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Nurses Keep Silent on Physicians’ Shortcuts

Nurses Keep Silent on Physicians’ Shortcuts

Almost 60% of nurses report they have at one time or another felt unsafe to speak up or were unable to get others to listen when medical software alerted them to a problem that may have been missed and harmed a patient (eg, drug interaction). These data and more were reported in The Silent Treatment 2010, a new study by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN), the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and VitalSmarts, which examines three specific concerns: dangerous shortcuts, incompetence, and disrespect observed among physicians. The Traditional Survey section of the study collected data from 4,235 nurses, of whom 832 were managers. Among the findings : Dangerous Shortcuts 84% work with people who “take shortcuts that could be dangerous for patients” (ie, not washing hands long enough, not changing gloves when appropriate, failing to check armbands, forgetting to perform a safety check). 41% have spoken to their manager about the person whose shortcuts create the most danger to patients. 31% have spoken to the person taking the dangerous shortcuts, and shared their full concerns. Incompetence 82% work with people who “are not as skilled as they should be (for example, they aren’t up-to-date on a procedure, policy, protocol, medication, or practice or are lacking basic skills).” 48% have spoken to their manager about the person whose missing competencies create the greatest danger to patients. 21% have spoken to the person, and have shared their full concerns. Disrespect 85% work with people who “demonstrate disrespect” (ie, are condescending, insulting, or rude). 46% say that disrespect undercuts respect for their professional opinion. 16% have spoken to the...
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