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.

  • Civility starts with you

    Over the last decade, civility has become a hot topic. I got involved with it in 2000, when more than 700 nurses told the Maryland Commission on the Crisis in Nursing that civility was one of their top three workplace concerns. Since then, studies have linked lack of civility to potentially decreased patient safety, blueprints have been created for establishing a civil work environment, codes of conduct have been developed, and healthcare workers have been educated on the topic. 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…

  • Constructive feedback and disciplinary action

    The thought of telling someone that he or she is not doing a great job provokes anxiety for many of us. Most of the time, it’s easier to avoid it and hope that it will either go away or take care of itself. However, safety and quality is of utmost importance in everything we do in health care. Part of the process of ensuring safety and quality is to monitor clinical performance and to provide timely and honest feedback. Read more…

  • Too young to be a nurse leader?

    Marla Johnson began her career on an oncology unit after graduating from a BSN program 4 years ago. She achieved certification and regularly takes charge on the night shift. She recently started a master’s program in nursing administration. Marla is age 27 on a unit where the average age is 49. She’s a bright, shining star with an outgoing personality. 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

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