Inside the program: Taking the pulse of nurse-physician relationships

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, January 5, 2010

Taking the pulse of physician relationships is a good starting point for change. Doing so allows you to dissect the current relationships in your facility and make sense of the problems you face.

In their research surrounding nurse-physician relationships, Marlene Kramer and Claudia Schmalenberg took a closer look at nurse-physician relationships by defining exactly what nurses meant when they described any nurse-physician relationship as "good." The term meant different things to different nurses, but the researchers did find that power consistently played a large role in the relationships. They developed the following five categories to define the types of relationship:

  1. Collegial
  2. Collaborative
  3. Teacher-student
  4. Neutral
  5. Negative

Because the categories are based on a power difference, these scales tie in well with the oppression theory, which is also based on power.

Source: Speak Your Truth: Proven Strategies for Effective Nurse-Physician Communication

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