses who in turn carry out those orders. It is generally only the exceptional physician who includes nurses in the decision-making process. Thus, nurses have served at the pleasure of the medical profession and have been administratively controlled by men. This has meant that financial apportionment for staffing, and wage and benefits allocations have been determined by men. It is within this framework that we turn to the problems that were played out in the Peace Valley Hospital Birthing Center.