Practicum Journal

Introduction and Purpose of the Paper Statements

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            Effectiveness in communication and collaboration with other practitioners is necessary but only possible in a hospital setting where a positive culture exists. Nurses have a challenge working in successful teams with doctors in hospitals that fail to support such working relationships (Sollami, Caricati, & Sarli, 2015). Therefore, I have realized the importance of the theory of interprofessional education to support systematic changes and positive working relations across professional disciplines in healthcare.


During the practicum, I learned about the gaps in nurse-physician communication. Besides, I discovered the problem in the medical-surgical unit where doctors rarely communicate with nurses or involve them in designing care plans for their patients. Therefore, nurses, who are expected to be in close contact with patients lack the necessary information regarding their care and cannot respond effectively to questions asked by the patients or their families.

Literature Review

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I have learned about the importance of effective communication between healthcare providers at different levels of the care process in improving patient outcomes. Siedlecki and Hixson (2015) recognized the importance of health care professionals in providing safe and quality care to improve satisfaction. Therefore, any breakdown in communication is detrimental to patients and health care organizations (Siedlecki & Hixson, 2015). Tan, Zhou, and Kelly (2017) challenged health care professionals, including nurses and doctors to improve their ability to communicate with other professionals since patients’ wellbeing depends on it. Leaders in healthcare organizations should create a workplace culture that supports communication between healthcare providers who develop relevant skills that support positive interactions (Park, Hawkins, Hamlin, Hawkins, & Bamdas, 2014). Therefore, nursing leaders should strive to develop a culture through training and practice. They should enhance constructive working relationships and provide quality care to achieve satisfaction among patients and their families.

How the Situation was Handled

The way the situation was handled was inconsistent with literature because there were obvious gaps in the way doctors worked with nurses to provide care and support to patients. For example, the surgeon in the sug/med unit did not communicate with the nurse on duty on the care plan. Therefore, the nurse had difficulties working with the patient because she had to carefully study the patient’s file and keep referring back to it when caring for the patient such as giving drugs or when dressing.  However, the situation has provided lessons that I will use in my current and future practice as a nurse.

Formulate a Plan

Through working in the medical-surgical unit, I have learned that each nurse is a change agent in supporting nurse-physician interactions in healthcare. Nurses can improve their communication with doctors to ensure that they work in an environment that supports patient care. Therefore, learning effective communication and interpersonal skills is the beginning place to support change in health care organizations (Sollami, Caricati, & Sarli, 2015). Hence, leaders should implement education programs aimed at addressing barriers to effective communication to improve working relationships between different professionals in the care process.


I have identified the need to propose possible strategies to address the barriers to effective interaction and collaboration between health care providers. More research is necessary to identify other barriers to functional communication and effective ways of improving nurse-physician relationships. Nurse leaders should determine the most suitable theory in understanding and solving the problem.

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