Addressing the Disrespect Disconnect
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"I do believe nurses and physicians are on two different pages when it comes to communication," Kadlick adds. "Time is a commodity for physicians today. When they present to do rounds, they want to have pertinent data given to them. Nurses have a tendency to give a very detailed report, more than what a physician may want to hear; hence, the physician may interrupt, seem to be abrupt, even rude at times."
When confronted as being rude or disrespectful, a physician often would be "truly taken aback, as they do not see it this way," Kadlick says. Referring to reports of alleged abuse, Kadlick says she believes that "while there are validated incidents of true disrespect for nurses by physicians, these incidents are minimal."
As health systems improve care coordination and increase the roles of nurse navigators, Kadlick says she expects the communication between nurses and doctors to get better.
"I do see it improving on the acute care level, with care coordinators working with primary care physicians," Kadlick says. "As you add care coordinators and change the delivery models, you will see registered nurses more at the bedside than tied to the computer, and the communication will be getting better. You have more advanced nurse practitioners popping up in the acute care settings. We are getting there, but still moving at a snail's pace.
"Physicians have acknowledged how important it is to have that mid-level provider to help them with their greatest commodity—time," Kadlick says.
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