Respond to the discussion question
Healthy work environments are imperative to enhance recruitment and retention of health professionals including nurses and to maintain an organizationâ€™s financial viability (Wei, et.al., 2018). Wei ( 2018) also emphasized that healthy work environments that are caring and supportive to nurses within their respective health organizations are vital in achieving excellent patient outcome.
In the healthcare organization that I am presently working, it scored 89 points, based on the Work Environment Assessment that I conducted. A score between 80 to 89 indicates that my workplace is moderately healthy. Some of the top-rated attributes of the assessment that I have scored with 5 points (completely true) include shared vision and mission, level of trust between leadership and employees, there is emphasis on employee wellness and self-care, actively engaged members in shared governance, joint decision making and policy development, review and revision, there is an ongoing assessment of the organizational culture, however I would like to emphasized that the highest attribute I value the most is that there is a clear and respectful lines of communication across all levels of our organization and employees are treated in fair and respectful manner. In this light, I would like to say that my workplace is civil. Oâ€™Neal (2017) defines workplace civility as behaviors that help to preserve the norms for mutual respect in the workplace, civility also reflects concerns for others ( Oâ€™Neal, 2017). One of the important aspects of a healthy workplace is civility which is the formal courtesy in behavior and speech and it plays an important aspect in building relationships among employees.
Incivility is a common issue among nursing staff in health care settings. Any rude or disruptive behavior directed toward another nurse or co-worker is considered an act of incivility (Clark, 2011). Although this inappropriate behavior is not always meant to cause harm, it violates social norms and professional workplace standards (Clark, 2011). The harm caused by incivility ranges from distracting or irritable behavior to physical violence which lowers morale. Oâ€™Neal (2017) further discussed that incivility in the workplace can have an impact on productivity and commitment to the organization. Employees experiencing incivility may even perceive the workplace as hostile and look for work elsewhere. Incivility among nursing staff not only affect workplace morale but also patient safety and care outcomes. Higher burnout rates have been linked to incivility and are frequently caused by the direct effect of inappropriate behavior from patients, doctors and managers, or incivility can also result in reduced workplace commitment among nursing staff. Subsequently, the first step to fostering civility among nursing staff is to understand what triggers this behavior and the effects incivility can have on the well-being of both nurses and patients.
I take pride and very grateful that my workplace is civil. Civility and respect are essential aspects of every work environment which I very much felt in our organization. Civility and respect is present in the workplace as we treat each other respectfully and being considerate in our interactions with one another as well as our patients and their families. We show empathy, care and consideration for others, and acknowledging and appreciating each otherâ€™s contribution to our team. We have a strict zero-tolerance policy for violence and communicated well in our policy manual. We have a reporting system for incivility cases and closely monitor those incidents. We are able to report disruptive behavior without fear of criticism or retribution from co-workers or supervisors. The reporting system address these cases as close to the time of occurrence as possible. There is an open communication between leadership and staff, there is trust from the managers that they will help support resolution of inappropriate behavior. Our leaders know how to act as role models of appropriate behavior. They imbibe a health care settingâ€™s culture of safety; our leaders learn to demonstrate respectful conduct and positive behavior toward other leaders and members of their staff thus show that unacceptable behaviors are not tolerated in the workplace.
During the COVID -19 surge was the most evident occurrence of incivility in the healthcare setting and in my own workplace was not an exemption. As the COVID-19 pandemic brought sudden and profound changes to many healthcare settings, many of which have been identified as antecedents to workplace incivility. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic demands that we treat one another with greater understanding, respect, and compassion; however, the reality shows an increase in workplace incivility triggered by pandemic-induced stress due to staffing shortage. As nursing staff were heralded as essential and heroic, we still became punching bags on whom weary, stressed out, often irrational patients and our fellow employees took out their anxieties and frustrations and we forgot to treat each other with kindness and respect. During this worst time, our managers showed their support through augmenting staff by getting travel nurses. Our manager make sure that we have enough PPEs to use and we start the shift with huddle to discuss our issues and concern. We always remind each other that we are team and help and support is always on its way and the goals of care needed.
Even if there is a positive culture of civility and respect within the organization, conflicts will arise. When people are upset, they are more likely to speak thoughtlessly and when people are on the receiving end of someoneâ€™s anger, it is more likely they will act defensively. It is important to have policies in place to manage conflicts before they arise so that leaders and human resources are prepared. It is also important for people leaders, as well as workers, to be trained on conflict management so that they have the skills and strategies to navigate difficult situations.
It is important to create a culture of civility and respect in an organization. This means modelling and enforcing appropriate communication and conduct within the organization. When problems arise such as disrespectful or uncivil behavior, these should be addressed in an effective and timely fashion. When it comes to communication, it is important that all written and verbal communication is civil and respectful includes non-discriminatory and inclusive language and respects confidentiality and personal information. A civil and respectful workplace is related to greater job satisfaction, feelings of fairness and an overall positive environment. It is also linked to improved morale and teamwork and better staff relationships. Organizations characterized by civility and respect have a positive atmosphere marked by high spirits and work satisfaction and enhanced patient satisfaction.
Clark, C. M., Olender, L., Cardoni, C., Kenski, D. (2011). Fostering civility in nursing education and practice Links to an external site.. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(7/8), 324â€“330.
O’Neal, D. L. (2017, November 21). The importance of civility in the workplace. Small Business – Chron.com. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-civility-workplace-43590.html
Wei, H., Sewell, K. A., Woody, G., & Rose, M. A. (2018). The state of the science of nurse work environments in the United States: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 5(3), 287â€“300. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2018.04.010