To be one of the best organizations the mission statement and values set forth by that organization must show respect and overall care for the employees representing such. Organizations like ones we work for have a duty to provide the highest of quality care for patients while maintaining safety. In order to perform at these levels it starts with great communication methods. As many know communication is a crucial element at the forefront of all successful businesses. At times the downfalls of organizations stem from unhealthy communication lines. Many organizations lack healthy work environments due to communication breakdown (Laureate Education, 2018). Individuals must know how to communicate thoroughly and effectively.
A healthy working environment is essential to overall staff and patient satisfaction. When staffs are being treated fairly and under the right conditions results are felt through patient satisfaction surveys and such. Within organizations the culture is created with an attempt to amplify the healing and health of the populations serviced (Marshall & Broome, 2017). When there are broken lines of communication, disruptive behaviors and such it causes a great deal on incivility amongst staff. According to Marshall & Broome (2017), incivility can be classified as behaviors of low intensity which is displayed as being impolite, or rude placing strains on the working environment (p.76). After taking the workplace assessment this week, my organization was determined to be an unhealthy environment. My work place would be classified as uncivil with this score based on such determining factors such as the lines of communication amongst each other, the fact staff feel over worked with patient acuity and workloads, and the issues with retention of staff.
An incident in my workplace where I was a key witness of incivility was with a nurse leader and nurse manager. She was very demeaning with every word she spoke. She was not that took well to constructive criticism, but would greatly give out with much pleasure. There was a difficult patient on our unit for a lengthy time. He was very rude to all staff, very manipulative, and demanding. As much as we all kept trying to keep the moral from drowning because of his behaviors, this one particular day I must say the patient won. The nurse leader received a phone call from this patient which was discharged a day before. The patient was calling regarding medications he thought he had left and was informed the medication was not with us but was with him at discharge. The patient began to become frustrated with the nurse leader. While this conversation took place, the nurse manager overheard this interaction. She instructed the nurse leader to hang up the phone and tell the patient we did not have anything that belongs to him. The nurse leader was trying to diffuse the situation with the patient, and be very courteous and diligent. The nurse manager was still in front of the nurse leader and instructing her to hang up the phone on the patient. Again the nurse leader is trying her best to ease off the phone, but clearly it was not fast enough for the nurse manager. The manager then hangs up the phone on the patient in mid-sentence. She then in the middle of the nurses’ station scolded the nurse leader about her conversation and her actions of insubordination towards her requests to hang up the phone. Staff all around was very shocked at this interaction and quickly shifted away. Now although this was not towards me, I felt every bit of sympathy for my fellow leader. She felt belittled, incompetent, and disrespected. This was no way a leader above us should act nor treat staff as such. The nurse leader did walk away and had a moment where she broke down and cried to me. I felt helpless at that moment, but I could not allow this behavior manager or not. I later talked to the manager and expressed my concerns regarding her actions. She did mention her frustrations, and that she did get carried away. Her frustrations grew from the patient overall and the difficult times he caused on our unit. The manager did express her feelings of sorrow towards her staff and fellow leader.
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The issue was resolved for the moment, but overall we did lose a great leader because the nurse transferred to another unit. I will say although the issue was addressed, it should have never happened and this is not something I can ever condone. In this profession of nursing we are looked upon as the most “trusted and caring professions” (Clark, Olender, Cardoni, & Kenski, 2011). With this being said nothing short of those actions would make me feel comfort with a nurse like this and these behaviors. It is never ok to allow workplace violence and knowing that I was a voice for a peer allowed me to feel comfortable as a nurse leader and advocate for not only patient but my fellow staff.
Clark, C. M., Olender, L., Cardoni, C., & Kenski, D. (2011). Fostering civility in nursing education and practice: Nurse leader perspectives. Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(7/8), 324–330. doi:10.1097/NNA.0b013e31822509c4
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Diagnosis: Communication Breakdown [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.