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A qualitative study of the meaning of the nurse-physician relationship from the perspective of intensive care unit nurses in a university medical center
The traditional hierarchical relationship between nurses and physicians negatively influences nurse's job satisfaction, stress, empowerment, retention and productivity and the outcomes of health care services to patients. While a major goal of professional nursing is to establish a more collaborative relationship through changes in nurses' relationship behaviors with physicians, findings in regard to these behaviors are mixed. Because nurses' intergroup behavior with physicians is influenced by their formulations of the meaning of that relationship, it is important to understand the nature and content of those formulations. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of the nurse-physician relationship from the perspective of practicing nurses in order to see the world of nurse-physician relationships as nurses do. This process called for a long qualitative interview approach which allowed the nurse to speak for herself and allowed the researcher to develop an understanding of the categories and logic through which the nurse sees the nurse-physician relationship by means of thematic analysis of the interview data. The study found that nurses viewed the nurse-physician relationship as a team. Through collegial interaction, physicians showed respect for nurses' knowledge by seeking, listening to and acting upon nurses' recommendations. Nurses believed that they contributed important information to medical decision-making through their knowledge of individual patients, their clinical experience and their scientific training, without which, the medical decision would be incomplete. The findings suggest a new paradigm for the nature of the nurse-physician relationship: nurse participation in medical decision making based on nurses' knowledge. The findings further suggest the applicability of intergroup relations theory as a frame of reference for understanding and improving nurse-physician relations.
Nursing|Social psychology|Womens studies
Peret, Karen Rosemarie, "A qualitative study of the meaning of the nurse-physician relationship from the perspective of intensive care unit nurses in a university medical center" (1993). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9329653.