Nurse and doctor relationships…

Well July is coming to an end. For anyone that works at a teaching hospital, you know exactly what I mean. I have such a respect for residents because I’m the first to admit that I could not maintain their schedules, performance pressure, and my sanity. I would’ve just quit probably as a med student.

Nurses and physicians work so closely together that it is imperative that we have a great relationship. When doctors and nurses have good working relationships patients have better outcomes, workplace satisfaction goes up, staff turn overs decrease,  and stress levels drop.

I say this all the time but it is just like a marriage. We are both committed. We wont always like each other but we have to make it work. If you find yourself getting easily frustrated in any way then here are somethings to consider about nurse and physician relationships:

#1- Take ownership that the relationship is 50% your responsibility.

#2- Over communication beats no communication every time. Communicate about everything. All things patient care. I’ve never had a doctor tell me that I’ve told them too much. They use all the details to come up with the best plan of care for the patient.

#3- Listen to what each other is trying to communicate. I always tell my kids… God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.

#4- Respect each other. Nurses don’t always agree with physicians decisions and physicians don’t always like how a nurse is managing their patient. Speaking to each other calmly and nicely goes a long way. Body language is everything. A patient or their family should never be able to tell the nurse and physician do not agree. The bedside is never a place to disrespect each other. This makes the patient and their families lose confidence in the care being provided.

#5- Give each other kudos for a job well done. Being acknowledged for doing a good job always makes for a closer relationship. It always means a lot for a physician to recognize a good job. They need it too.

#6- Team members work together. I almost lost my mind when a resident came into another patients room to tell me to go back into the room they just came from and give them the urinal sitting on the counter…….. but all the physicians that have taken patients off bedpans or done an incentive spirometer have made up for it.

#7- Trust is earned on both sides.

#8- Always be quick to apologize for doing or saying something you shouldn’t have. This speaks volumes of your character and tells the other that you care enough to right your wrongs. Needless to say I feel like my apology game is strong. I try to be quick to apologize and in turn it has brought my relationships with physicians closer.

We have both mad the decision to be in the people business. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Being their for each other and having good healthy relationships is a culture that promotes success for everyone. Love the heck out of your baby doctors and nurses because goodness knows they need it for putting up with us!

Until next July……………………………………………..

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