Impact of Coaching on the Nurse-Physician Dynamic

Fayyadh R Yusuf, Ambuj Kumar, Wendi Goodson-Celerin, Tracey Lund, Janet Davis, Mary Kutash, Charles N Paidas
AACN Advanced Critical Care 2018, 29 (3): 259-267

BACKGROUND: Limited resources and increased patient care demands have strained nurse-physician relationships in our hospital's neurosurgical intensive care unit, leading to low morale and adversarial dynamics. Studies exploring benefits of coaching interprofessional teamwork demonstrate performance improvements. Therefore, a coaching program designed to improve nurse-physician teamwork was initiated by the neurosurgery department of the hospital's affiliated university.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a coaching program for nurses and physicians on workplace performance in a neurosurgical intensive care unit at a level 1 trauma center.

METHODS: A coach was incorporated into everyday activities on the neurosurgical unit. After 3 months of observations, specific interdisciplinary initiatives were implemented to foster a more positive workplace environment. Nurses' perceptions before and after the initiatives were measured and compared using appropriate statistical tools.

RESULTS: A significant improvement in relationships was found in 6 of 7 targeted categories after the program had been in place for 5 months. The results were sustained at 1 year.

CONCLUSION: A coaching program is an effective method of improving nurse-physician relationships, leading to enhanced workplace performance.

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