Physicians’ screaming at staff goes out of style

by • May 1, 2008 • UncategorizedComments Off on Physicians’ screaming at staff goes out of style1251

By Patricia Iyer, MSN, RN, LNCC

The physician who screams at the nurses’ station may soon be exhibiting a behavior of the past. Increasingly, healthcare facilities and staff are identifying the impact of disruptive or abusive behavior on communication, patient safety, employee morale and turnover. This behavior is called “lateral or horizontal violence.” The American Nurses Association recently released a position paper on the subject. Incidents of verbal abuse of nurses, typically by physicians, are unfortunately well known. According to a VHA (Volunteer Hospitals of America) survey, an estimated 2-3% of physicians behaved badly toward their nurse colleagues. Specific triggers often precipitated events, such as:

• nurses calling the physician during evenings or weekends to question or clarify orders;

• orders carried out incorrectly or in an untimely manner;

• unexpected delays in care;

• difficulties with procedures or process flow, and;

• changes in patient condition…

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