Workplace Civility

Workplace Civility

A healthy workplace requires professionalism, compassion, and patience. It can’t abide bullying, cliques, and passive-aggressive behavior. These articles focus on how to achieve a healthy workplace through open communication, mentoring, and leadership.

  • Practicing emotional intelligence may help reduce lateral violence

    It’s been a stressful day at work — nothing new. Your patient fell, an I.V. line became occluded right when you were ready to hang a blood infusion, and a patient’s family became angry with you. We all experience stressful days, but unfortunately, sometimes we take our stress out on each other. Too often, this ineffective way of identifying and managing stress Read more…

  • From our readers…Do veteran nurses really eat their young? Observations of an ‘older’ new nurse

    veteran nurse young rn phd supportAfter working successfully for more than 20 years as a graphic artist and structural designer, I decided to enter nursing school at the age of 43. After graduation, I faced a new career and the rumor about nurses “eating their young”? What was that supposed to mean? Was this a reference to Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf? We were told by Read more…

  • How to get off the anger-go-round

    One of the most complex emotions, anger is a normal response to certain situational triggers. It’s associated with physiologic changes, including increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and adrenaline level. How we express anger—and how frequently and intensely it erupts—can be either beneficial or Read more…

  • When caregiving ignites burnout – New ways to douse the flames

    caregiving burnout hostility codependent empowerment wellness nurseMost nurses enjoy taking care of others — it’s what drew them into their profession and provides satisfaction throughout their careers, to varying degrees. Caregiving at its best has mutual benefits for nurse and patient. It’s a job that requires hard work, discipline, and the emotional resilience to help patients, especially those in severe pain or in the process of dying. Read more…

  • Choosing your political battles

    Mary*, a new manager in the operating room, prides herself on being a strong advocate for her staff, quickly acting on every issue with which she’s presented. So she’s a little surprised when her leader-mentor Susan tells her that she’s developing a reputation for being overly aggressive. Susan, who explains to Mary that she’s perceived in conflict situations as trying to win at all costs, suggests that this reputation could ultimately derail her career. She recommends that Mary learn to pick and choose her political battles more carefully. Read more…

  • Nurses’ essential role in supporting professionalism

    Key takeaways - Most nurses behave professionally and ethically. - A tiered approach to intervention when unprofessional behavior occurs offers the opportunity for self-directed, nonpunitive change that prevents a pattern of behavior. - Proper intervention training helps to build and maintain a culture of professionalism. Read more…

  • Dealing with difficult people

    Jackie Jacobs is a charge nurse in a busy intensive care unit. She prides herself on being able to get along well with almost everyone on her team. But when she sees Amanda’s name on the evening’s work schedule, she braces herself for the inevitable confrontation that will arise when she gives Amanda her patient care assignment. Read more…

  • Mindful Appreciation

    constant nurse attention surgeonTip 6 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today In this last exercise, all you have to do is notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated. These things can be objects or people; it’s up to you. Use a notepad to check off 5 by the end of the day. The point of this exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life, the things that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our desire for bigger and better things. For example: electricity powers your kettle, the postman delivers your mail, your clothes provide you warmth, your nose lets you smell the flowers in the park, your ears let you hear the birds in the tree by the bus stop, but… Read more…

  • Squashing the communication triangle

    communication disconnect triangle norms drama conflict avoid unclear clearIn the infamous and deadly Bermuda Triangle, things seem to disappear, never to be seen again. In the communication triangle, the opposite is true: Emotions and unintended messages expand and grow to epic proportions. “I’m so sick of picking up after Irene. She always leaves her patient rooms a mess! Could you please say something to her?” “I saw Rachel go into a patient’s room without washing her hands. Will you say something to her?” Read more…

  • Why disruption can be a good thing

    Seventy-two seconds into liftoff, a defective mechanical part set off a string of events that caused the Challenger space shuttle to tear apart as millions watched it vanish in the air. An investigation of this 1986 catastrophe found that before liftoff, engineers had voiced concerns about a potential mechanical defect and its possible impact—but upper management at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Read more…

  • Not just “eating our young”: Workplace bullying strikes experienced nurses, too

    Even though nursing is a profession of caring and compassion, bullying exists in many forms in it. Bullying threatens teamwork, morale, communication, and, most important, patient safety. The playground bully from our childhood has grown up to become our nursing colleague who is now bullying in the workplace (See Workplace bullying). Read more…

  • Principled leadership and the imperative for workplace civility

    Civility is not situational. What a leader must manifest all day, every day, is civility, because civility is—or at least should be—an expectation and imperative for all of us…especially in health care.

    —Michael S. Woods, MD, MMM, author and healthcare consultant Read more…

  • Stopping the pain: The role of nurse leaders in providing organizational resources to reduce disruptive behavior

    As articles ranging from those in American Nurse Today ("Civility starts with you") to The New York Times ("When the Nurse is a Bully") illustrate, disruptive behavior and incivility in nursing are newsworthy topics and for good reason. Disruptive behavior at work can have serious consequences for both nurses and patients such as stress-related physical and mental health problems and increased medical errors. Read more…

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