Communication: Nurses and Physicians

Posted: January 31, 2017

The communication among nurses and doctors has been a subject of contention for some time. El Sayed & Sleem (2011) carried out a quantitative comparative study on the Attitudes of Nurses and Physicians at Mansoura Hospital. The study aimed at assessing the attitudes of nurse-physician collaboration in surgical and medical units. The researchers used descriptive design involving two groups of subjects including 97 nurses and 38 physicians. The data collected was analyzed using the Jefferson Scale to determine the nurse-physician collaboration El Sayed & Sleem (2011). Indeed, the results indicated that the partnership was markedly reduced when the power difference was increased among the practitioners. Also, true collaboration could only be achieved with mutual respect and open communication including shared decision making among the nurses and doctors El Sayed & Sleem (2011). The implication of the study to nursing is that joint participation is required to improve the communication gap among the medical practitioners. The gap in communication has been shown to lead to more negative effects in patient care.

Researchers have attempted to look into ways of improving the perceptions and effectiveness of communication in hospitals. In a quantitative study by Robinson, Gorman, Slimmer, & Yudkowsky (2010) studied the themes that could be applied in improving communication effectiveness among nurses and physicians. As such, they used focus group methodology to determine the perceptions of medical practitioners on nurse-physician communications (Robinson et al., 2010). Indeed, the sample group of eighteen revealed that clarity, precision, and collaboration were key themes for effective communication (Robinson et al., 2010). Also, the messages that relied on verification, supportive demeanor under stress and mutual respect were needed to improve the communication behavior.

 A related study by Johnson & Kring (2012) aimed at understanding the collaboration between the physicians and nurses in enhancing interdisciplinary relationships.  The hierarchy that separates the various specialties in the medical heath sector has been termed to be key influencers of communication. Johnson & Kring (2012) used a survey methodology using three ICUs and eight surgical units. The sample comprised of one hundred and seventy individuals with insignificant differences in demographic variables. Although most of the respondents reported that they were satisfied with the nurse-physician relationship, the ICU nurses had concerns of been treated as handmaidens. Additionally, some of the nurses claimed that the physicians displayed unprofessional behavior. The study revealed that indeed there was a problem in the relationship between nurse and doctors in the varying specialties.

Similarly, an article by Flicek (2012) explains the importance of communication among the nurses and physicians in delivering services to patients. More so, the report highlights that most of the medical errors have been noted to be as a result of poor communication between the practitioners. This raises the concern on the communication barriers that hinder the effective relationship between nurse and physical. In the article, Flicek (2012) notes that the perceptions of the professionals to towards each other could be a major factor in hindering communication. Additionally, time and the work environment have been shown to affect the flow of information among the professionals (Flicek, 2012). Another important aspect is the advancement in technology that has been seen to contribute to the failure of communication between the nurses and doctors. Flicek (2012) acknowledges that the use of SBAR tool has been shown to overcome the communication barrier as the practitioners can quickly contribute vital information in managing cases. Also, mandatory multidisciplinary rounds have been recommended to deal with facilitating the movement of nurses and physicians.

Another study to show the impact of nursing expertise on service delivery highlights communication among the nurses and physicians as crucial.  Hill (2010) explains that the nursing experience is imperative to the type of service offered by the physicians. As such, communication has to be maintained to ensure that the correct measures are applied at every stage. Hill (2010) compares the patient outcomes of expert and novice nurses while showing the essential element of communication that can make the difference. Additionally, strong leadership was shown to influence the quality of services as well as creating a working condition that allows increased collaboration. Although the study did not focus on communication as a subject, Hill (2010) revealed the need for involving expertise and cooperation in the health care system.

Siedlecki & Hixson (2015) conducted research to reveal the importance of nurse-physician relationship in the delivery of patient care. The study involved the use of Professional Practice Environmental Assessment Scale to assess the perceptual behaviors of nurses and physicians. In the study, Siedlecki & Hixson (2015) used papers that analyzed the nurse-physician relationship to show the gaps that existed. Indeed, the findings demonstrated that there were problems with the communication mechanisms between the two parties. However, the nurses appeared to have a more significant tendency to hold views on mutual respect, collaboration, and communication than the physicians. Also, the nurses were shown to have favorable perceptions of the physicians while the vice-versa was not true (Siedlecki & Hixson, 2015).

As such, the role of the physicians in creating a communication environment for the nurses was revealed. Interestingly, the studies also highlighted that most of the nurses were affected by the attitude of the physicians in any patient condition (Siedlecki & Hixson, 2015). This implies that the doctors’ behavior could inform that of the nurses. Indeed, there is a need for further studies to identify the contribution of physicians to the effectiveness of communication in health systems. 

Ultimate discount!

Check the discount here

Order now