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Mark says that because Lexie is a resident, "I'm sure all the nurses hate you." We guess that Mark is suggesting that the nurses resent being ordered around by the brilliant young pretty stars of the hospital, or that the nurses are just jealous. When Mark finds out the nurse is Eli, he wants two drinks. Mark approaches Eli, outside of Lexie's hearing but in her sight. Now listen, I don't know what's going on here, but I know better than to mess with you on your turf. These patient records for the last three months show a post-op complication rate way lower than the norm. Lexie: OK, can you two stop being impressed by him? She starts saying "day 3" over and over; apparently she has seen that Eli always takes the drains out on day 3. (She's giddy.) I'm going to leave these files for you to look at. However, there is no apparent irony that Bailey is taking all the credit for what Eli actually did.
In theory, we would like the show to introduce nurse characters to reduce its wildly unbalanced vision of health care, in which physicians do everything that matters. The doctor who cured fistulas Eli first appears in the December 2, 2010 episode "Adrift and at Peace," written by Tony Phelan and Joan Rater, and his role in this one has a mainly clinical focus. Eli: I hate post-op complications more than you do, Dr. They're time-consuming, and messy, and make it difficult for me to check up on my fantasy football team as often as I'd like. Think about it--when's the last time you had a post-op complication with one of my patients?
Eli: Well, I can tell by looking at it that it's not infected. Best practices on post-op gallbladder surgery care may still be evolving, but if Eli is so sure that removing the drain earlier is better, he should be as willing to fight Bailey as the residents. The naming disparity suggests at a minimum that nurses are lower-class workers and, together with the "write him up" line, arguably implies that nurses report to physicians.
Yet he seems willing to sacrifice the patient's wellbeing for Bailey, as if he would defer to a more senior physician--a glaring flaw in his advocacy, since, of course, even senior physicians can make deadly errors. Can you please just talk to him, smooth things over, so that when I go to take my patient back to radiology and get his drain put back in, he doesn't make a scene? In fact, nurses are autonomous professionals who report to nurse managers.
Bailey (still elated): I want all post-op drains removed on day 3 from now on unless I tell you otherwise. The characters on use some technical jargon, but it's really just a basic simulation to advance the physician superhero agenda. The doctor-nurse protocol The only other episode in which Eli plays any significant clinical role is the one aired on March 24, 2011 ("This Is How We Do It," written by Shonda Rhimes and Peter Nowalk). Evidently they have never seen a nurse speak to a patient's family before. You can call me Cro-Magnon, or old-fashioned, but that is not gonna stop me from taking you home to my bed tonight and showin' you what kind of man I am. His initial pep-talk of the dispirited Sean is clearly effective.
In one scene, Bailey and Avery walk into an inpatient room, where we see a weak patient, her husband, and Eli, who is doing something with the patient's arm. Perhaps that's because this may be the first time a nurse character has as ever said anything substantial to a patient's family on . And in general, he is going toe-to-toe with physician Bailey in the clinical setting, not cowering, slinking away, or expressing surly indifference to patient wellbeing--the hallmarks of the limited portrayals of clinical nursing that has had over the years. This babble could easily have come from a male physician in some past decade, and maybe that's part of the point, a feminist role reversal--though it's possible the show doesn't even realize that it's mirroring that traditional male-female contempt so closely.
Bailey says it's tough getting the insulin levels on track. Webber is reluctant, noting that the FDA has not yet approved the trial. Bailey notes that if they kill the patient, it could ruin chances for approval of the whole trial, but Avery persuades the chief, who says he will ask the FDA if Clara agrees. The show suggests that there is some "doctor-nurse protocol" under which nurses have to do whatever physicians say. Eli is joking, but also implying that physicians do automatically have some sexual power over nurses. He says sure, "until your next break." See the February 17, 2011 Quicktime clip in broadband or dialup speed.