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Improving Physician and Nurse Collaboration and Communication

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"I can find better nurse’s on the street than the ones who work on this floor”. The nurse’s who work on my floor in the facility where I work, are known throughout the hospital as some of the best. Some of the surgeon’s demand for their patients to be admitted to our floor after surgery due to the quality of care that the nurse’s provide the patient’s and their families. Most however are very critical of the staff and have no respect for us at all and complain about us no matter what we do. The comment I quoted previously was made by an attending doctor who of course is never satisfied with the nursing staff on my unit. She continues to make derogatory comments about the nursing staff on my unit, she continuously complains every day in rounds about how there needs to be an increase in communication between us and her residents because her patients are so “fragile”. Yet, when we call sometimes we get no response to pages, if they respond to pages they don’t come to evaluate the patient if necessary until there is serious urging from the nurse, and if anything goes wrong somehow the blame always falls back on the nursing staff. As a world changer I am going to change how doctors and nurses collaborate and communicate to deliver safe, efficient, and quality care to our patients.

Improving the collaboration and communication between nurses and physicians will improve patient well being. The service that the physician I mentioned earlier is always problematic for the nurses on my unit. Other services that have attending physicians who respect and value nurse’s and their opinions about patients have better outcomes. They seem to make less frequent trips to the ICU, are discharged sooner and have better parent survey results. Why is this? Benner states, “Where good communication exists between doctors and nurses and collaborative interactions prevail, flexibility increases and the patient benefits” ( 2001, p. 144).

To make positive changes and improve communication both parties need to be receptive to change. They have to be ready to let go of age old stereotypes and views and be prepared to work together as a team and not against one another. According to Johnson & Johnson, “Any successful attempt at change must include strategies for changing both organizations and the individuals that serve within them” ( 2004, p. 170). Hospital leaders can help incorporate these needed changes by recognizing the importance of strong nurse-physician relationships. In my facility I would form committees that made critical decisions of more than just business people and doctors. I would have just as many or more nurses making

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