Today's health care environment is exponentially more complex than it was only 50 years ago. That's not a bad thing; it indicates that we know more about the human body, its ailments and how to treat them. But that complexity puts an added burden on nurses, who are the primary facilitators of the information flow between patient and physician.
Yet, nurses consistently live up to their responsibility. "It takes a whole team to make things work," says Hudson. "The current trend in medical and nursing education is to have communication simulation. We're learning to team our medical students with our nursing students and teach them how to talk to one another."
Hudson, who holds a master's degree in informatics -- the study of managing health information -- says nurses play a vital role in communicating critical information to physicians. However, it's not enough that nurses and physicians talk to one another; they have to understand each other.