An experimental study in nurse-physician relationships.
The investigators arranged a scenario where a physician, in clear violation of hospital policy, gave a nurse a verbal order for an excessive dose of an unfamiliar medication. Nurses' responses were recorded, and, subsequently, the nurses were interviewed regarding their perception of the situation. Surprisingly, all but one of the nurses agreed to the order with minimal hesitation or questioning. The study provides a vivid example of the authority gradient inherent in nurse-physician relationships.