Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Doctors Learn from Shadowing Nurses at Illinois Hospital

A program launched by a nurse and doctor at an orthopedic surgery center is proving that physicians can benefit from shadowing nurses during shifts.

The program was launched at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois, by Patient Care Manager and RN Barbara Walker and Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Murphy, who co-chair a floor improvement subcommittee at the Center. Murphy was one of the first doctors to participate in the “shadowing” experiment, and it gave him great insight into how much is involved in a normal nursing shift, he told Nurse.com.

For instance, Murphy was surprised to see how, when a physician’s computer order is not clear, it can delay patient treatment. The complexity of the job, including medication administration was also eye-opening, he said.

“They [the doctors] didn’t realize how hard it was just to get pain medicine,” Walker said. “I think it gave them a good appreciation of what our barriers are and what are successes are, too.”

The initial shadowing project has received such a positive response that it was continued this spring and nurses said they would like to see it spread throughout the hospital and health system.

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