Resolving the Disrespect Disconnect
The findings illustrate fundamental "ineffective communication or having different expectations" among the two groups, with physicians sometimes having a misperception of nurses' roles, and nurses in conflict with physicians over the "misunderstanding of what needs to be done at a given time," Kadlick says. She acknowledges that such communication problems could manifest themselves when a physician "cuts off" a nurse's suggestion or comment.
"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.
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