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Resident-Nurse Collaboration in General Internal Medicine


The research problem the authors have stated in their study is the lack of teamwork between nurses and physicians (Muller-Juge et al., 2014). Among other issues that explain the relevance of the study is the concentration of studies in the field of intensive care or reanimation, while the present research analyzes the problem of collaboration more broadly. Due to the fact that the study is explorative in its nature, there are no directly stated research questions or hypotheses. The purpose of the research was to describe physicians’ and nurses’ behaviors in relation to teamwork.

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The authors used qualitative methods and employed interviews and experiments as their data collection techniques. After analyzing the gathered information, Muller-Juge et al. (2014) reached a conclusion that traditional interaction patterns were executed where physicians took leadership roles and nurses acted as subordinates. However, in the cases where leadership was shared, teamwork quality was sufficiently higher.

Evaluation of Research Methods

The literature review exists in this research in the form of a short summary inserted into the introduction section. Muller-Juge et al. (2014) examine 16 studies that correlate with their research subject and form their expert opinion on the gaps that exist in the area, justifying the relevance of their academic efforts. Despite the fact that the article itself does not contain a specific section called “literature review,” this essential part of any study is present in the paper and serves as a scientific basis for the research.

The research appears to be current and relevant to the existing health care issues. Collaboration between different professionals in a clinical setting and beyond has always been an issue (Khan et al., 2015). Finding ways that could help improve teamwork among nurses and physicians could benefit the quality of care for patients. In addition, the research could shed light on the problem of strain in the interprofessional relationships in those groups of medical professionals.

The research employs an experimental design for the second test phase. Firstly, the participants undergo an interview, after which they are randomly paired to collectively work on two hypothetic cases. The first case represents a non-urgent care issue used for the introduction, while the second is a more demanding task aimed to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of teamwork capabilities.

The sample consists of 87 participants, 33 of which are physicians, and 54 others perform nursing jobs (Muller-Juge et al., 2014). The percentage of males in the sample constitutes 45 in the first group and 30 in the second one. The mean age of the participants was 34 years. The eligibility criteria for participation was the amount of experience. Thus, all participants have occupied their positions for more than one year. The sample was collected in full accord with the study’s purpose because it was set to analyze the relationship between nurses and physicians. A possible bias could be observed in the uneven number of nurses and physicians, which may undermine the generalizability of the study results. Other than that, there appears to be no bias in regard to sampling.

The work seems highly practical and relevant to the current nursing practice and health care in general. Studies that aim to address the often-strenuous relationship between nurses and physicians are of the essence because they allow making efforts to improve professional conduct protocols. The research conducted by Muller-Juge et al. (2014) demonstrates a clear, practical attunement due to the nature of its findings. The authors demonstrate that shared leadership and autonomy contribute to effective teamwork. For practice setting, it means that efforts should be undertaken to develop collaboration models that employ shared leadership. The results could also be applied to educate nurses and physicians about the differences in their perspectives on care and how the gaps in understanding could be bridged.

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The study could have been improved if the sample contained close to an equal number of physicians and nurses. The disparity between the participant groups, as was discussed earlier, impairs generalizability in regard to the interview part. Thus, should the researchers found at least 10 more physicians to interview, the quality of the results could have been enhanced. In addition to that, the simulation could have been changed to real case solving. Physicians and nurses could have been observed in real situations, which would have produced the data that would have been better related to the realities of the clinical setting.

The writing style of the paper appears to comply with the standards applied to academic papers. The structure follows the IMRaD framework and contributes to the simplicity of navigation and perception. The language is not overburdened by medical and scientific terms and can effortlessly be understood by a non-professional. The textual information is supported by illustrative material such as tables, graphs, and charts. The flow and development of ideas are clear and unobstructed due to the logical arrangement of the material.

The topic of collaboration and teamwork is a broad subject that requires continuous effort. There exists a large number of reliable information and existing techniques that contribute to strengthening the effectiveness of the interprofessional collaboration of nurses and physicians. However, the practical problem of role definition and adequate communication among these professionals persist. Due to that fact, there appears to be a necessity in practice-grounded research.

In particular, the expansion of the experimental research aimed at the implementation of evidence-based collaboration protocols needs to be employed. There also exists a problem that solutions that work in one part of the U.S. may not work in others which is why region-specific research is always in demand. Therefore, research efforts in the sphere of professional relationships between physicians and nurses will be relevant until the problem ceases to exist in almost all hospitals.


All in all, the research presents a solid piece of evidence that contributes to the resolution of the ongoing internal conflict between nurses and physicians. Its relevance and importance are emphasized by the fact that most of the previous studies were concentrated on resolving tensions between the two groups of professionals in intensive care and reanimation units. For those who work in other settings, the existing body of research could rarely be of use.

Therefore, this particular article could benefit multiple health care professionals and clinics. Despite the certain biases of the sample, the research represents an outstanding, clear, and logically organized study with reliable methods and meaningful results. The evidence produced in this research could be used to create collaboration protocols in multiple settings and, consequently, improve the quality of care provided to patients. The knowledge gathered from this work relates to the topics of ethical conduct, nursing standards of practice, and other significant themes discussed in the course of this education program.


Khan, A., Rogers, J. E., Melvin, P., Furtak, S. L., Faboyede, G. M., Schuster, M. A., & Landrigan, C. P. (2015). Physician and nurse nighttime communication and parents’ hospital experience. Pediatrics, 136(5), e1249-e1258.

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Muller-Juge, V., Cullati, S., Blondon, K. S., Hudelson, P., Maître, F., Vu, N. V., … Nendaz, M. R. (2014). Interprofessional collaboration between residents and nurses in general internal medicine: A qualitative study on behaviours enhancing teamwork quality. PLoS ONE, 9(4). Web.

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