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AACN Adv Crit Care. 2018 Fall;29(3):259-267. doi: 10.4037/aacnacc2018624.

Impact of Coaching on the Nurse-Physician Dynamic.

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Fayyadh R. Yusuf is Director of Physician Development, Department of Neurosurgery; Chief Culture Officer, Neuro-Science Institute; and Faculty, Clinical Affairs, University of South Florida, 1 Tampa General Circle, G441, Tampa, FL 33606 ( Ambuj Kumar is Professor, Internal Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Wendi Goodson-Celerin is Director of Acute Surgical Inpatient, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida. Tracey Lund is Nurse Manager, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit 2, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida. Janet Davis is Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida. Mary Kutash is a Nurse Specialist, Nurse Research, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida. Charles N. Paidas is Chief, General Surgery, Nemours, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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


coaching; communication; leadership; nursephysician relations; residency; teamwork; workplace culture

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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