“I don’t trust the nurses”

We heard this sentiment several times yesterday, and though I understand the visceral reaction to label that statement as “the problem” there’s more to unpack in that statement than we were able to do. I guarantee that many of the residents in that room and certainly back in our hospitals and clinics have felt the exact same way. And we need to be able to talk about it honestly, even if it’s politically incorrect to do so.

There are multiple issues of communication, accountability, fragmentation behind that statement, and all need to be addressed. I’m interested in concrete examples of how we build relationships with nurses and other healthcare workers in a meaningful and accountable way.

A few examples I’ve heard over the week:

– Nick at Children’s Mercy is part of a Nurse-Resident Council. He is also at a historically nurse-run hospital, and likely in a place where the culture has already shifted from the norm.

– Sam is working on a project to introduce nurses and residents on day 1 of each rotation and measure improved communication and time between orders being placed and carried out. Check out his blog post from yesterday!

– At Harbor-UCLA, the nurse’s union (local 721) is organizing with our house staff union CIR around workplace safety.

– At my Family Medicine clinic, we are upgrading our break rooms, and have a group of residents, nurses, and clerks to jointly decide how to combine the current SEPARATE lunchrooms into one larger one that everyone uses.

– through CIR Women in Medicine programming, we are planning a dinner series to address this exact issue, to bring together nurses and residents in an informal fun setting to have “real talk.” There are a lot of gender and power issues at play!

Any other examples or ideas?? Would love to hear!

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