Infection with an attitude

Apparently there’s a virulent infection moving quickly throughout the entire healthcare system and the most effective course of treatment seems to be a reboot of the collective mind, but first it’s going to have to start with you. This disease process that I’m referring to is incivility in the workplace, and it not only impacts your own health, but also the health of the patients that we take care of each and every day.

Do you have the right attitude at work? Actually let’s just begin with the attitude you have about yourself. We all engage in self-talk every now and again. Maybe your friends and family would confirm this for you. I’m sure there have been times when they look at you like you might be a little tweaked while overhearing some of the conversations you’re having with yourself. That is of course if the dialogue isn’t kept in your mind.

So if you aren’t so nice to yourself when you engage in this self-talk, then do you agree that this kind of negative attitude may spill over into how you treat others around you? I know I tend to argue with myself on occasion. Somehow I always lose the argument. How is that possible? Basically you’re going to have to begin with self-awareness.

This Monday evening June 25th at 9PM EST on RN.FM Radio we have the honor and pleasure to interview authors Linda Leekley, BS, RN and Stacey Turnure, RN of “The Real Healthcare Reform: How embracing civility can beat back burnout and revive your healthcare career.”

Right out of the gate I really enjoyed their analogy about how we should be thinking of ourselves as CEO’s of our lives and our careers. This is our personal corporate empire and we should be running it as such. A very similar message that I give all nurses (and non-healthcare professionals) when discussing the importance of their personal brands. What’s the lasting impression you want to leave?

If you would like to read a review of the book then head over to Digital Doorway, which is the blog of my fellow co-host and colleague Keith Carlson, RN, BSN. Below is just an excerpt from the review:

In this easy-to-read book, Ms. Leekely and Ms. Turnure offer a step-by-step analysis of the impact of incivility as it pertains to healthcare, and a plethora of exercises and questions to assist the earnest healthcare provider in identifying issues pertinent to the epidemic of incivility, and–more importantly–how to take personal responsibility for turning that epidemic around.

Readers will find that the book is written in a conversational style, with the following chapter headings to pique curiosity:

  1. Why Civility Matters
  2. It Starts With You: Developing Self Awareness
  3. Do What You Say and Say What You Mean: Personal and Professional Integrity
  4. Good Fences Make Great Neighbors: Building Professional Relationships
  5. Working in the Salad Bowl: The Importance of Teamwork
  6. Eliminate Gossip and Bullying: The Bully-Free Workplace Pledge
  7. You Can’t Always Get What You Want: Conflict Resolution
  8. Taking It To the Extreme: Dealing With Extreme Incivility
  9. Paving the Path To Civility: The Next Step

The authors state: “Sadly, civility has been overlooked and undervalued for far too long among healthcare professionals–and now there is proof that a lack of civility adds to medical errors, poor patient satisfaction, higher employee turnover, stress, burnout, bullying and higher healthcare costs for consumers.”

From gossip and slander to intimidation, sabotage, bullying and hate-ism, incivility in all of its nefarious forms infects the healthcare workplace and takes a toll that is physical, psychological, and financial. And while the authors do not directly mention the spiritual toll of incivility, there is no doubt in this reviewer’s mind that the spiritual effects of incivility and bullying are potentially devastating for individuals, organizations and society at large.

Offered as a guide for individuals and organizations, this book would be a very useful text for students working towards a degree in a healthcare-related field, and it would behoove managers and administrators to take the authors’ thesis quite seriously.

Another question that jumped out at me in one their “food for thought” sections was, “Do you think advances in technology have contributed to an increase in incivility—both within healthcare and in the world at large?” As a technology enthusiast you know we’re going to be discussing this on the air. Listen in!

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