The bottle had been surreptitiously placed in the drug cabinet, but the "drug" was not on the approved list. It was clearly labelled that 10 mg was the maximum daily dose. The experimental protocol was explained to a group of nurses and nursing students, who were asked to predict how many nurses would give the drug to the patient. Of the twelve nurses, ten said they would not do it. All twenty-one nursing students said they would refuse to administer the drug.
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Hofling hospital experiment explained In , the psychiatrist Charles K. Hofling conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship. In spite of official guidelines forbidding administration in such circumstances, Hofling found that 21 out of the 22 nurses would have given the patient an overdose of medicine.
A bottle labelled "Astroten" had been placed in the drug cabinet, but there was no drug of that name on the approved list. The label clearly stated that 10 mg was the maximum daily dose. Hofling then selected 22 nurses at a hospital in the United States for the actual experiment.
They were each telephoned by an experimenter who identified himself as Dr. Smith, who asked them to administer the drug and said that he would write up the paperwork as soon as he got to the hospital. Nurses who followed the instruction were stopped at the door to the patient room before they could administer the "drug". Findings Hofling found that 21 out of the 22 nurses would have given the patient an overdose of medicine.
None of the investigators, and only one experienced nurse who examined the protocol in advance, correctly guessed the experimental results. He also found that 21 of 22 nurses to whom he had given the questionnaire had said they would not obey the orders of the doctor, and that 10 out of the 22 nurses had done this before, with a different drug. This experiment helped illustrate how one could be willing to do something they are ordered to do, even if they know what they are being ordered to do is wrong such as giving a patient too much of a drug.
Books Basic Psychiatric Concepts in Nursing Charles K. Hofling, Madeleine M. Leininger, Elizabeth Bregg. Lippincott, 2nd ed. Lippincott, 3rd ed. Hofling, editors. American College of Psychiatrists. Hofling and J. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease McLeod, Saul. Hofling, C. An experimental study of nurse-physician relations.
Hofling hospital experiment explained
Statistical Tests Hofling Aim: To see whether nurses would follow orders given by an authority figure doctor when the orders are given over the phone and would be breaking regulations. To study obedience in a real life setting Procedure: Involved both public and private hospital wards. In Hospital 1: 21 student nurses and 12 graduate nurses were asked to complete a questionnaire asking them what they would do if confronted by the experimental situation. This was a control group to make comparisons. In the other hospitals 22 nurses took part in the field experiment which was covert nurses did not know they were in a study. While alone on the night shift 7pm — 9pm the nurses received a phone call from a unknown doctor asking them to administer a drug to a patient - astroten. The amount of drug nurses were asked to give would have been an overdose it was a placebo as they were asked to give 20mg, the box was labelled maximum daily dose 10mg.
Hofling Hospital Experiment
Over a decade after the war had ended, they watched as war criminals sat on trial and defended or confronted their actions. He conducted a series of experiments that looked at obedience in the face of authority. The results were unsettling. Even in the face of potentially harming another person, people were surprisingly unwilling to question authority and more likely to follow orders without protest. In short, they involved human participants who thought they were administering up to volt shocks into another participant.
Hofling hospital experiment
Method The procedure involved a naturalistic field experiment involving 22 real night nurses. Smith a stooge phones the nurses at hospital on 22 separate occasions and asks them to check to see if they have the drug astroten. When the nurse checks she can see that the maximum dosage is supposed to be 10mg. Smith was in a desperate hurry and he would sign the authorization form when he came to see Mr. Jones later on. The nurses were watched to see what they would do. The medication was not real, though the nurses thought it was.
The Hofling Nurse Study
But what if people did understand what they were doing? As it turns out, that could actually make things even worse. Advertisement In , the phone rang at Hofling Hospital. A night nurse picked up the phone and heard a harried doctor ask her to administer 20 milligrams of astroten to Mr. The nurse checked for the medication, which was not on the official list of drugs approved for use in the hospital.