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Keywords

Nurse-physician relations, interdisciplinary communication, relational coordination

 

Authors

  1. WEINBERG, DANA B. PHD
  2. MINER, DIANNE COONEY PHD, RN, CNRN
  3. RIVLIN, LEETAL MA

Abstract

Objective: Using the theory of relational coordination, which holds that in high-pressure settings such as hospitals, high-quality communication and strong relationships are necessary for coordinated action, we sought to determine the quality of the nurse-physician relationship by examining the communication and interaction between nurses and residents from the residents' perspective.

 

Methods: A sample of 20 medical and surgical residents, selected by a snowball sampling technique, were interviewed about the quality of their communication and relationships with nurses in the workplace.

 

Results: Residents' responses were influenced by their perceptions of nurses' cooperativeness and competence, and their impressions of nurses' professional preparation and demeanor varied widely. Although 19 of 20 residents reported instances of poor communication or problematic relationships with nurses, most believed that this posed no significant threat to patient care because the nurses' role, as they saw it, was one of simply following orders.

 

Conclusions: Given the strong doubts some residents expressed about nurses' cooperativeness and competence, the nursing profession should consider strengthening nursing education and clearly delineating nurses' roles and competencies.