Stethoscopes are not just for use by doctors. If there was any question about that then the firestorm surrounding Miss Colorado and some uneducated comments from the Joy Behar of ‘The View’ fame has put that to rest. When she stepped before the cameras Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson probably had no clue that her outstanding monologue on being a nurse during the Miss America pageant would turn into a national incident with thousands of nurses up in arms. The hosts of the ABC show ‘The View’ decided to share their very uneducated opinion they day after Johnson’s performance. It was during their commentary that Joy Behar, one of the hosts, decided that she was ask why Johnson was wearing a “doctor stethoscope” around her neck. The sound of thousands of nurses’ jaws hitting the floor could be hear from the other side of the planet.
Check out the poorly chosen words of Behar in this video:
While Miss Colorado brushed off these comments with grace, an ever increasing number of nurses immediately demanded an apology. They got their apology from the show and network as they rightfully deserved. What this incident highlights though is that the stethoscope has become more than a tool for physician use. Stethoscopes are used by a multitude of disciplines including respiratory therapy, nursing, EMS, mid-level providers, and others. More lives than can be counted have been saved by the use of the stethoscope by people other than physicians. The incident also highlights the general ignorance of much of the public regarding the capabilities of many health professionals that don’t carry the title of MD behind their name. A quick check of social media reveals the number of physicians who stepped up to highlight this during the discussions last Fall.
The title of the person holding the stethoscope might surprise you, and what they are capable of with that stethoscope might be more surprising.