Different Worlds: A Cultural Perspective on Nurse-Physician Communication
Mannahan, Carol A.
Nursing Clinics of North America 2010 March; 45(1): 71-79
Nurses and physicians have a unique opportunity to work together to provide quality patient care. Although numerous studies have documented the value of effective nurse-physician communication on patient outcomes and on nurse and physician satisfaction, communication between many physicians and nurses continues to be poor. A variety of reasons for this disconnect have been identified, including differences in education, role expectations, gender, and approach to practice. Based on the principle that it is more important to understand than to be understood, application of a cultural competence model offers nurses the opportunity to better understand their physician colleagues. Because of the imperative to provide sensitive care to a diverse population, nurses are expected to assess cultural variations when planning care. That same skill can be applied to improving professional relationships with physicians. This article proposes application of a cultural competence model as a framework to assist nurses to better understand physicians with whom they work. With a focus on how culture affects one's world view, nurses will be encouraged to employ this cultural competence model in their interactions with physicians.
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