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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Confronting conflict with higher-ups

    Conflict in the workplace is a fact of life, and dealing with it is never easy. Sometimes it seems easier to ignore it and hope it will take care of itself. But in healthcare organizations, that’s not a good strategy. Unresolved conflict almost always leads to poor communications, avoidance behavior, and poor working relationships—which can easily affect patient safety and quality of care. Read more…

  • Beyond thank you: The powerful reach of meaningful recognition

    “I recognize that voice, that voice belongs to someone who is such a dream to me. [My nurse] was a shining light and made an unbearable hospital stay a little bit better.” The above quote from a patient desiring to acknowledge the extraordinary work of a nurse is an example of meaningful recognition. Identified by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Read more…

  • Lead to succeed through generational differences

    Chelsea enters the unit chewing gum and texting on her new smart phone. Deb stands there, waiting to get report. Minutes pass as Chelsea chuckles and continues to pound out a couple more texts on her phone. She then looks up to see Deb, arms folded staring at her with an annoyed glare. Chelsea shrugs her shoulder and says, “What?” Deb starts to say, “Well miss twinkle thumbs, you are 15 minutes late for report and it’s time to pass out medications.” Before Deb can complete her sentence, Chelsea Read more…

  • Bonding over body image

    For many college students, the ever-present pressure to be thin has trumped the goal of being healthy. Females face body-image issues throughout their life­span. Our society glorifies thinness. Starting as early as mid-to-late childhood, girls are vulnerable to the psychological effects of pervasive images of thin females Read more…

  • An encouraging word

    Has a compliment ever made your day? Perhaps it was just what you needed to hear to raise your self-confidence a notch or to encourage you in your nursing. So often we hear people say negative things about people or situations, while overlooking the good things. Every day, situations arise that force us to choose to be negative or positive. I want to encourage everyone to make an effort to be positive. 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Carefronting: An innovative approach to managing conflict

    Nick Chase is an emergency department (ED) charge nurse. He and Michelle Stanley have worked together for the past 3 years. Their relationship has always been what Nick describes as "very rocky." Nick was given the charge nurse role 1 year ago with only 2 years of nursing experience. Although Michelle isn’t interested in being in charge, she has complained to others about Nick’s lack of experience and immaturity. At times, Michelle demonstrates bullying behaviors toward Nick 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…

  • 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…

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