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.

  • Making the workplace healthier, one self-aware nurse at a time

    From the disruptive physician throwing instruments or treating nurses with contempt to coworkers or nurse managers "eating their young," some people and behaviors in healthcare organizations threaten not only job satisfaction but patient safety. How do you react to bullying by doctors or coworkers? Do you say something while the behavior occurs? Report it to a manager or supervisor? Complain about it to another nurse, family member, or friend? Are you hurt by the behavior, or does it make you mad? 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…

  • Building a sense of community on nursing units

    Jeff Rawson, a new nurse graduate, works on a behavioral health unit. His manager believes his transition is going well—until Jeff asks to transfer to another unit. When she talks with him about it, he says he doesn’t feel a sense of belonging on the unit and has had difficulty establishing close relationships with coworkers. 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

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