Physician-Nurse Interactions in Critical Care

Pediatrics. 2017 Sep;140(3):e20170670. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-0670. Epub 2017 Aug 16.


Nearly 20% of nurses leave their first job within a year of being hired. Many do so because they perceive the work environment to be unhealthy or nonsupportive. Nurse turnover is costly. When new nurses leave within 3 years of being hired, it costs the hospital $64 000, over and above salaries, to replace them. One of the hallmarks of an unhealthy work environment is poor communication between doctors and nurses. We present a case in which a nurse advocates for a young mother by questioning the doctor. She is reprimanded for doing so. We then asked 3 nurses to discuss the implications of such interactions for nurse satisfaction, patient safety, and a healthy work environment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Critical Care / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Patient Safety
  • Physician-Nurse Relations*