Everyday ethical challenges of nurse-physician collaboration

Motshedisi Sabone, Pelonomi Mazonde, Francesca Cainelli, Maseba Maitshoko, Renatha Joseph, Judith Shayo, Baraka Morris, Marjorie Muecke, Barbra Mann Wall, Linda Hoke, Lilian Peng, Kim Mooney-Doyle, Connie M. Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Collaboration between physicians and nurses is key to improving patient care. We know very little about collaboration and interdisciplinary practice in African healthcare settings. Research question/aim: The purpose of this study was to explore the ethical challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical practice and education in Botswana Participants and research context: This qualitative descriptive study was conducted with 39 participants (20 physicians and 19 nurses) who participated in semi-structured interviews at public hospitals purposely selected to represent the three levels of hospitals in Botswana (referral, district, and primary). Ethical considerations: Following Institutional Review Board Approval at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ministry of Health in Botswana, participants’ written informed consent was obtained. Findings: Respondents’ ages ranged from 23 to 60 years, and their duration of work experience ranged from 0.5 to 32 years. Major qualitative themes that emerged from the data centered on the nature of the work environment, values regarding nurse–doctor collaboration, the nature of such collaboration, resources available for supporting collaboration and the smooth flow of work, and participants’ views about how their work experiences could be improved. Discussion: Participants expressed concerns that their work environment compromised their ability to provide high-quality and safe care to their patients. The physician staffing structure was described as consisting of a few specialists at the top, a vacuum in the middle that should be occupied by senior doctors, and junior doctors at the bottom—and not a sufficient number of nursing staff. Conclusion: Collaboration between physicians and nurses is critical to optimizing patients’ health outcomes. This is true not only in the United States but also in developing countries, such as Botswana, where health care professionals reported that their ethical challenges arose from resource shortages, differing professional attitudes, and a stressful work environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing Ethics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Botswana
Nurses
Physicians
Delivery of Health Care
Aptitude
Quality of Health Care
Research Ethics Committees
Public Hospitals
Nursing Staff
Health
Vacuum
Informed Consent
Research
Developing Countries
Patient Care
Referral and Consultation
Interviews
Education

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Botswana
  • clinical practice
  • ethical challenges
  • global health
  • physician–nurse collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects

Cite this

Sabone, M., Mazonde, P., Cainelli, F., Maitshoko, M., Joseph, R., Shayo, J., ... Ulrich, C. M. (2019). Everyday ethical challenges of nurse-physician collaboration. Nursing Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733019840753

Everyday ethical challenges of nurse-physician collaboration. / Sabone, Motshedisi; Mazonde, Pelonomi; Cainelli, Francesca; Maitshoko, Maseba; Joseph, Renatha; Shayo, Judith; Morris, Baraka; Muecke, Marjorie; Wall, Barbra Mann; Hoke, Linda; Peng, Lilian; Mooney-Doyle, Kim; Ulrich, Connie M.

In: Nursing Ethics, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sabone, M, Mazonde, P, Cainelli, F, Maitshoko, M, Joseph, R, Shayo, J, Morris, B, Muecke, M, Wall, BM, Hoke, L, Peng, L, Mooney-Doyle, K & Ulrich, CM 2019, 'Everyday ethical challenges of nurse-physician collaboration', Nursing Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733019840753
Sabone, Motshedisi ; Mazonde, Pelonomi ; Cainelli, Francesca ; Maitshoko, Maseba ; Joseph, Renatha ; Shayo, Judith ; Morris, Baraka ; Muecke, Marjorie ; Wall, Barbra Mann ; Hoke, Linda ; Peng, Lilian ; Mooney-Doyle, Kim ; Ulrich, Connie M. / Everyday ethical challenges of nurse-physician collaboration. In: Nursing Ethics. 2019.
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