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Does physician verbal abuse create a bad working environment -- or the reverse?
Date:8/6/2013

s that higher levels of verbal abuse by physicians are correlated with poorer perceptions of the work environment across the board," said Brewer. "It also seems that verbal abuse is contagious. One potential explanation is that negative behavior exhibited by one member of a group spills over to other members of the group and hurts the group dynamic. We also see that in a stressful environment, including one in which there is physician to RN abuse, there is more likely to be RN to RN abuse, as well."

Similar to the findings regarding abuse by other RNs, this study revealed that working in Magnet hospitals was associated with lower levels of verbal abuse by physicians.

"Physicians' verbal abuse of nurses is a long-standing problem and one we need to do much more to address," said Kovner. "It hurts morale, breeds further verbal abuse, and is associated with nurse intention to leave, particularly among younger nurses. All of these things ultimately reduce the quality of patient care. Health care organizations need to do much more to create positive, healthy work environments"

The researchers note that a variety of methods have been proposed to prevent verbal abuse but suggest that those methods must be part of a holistic approach to improving the work environment, as targeting only verbal abuse is not enough. They also assert that any policies put in place should be developed in cooperation with nursing leaders, key physicians, and administrators.


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Contact: Christopher James
christopher.james@nyu.edu
212-998-6876
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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