Addressing the Disrespect Disconnect

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , February 13, 2012
Are you a health leader?
Qualify for a free subscription to HealthLeaders magazine.

But as health systems work to improve value-based care, nurses see themselves as becoming increasingly important to coordinate care and should have more of a stake in care delivery, the survey of nurse leaders shows. Indeed, nearly one in 10 respondents say he or she believes nurses will help save healthcare, though most (28%) say they see hospitals as the key to righting the healthcare ship, followed by the government (13%).

While most healthcare leaders acknowledge that the industry is in a mess, not one lays the blame on nurses. Of the more than 1,000 survey respondents, most say government is the culprit (40%), followed by health plans (22%), and even 6% cited physicians.

Nurse leaders are in sync with their colleagues in blaming the government for industry woes (37%), followed by health plans (23%), physicians (8%), hospitals (5%), vendors (3%), patients (1%), technology (1%), and nurses (0%).

"I think when they start pointing fingers at who is to blame, why nurses aren't pointed out is because they aren't reimbursed by third-party payers," says Kadlick. "They aren't seen as the ones delaying discharges in acute care settings or ordering unnecessary diagnostic tests in the outpatient facilities."

In an area of disconnect between nurses and doctors, about 77% of nurse leaders said in the survey that the quality of their organization would be positively affected by increasing the scope of care for nurses, while only 10% thought it would worsen.  When physician leaders were asked that question, 48% said it would improve, while 26% said it would worsen. 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

3 comments on "Addressing the Disrespect Disconnect"

CENotredame (2/15/2012 at 2:45 PM)
Actually, in my > 35 year career as a nurse I have experienced this first hand and have been verbally abused on a daily basis in one job as an educater because the physician did not want me there. Also, I have had a resident speak very disrespectfully to me, in a very non emergent sistuation, as though entitled to do so, although I was at the time old enough to be her mother. I have witnessed physician disrespect towards nurses, and sometimes nusres being unkind and disespectful towards residents, throughout my career so commonly, that the numbers sied by nurse leaders seem rediulously low. My feelings about this have been more affected by my experiences as a patient with significant medical problems as I have seen the limitations that physicians and the medical model bring to the table Nonetheless I have had very rwarding working relationships with physicians as well and found that the team approach really benefitted our patients

ed (2/15/2012 at 2:44 AM)
Quite an interesting article in that the article only appears to address the level of disrespect the nurses may feel. However, I think it is safe to say that the contrary also occurs and I wonder how many physicians feel they are disrespected by nurses. Unfortunately, as far as I know the treatment of physicians, especially in training, by nurses are rarely examined. When it comes to the perception of blame, I certainly do feel that physicians have played a part as they do make the ultimate decisions regarding patient care. I am not sure what to make of the perception that nurses do not share some of the blame for our current health care system, as they appear to be an integral part. Ultimately, improved communication will likely lead to improved healthcare delivery, but I am not sure if performing a one-sided, possibly biased survey is contributing to the solution.

Sue Wintz (2/14/2012 at 9:15 AM)
Thank you for bringing this important topic out into the open. As a board certified professional chaplain, I have worked closely with both physicians and nurses and agree that there is a 'disconnect' that impedes communication. As the article pointed out, it's not only the MDs and RNs that contribute to this, but many other influences, including the organizational culture. Coordinated care and a multidisciplinary approach are the key, however the barriers often set up within the culture can impede this and must be addressed. Professional chaplains are often the overlooked resource by many organizations. Our expertise is communication, not only in assessing patient/family beliefs and values to incorporate them into the plan of care (which increases satisfaction), but also within the team. Often chaplains facilitate communication between members of the team, including physicians and nurses. To increase the overall success of communication in healthcare delivery, organizations would do well to bring all members of the team to the table to talk openly about solutions. This means not only the organizational leaders. The voices of those who do the bedside care - the physicians, nurses, professional chaplains and other disciplines, need to be heard and respected. Together solutions to this issue can be addressed.




FREE e-Newsletters Join the Council Subscribe to HL magazine


100 Winners Circle Suite 300
Brentwood, TN 37027


About | Advertise | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Reprints/Permissions | Contact
© HealthLeaders Media 2016 a division of BLR All rights reserved.