How physicians treat nurses directly affects nurses' job satisfaction and retention rates, according to a survey by VHA, Irving, Texas. In particular, "disruptive physician behavior" strongly contributes to low morale among nurses and decisions to leave the profession. Some 30% of nurses responding to the survey reported knowing of a nurse who had quit because of poor treatment from a physician. Modern Healthcare's Daily Dose obtained an advance copy of the study, which will be published in this month's American Journal of Nursing. "If physician behavior is contributing to the nursing shortage, that's bad, because we know the nursing shortage is linked to poorer patient care. We can't afford to disrespect nurses," said Alan Rosenstein, M.D., vice president and medical director of CHA West Coast, Pleasanton, Calif. The VHA report reflects responses from 1,200 nurses, physicians and healthcare executives at VHA hospitals. According to Rosenstein, 92% of respondents said they had witnessed disruptive physician behavior, such as inappropriate conflict involving verbal abuse or even physical abuse of nurses.
To ease the nursing shortage, tell docs to play nice
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