Nurses' perceptions of nurse-physician relationships: medical-surgical vs. intensive care.
Medsurg Nurs. 2012 Nov-Dec;21(6):343-7
Authors: Johnson S, Kring D
UNLABELLED: Effective collaboration between nurses and physicians (RN-MD) is essential in facilitating improved patient care outcomes. A pilot study was conducted among nurses on medical-surgical and intensive care units to identify differences in nurses' perceptions of RN-MD collaborative efforts.
INTRODUCTION: Collaboration between nurses and physicians is essential in fostering interdisciplinary relationships. Specialty practice may influence the quality of this collaboration. Effective communication and collegial RN-MD relationships are critical to improved patient outcomes.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify differences in nurses' perceptions of collaborative efforts between nurses and physicians in medical-surgical (MSUs) units versus intensive care units (ICUs).
RESULTS: A descriptive survey methodology was employed. Nurses in three ICUs and eight MSUs within a 975-bed Magnet hospital completed a 25-item Nurse-Physician Relationship survey, used in previous studies on RN-MD communication. The sample (N = 170) consisted of 54% medical-surgical nurses and 46% ICU nurses. No statistically significant differences were found in the demographic variables between the MSU and ICU nurses except for educational degree. A greater percentage of ICU nurses held a bachelor's degree. This study found that although some differences existed in ICU and MSU nurses' perceptions of RN-MD collaboration, there are more similarities between the two areas. Overall, nurses were satisfied with RN-MD relationships, with 75% of ICU and 65% of MSU nurses reporting satisfaction (p = 0.110). MSU nurses were less likely to participate in interdisciplinary rounds than ICU nurses (p < 0.001). ICU nurses were more likely than MSU nurses to report that physicians treat nurses as handmaidens (p = 0.056) and that physicians displayed unprofessional behavior (p = 0.019).
CONCLUSIONS: Certain nursing specialty areas are not immune to problems with RN-MD relationships. Rather, all clinical service lines should be concerned with fostering collegiality between nurses and their physician partners.
PMID: 23477026 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]