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Nurse-Physician Communication

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 حيدر حمزة علي كشمر الحدراوي
04/02/2013 05:50:32
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Nurse-Physician Communication
Hayder H. Alhadrawi, MSN, PhD Student

A: Why do we care about nurse-physician relationship? Why is it important in our job?
1. The nurse-physician relationship has been related to patient’s mortality rate; both nurses and physician ethically have to communicate with each other effectively to reduce the mortality rate and improve patients’ health..
2. Effective communications between those cultures reduce the errors and get better outcomes.
3. Communication increases patients’ satisfaction and minimize hospital length of stay.
4. Communication is a way of human life and one of the basic needs that make nurses satisfied.

B. Barriers of communication between nurse and physician.
1. Dismissive attitude about nurses: Lock of knowledge about the nurses’ responsibilities makes physicians don’t know or understand what nurses usually do and don’t deal with nurses’ assessment seriously.
2. Power issue: Power still one of the factors that create conflict between these two cultures. Nurses face difficulty in dealing with the physicians, physicians tend to see themselves in control and have the superior power.
3. Education and experience variations: Physicians feel unequal with other cultures because of physicians generally have more education and experience than most nurses.
4. Subculture issue: Different levels in nursing profession make physicians misunderstand the right role of each one.
5. Community role : People always think that physicians are the only ones who know everything related to their health status and nurses exist just to stratify their orders, so that makes physicians feel that they are the dominant and completely control.
6. Repetition process: New physicians usually follow their role models in how to deal with the rest of the health system members.
7. The climate of the unit: In some specialty units like operating rooms and intensive care units when the nurse and the physician work closely and the teamwork is crucial, we can see the mutual respect and the improvement in their communication.

C. Strategies for changes:
1. Apply nurse- physician co-leader model: Share those two cultures in one issue make physicians understand the actual role of the nurses and builds the bridges of communication between those cultures.
2. Teachers’ responsibility: Teach nursing students how to communicate effectively with other health culture.
3. Sharing physicians in nurses’ activities like nursing conferences, research discussions and other educational aspects assists to create the collaborative environment between nurses and physicians.
4. Show an equal professional colleague: Nurses should keep in touch with the developments in their work place by staying up-to-date with the knowledge in their specialty, continuing education and actively participate in clinical researches.
5. Organizations’ roles: Organizations should provide a context in which nurse-physician communication happens and growing the sense of collaboration between them.

Please see these two links:
Good communication
Bad communication


Mannahan C. EdD, RN (2010) Different Words: A cultural Perspective on Nurse-Physician communication.

Steiner T., Goebel R. and Rieger W. (2006) A nurse-physician Co-leadership Model, International Journal of Mental Health, volume: 15, No: 251.

Baiyekusi I. (2010) Physician-Nurse Relationship, Nurses’ Perception in Internal Medicine and Surgical Units.

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