Neonatal intensive care unit,Medicine,Parent

Kids' care may suffer when parents clash with medical staff

January 10, 2017
in Kids

TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017 -- Rude parents can rattle medical staff enough to compromise the quality of care their critically ill child receives, a new study suggests. Medical teams in a neonatal intensive care unit made worse decisions during simulated emergency scenarios if they had been treated rudely by an actress playing the role of an angry family member, the researchers found. Exposure to rudeness helped explain about 40 percent of the variance in good medical decision-making between different teams in the study, said co-author Amir Erez. He is a professor with the University of Florida Warrington College of Business. "There is a lot of concern about medical errors, but the medical field is not paying attention at all to the effect that social interactions can have on performance," Erez said. "They need to pay attention to this, because this could potentially save lives." But, the researchers also found that doctors and nurses could "inoculate" themselves against potential rudeness by taking part in computer training that decreased their emotional sensitivity, Erez said. In the study, four medical teams at an Israeli teaching hospital had to perform a full day's worth of five emergency scenarios. Three of the teams started their day confronted by a "mother" who accused them of misdiagnosing her child. The fourth team served as a "control" group, and was not exposed to rudeness. The actress told the teams, "I knew we should have gone to a better hospital where they don't practice Third World medicine!" and threatened...

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