3 KEYS TO DEVELOPING ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS

It’s no secret that even as professionals, we encounter ineffective communication skills every day. We can see it in our co-workers who give us the cold shoulder or silently storm around the unit/department. We can see it in the unfortunate tirade of a boss who’s a “yeller” but insists she has an “open door” policy. Or in the physician who makes the false assumption that we can read minds. Perhaps we even see ineffective communication in ourselves. 3 Keys to Develop Assertive Communication Skills Communicating effectively is a core skill necessary for you to succeed. If you happen to...

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3 Tips to Manage the Tsunami of Nursing Information

Once upon a time, the only jobs you heard about were the ones in your city. Accessing nursing information was reliant upon your fact-finding skills at the library and getting an education required you to attend class in a physical classroom. The only way to keep up with the latest medical treatments and patient care innovations was to read articles in a physical journal or attend a live lecture. Boy, have things changed. Welcome to the information age. Tips to Manage the Tsunami of Nursing Information While you may feel inundated with the sheer volume of blog feeds, newsletters...

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How Bad is Bullying in Your Organization? Find out in 4 Simple Steps

Several years ago I attended an advisory board meeting. Our group, mostly hospital executives, started discussing how bullying had gotten out of hand in their organization. In the middle of our discussion, one executive interrupted, “Oh, we don’t have any bullying issues.” Everyone present was shocked. I knew first hand she had big problems on some of her units because several of my students in a course I was teaching were her nurses. They came to me, desperate for help. Bullying in your organization is a real problem. “Oh, we don’t have any bullying issues.” We all know when...

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How a Mentoring Culture Transforms a Bullying Culture

Recently a nurse confided in me, recalling her first days as a nurse. Becky found herself frazzled. She was new to the job, in the midst of a learning curve, and was having trouble keeping her head above water. She walked by one of the more experienced nurses who asked how she was doing. Becky responded that she “was drowning.” At that, the nurse fired back, “Well, you’d better learn how to swim.” That abandonment stuck with Becky all her days as a nurse. You’d better learn how to swim??? Really? How a Mentoring Culture Transforms a Bullying Culture...

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Choose To Be A Hero

My mom is a nervous wreck. I’m flying overseas twice this month, and one of them connects in Brussels – the location of a recent bombing, and she’s totally freaked out. I remember saying to her a few weeks ago that tragedy can happen in my own backyard. And then there was Orlando. A lone gunman, Omar Mateen, entered a Florida nightclub and left 49 dead, 53 wounded. It was an event born out of hate. Listening and watching the horror as it unfolded, as a healthcare provider, I couldn’t help but focus on the medical and non-medical people...

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The Wrong Way Leaders Respond to Toxic Employees

Amani has been working as an ICU nurse for decades and has a reputation for eating students, new nurses, and new physicians for breakfast! When employees are hired, they are often warned about Amani. When nurses get pulled to the ICU, they are warned about Amani. When there is a change in leadership in the ICU, they are warned about Amani. Toxic Employees Amani is a toxic employee and everyone knows it. New nurses drop like flies and experienced nurses somehow find ways to transfer to other units. Turnover is high and staff morale is low. Why is Amani...

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How to Identify Low-Level Behaviors of Bullying

Behaviors of Bullying Maggie was warned about Karen when she started her new job on a cardio step-down unit. Karen had worked on the unit for decades and had a strong reputation as the queen bully. Everyone was afraid of her, even the manager. Maggie up to now had successfully steered clear of Karen, but today, she found herself alone with her in the break room. It wasn’t long before Karen honed in on Maggie. She walked right over to where she sat, leaned over her and said, “So you’re the new girl. I heard you came from Medsurg....

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The Key to Nursing Success: GRIT, The Power of Passion and Perseverance

In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth shares her extensive research demonstrating the power of persistence and passion, in other words – GRIT. I first learned about her research on this topic when I watched her TED talk . She studied the debate between natural talent and I.Q. versus practice and plain old hard work. Her research is fascinating and actually, makes me feel a bit better about the fact that I wasn’t born with certain talents but with passion and perseverance, I can achieve almost anything I want. What is the Key To...

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Disruption, Incivility, and Bullying Behaviors. What’s the Difference?

Disruptive behavior, bullying, incivility, disrespectful behavior, etc. all describe basically the same thing – bad behaviors that should never occur in healthcare. Although similar, there are subtle but clear differences. Disruptive behavior Disruption means to separate or create a divide. Common words used alongside disruption are “wild, unruly, or undisciplined”. When we think of disruption in healthcare, we tend to think of someone or something that is stopping the flow of care. This disruption can be a person (patient or coworker) or a situation (unexpected admission or additional duty). However, in the context of disruptive BEHAVIORS, we can easily...

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3 Steps to Stop a Bullying Boss

Jackie became the target of a bullying boss after just 3 months on her new job, working in the Emergency Room at a Level I Trauma Hospital. Jackie wasn’t a new nurse but this was her first time working in a city hospital and therefore, she knew the people would be intense. At first, she didn’t recognize she was experiencing various forms of bullying (public criticism and name calling, threatening disciplinary action to the point of termination, and being overly critical). Jackie thought it was normal behavior considering that she worked in the Emergency Department where stress levels are...

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