Please take a look at the article below, written by an experienced nurse who talks about qualities of a physician that nurses want to work with.
"There are major differences between the nurse-physician relationships of the past and the present. I remember how nurses would tell me about the days when they had to rise when a doctor came into the room to show respect. They also had to serve coffee and perform other servant-like duties that physicians wanted, which were outside the bounds of patient care.
Unfortunately, throughout my career, I have had experiences with physicians who still believe that they are the only important cog in the machine of healthcare. This has led to the belief that nurses lead subservient lives, which could not be farther from the truth.
Nursing as Distinct Profession
Nursing is a science with attributes and values very different from those of medicine. It will be up to us as a profession to change the paradigm and get the world to recognize our worth. With that in mind, it is important for us to hold our own with physicians and not tolerate lateral violence or disrespect from them. I do, however, see that as younger physicians enter into the community, there seems to be a chance that they may be different. Modern medical education is now focusing on teamwork and the soft side of medical care. In a hospital setting, we may not have a choice of the doctors we work with. But you can always choose the appropriate discipline and move around to find the right environment for you. Certainly, if you are going to look for work in an office or clinic, the choice to work with a specific physician is clearly up to you. To help you find the perfect teammate in patient care, here are some attributes that I find in physicians that I like to work with:
- Good Practitioners. First and foremost, as nurses, we advocate for our patients and want the best for them. Physicians that are good practitioners will build a level of confidence in the people working around them. They will demonstrate that it is safe to work with them, and thus the patient is also safe. It is also important for them to stay current with modern approaches to care, since there are always changes in treatment and research that guides care.
- True Caring for Their Patients. You can clearly tell when a physician truly cares for their patient or when they are in practice for the money. A physician that cares for their patient is going to spend time with them as if they are the only patient they have. Time will not be a factor and they will explain and teach until the patient is comfortable. We have all had experiences with physicians that book appointments every 10 minutes, leaving the residents or med students to see the patients. The doctor only pops in for 5 minutes to say hi and write a quick note. I recently had this experience with an orthopedic surgeon who charged me $300.00 cash (since he did not trust that he would get paid with the new healthcare law) and spent all of 10 minutes with me. Clearly, he did not care about my problem at all and I will never go back nor will I speak highly of his manner.
- Team Player. An affective physician realizes that they are part of a vast healthcare team, with every member providing a unique value to the holistic approach to care. Healthcare reform is moving the industry to one of comprehensive womb-tomb care with continuous communication between the acute to ambulatory sides. There needs to be open and effective communication with the team members at every point of care. This cannot be achieved by one person alone and the good docs realize that.
- Easily Approachable. To maintain open lines of communication vital to the effective care of the patient, the physician has to be approachable. This also includes a degree of patience in cases of increased workload or patient complexity. I am sure we have all worked with docs that you needed to assess their mood and behavior before you approached them, on any given day. This shuts down communication and actually limits quality coordination of care. Positive Attitude.
- A positive attitude is clearly important regardless of whom we are working with. There is a difference between the attitude of whose “glass is always half empty” versus whose “glass is always half full.” A positive attitude can keep a team on the trajectory of success by always keeping the patient as the center of all we do.
- Understanding and Respect for Nurses. Of all the attributes previously discussed, I feel that this is the one that is the most important. Many physicians do not know what nurses do and therefore cannot fully appreciate the value to patient care. In order for a team to work together there needs to be respect for all members. Once physicians understand what nurses bring to the table, relationships will be solid and bonds can be built. I think that as a profession, this is one area where we as nurses can do a better job articulating our value. It’s not only to physicians but to the community we serve. If you are looking for a great work environment, finding a group of great physicians will certainly make your experience better. In an acute setting, do some research on the medical team there, especially the chief or the chair of the department. If that individual has a pompous or negative attitude that will set the stage for the culture of the group. The same is true when you are looking for roles in clinics or services. Do your research and make your selections carefully since this can impact your nursing career now and out into the future. There is one last thing to consider. In order for us to be respected, we must give respect. If there is a difficult relationship between you and a given physician, first evaluate if your behavior is contributing negatively in any way. If it is not, then most organizations have a method of reporting such situations. Many have a zero tolerance policy, which you should utilize as well. There is never a situation where anyone, regardless of who they are, gets away with disrespecting or mistreating those in the workforce."