But Eli was more of an intuitive traditional healer than a modern science professional.Physicians still provided virtually all important care in his episodes, and Eli eventually seemed to concede that the senior physicians were in charge.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.

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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.

Later, we see Bailey explaining to Clara and her husband about the trial. (We imagine that all nurses just burst out laughing together.) In real life, nurses report to senior nurses, and although physicians clearly (and wrongly) have more power, there is no formal servant "protocol" that nurses defer to anyone. And she is clearly embarrassed not just by Eli's "dirty" conduct, but also by his status as a nurse. The March 31 episode "Song Beneath the Song" (by show creator Shonda Rhimes) is another one in which Eli's role is limited to that of Bailey love object.

Avery says she is Clara Green, a type 1 diabetic who is 8 weeks post-op from a tumor resection. You remember when we talked about how she might not make it through the surgery? Bailey said she was prepared to roll the dice but surgery was a gamble. See clip 1 of the March 24, 2011 episode in Quicktime at broadband or dialup speed. And however nauseous we might get at the "what kind of man I am" speech, the show seems to think it's cool. But one thing is constant: It's the nurse who is unworthy of serious consideration.

Clara's irritated husband Sean wants to hear from a "grownup doctor" instead of a resident like Avery; he wants to know why his wife is not better. Bailey and Avery try to get Clara into chief of surgery Richard Webber's clinical trial, which involves implanting a device with insulin that is designed to act like a new pancreas. But the benefits of the plotline are overwhelmed by damaging distortions and absurdities. That implication hangs over these exchanges, especially when Eli talks about Bailey "taking full advantage" and in Bailey's awkward justification for having "fun" with him.

include the forceful "Nurse Eli," the sort-of boyfriend of star surgeon Miranda Bailey and perhaps the best nurse character the show has ever had.

Yet even this extended plot arc ultimately decayed into a reinforcement of the idea that nurses are physician subordinates unworthy of being treated as equals, professionally or personally.It looks like it would never occur to Eli to share his knowledge with others or do a research study of his own so that many patients could be saved.In fact, does he even know that he takes the drains out on the third day, or does he just do it intuitively?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.Eli appeared in eight episodes aired over a 10-month period, ending tonight.