This was an actual field experiment under real world circumstances by Hofling, et al. (1966). Would it surprise you to know that 95% of the nurses who were called complied with the doctors order? This was true even though the dosage was clearly excessive and it was against hospital rules to take medication orders over the telephone.
Using what you have learned in this unit, can you explain the behavior of the nurses in this situation? Why did they obey the doctor even though they were breaking the rules and putting the patient at risk? Be sure to support your answer with information from the textbook or other appropriate psychology-specific sources. What implication does this have for hospital practices given the estimated 7700 deaths per year in the U.S. caused by medication errors in hospitals?
Hofling, C., Brotzman, E., Dalrymple, S., Graves, N., & Pierce, C. (1966). An experimental study in nurse-physician relations.Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 143, 171–: 180.
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