1. Macdermid, Kate RN

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The authors of "'It Depends': Medical Residents" Perspectives on Working with Nurses," (Original Research, July) conclude that the reported differences in the perspectives of residents and nurses necessitate that changes be made to nursing education, and that the role of the nurse requires further clarification.


Dillon and colleagues discussed the important role poor communication between health service staff plays in causing significant patient harm. In a study with a small sample size, they found that there were benefits for nursing, medical, and allied health students in collaborative simulation training sessions. Thus, there's a need for changes in medical education as well. All health professionals need to learn how to work as a team; good communication will not happen automatically.


One resident in the AJN study commented, "I don't want to be running up there if the patient's like, 'Oh, I'm just in pain.'" The authors found that pain control was low on the list of priorities of residents when paged but a high priority for nurses and patients. Although this is only one comment in a small study, the resident's perspective should ring alarm bells.


Although the sample sizes of both of these studies is small, such research makes a valuable contribution to the growing body of work supporting culture change in the education of nursing and medical staff. I hope it leads to larger studies that evaluate the effect of such culture change on patient outcomes.


Kate Macdermid, RN


Melbourne, Australia


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1. Dillon PM, et al. Simulation as a means to foster collaborative interdisciplinary education. Nurs Educ Perspect 2009;30(2):87-90.