Relationship between health, nursing, and medicine:
The increasingly diversifying healthcare system calls upon the collaboration of healthcare professionals to provide the best patient care. Physicians and nurses are the two major parties in healthcare that play a major role in health care delivery. In an ideal world, physicians and nurses should always work closely together for the common benefit of the patients. Teamwork among nurses and physicians promote great communication, coordination, and decision-making that is specially focused on improving patient outcome. However, this is not always the case. Healthcare is a system highly dominated by hierarchy, specific roles and responsibilities, and silo-based thinking. These and other pressures like differing objectives, priorities, and perspectives often create differences between nurses and physicians.
The differing goals of nurses and physicians is one major root of the conflict. Medicine is more focused on a cure, while nursing is more about patient care. Physicians are more concerned about diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease and injury while the nurses are always at the bedside providing overall care for the patient during the recovery process. The conflicting roles and responsibilities can sometimes be so pronounced to a level of negatively impacting health care delivery.
The difference in powers between nurses and physicians creates some form of tension that is believed to impact health care. Physicians, at the top of the hierarchy, have, on numerous occasions, been reported to exude what can be referred to as a “difficult behavior.” Nurses, particularly female nurses, describe the physician-nurse relationship to be biased whereby the male physicians are viewed as more powerful in comparison to the female nurse. In an environment where the physicians feel more powerful and entitled, the physician-nurse relations become strained. In areas where the physician-nurse connection is critical, like during surgery, it can result in poor health care delivery.
The relationship between nurses and physicians determines the type of health care that the patients receive. Any issue that may result in a conflict between these two key players in healthcare ought to be resolved. A healthcare environment dominated by egocentric and controlling physicians may result in a nursing team that feels undervalued, underappreciated, and intimidated. The results of an unsatisfied nursing team will be poor patient care. Both nurses and physicians have a role in improving collaboration. For instance, aiming for better communication can help eliminate cases of unmet expectations and a frustrated physician-nurse relationship. Other strategies that are focused on enhancing collaboration between nurses and physicians can also be put in to place. This can include creating coaching and training services that are focused on educating nurses and physicians and providing them with better insight regarding the current healthcare system and the importance of maintaining a healthy and positive relationship.