Week 7: Healthful Environments


Before retirement, a nurse has been a victim of incivility in the workplace. Schilpzand, De Pater, and Erez stated that incivility is a low intensity behavior with the intent to harm. It may be brought forth in the workplace by fellow co-workers or managerial leaders. Examples may include talking down to others, stating demeaning remarks, and purposely ignoring someone (2016). Sadly, I have had a first-hand experience. A hospital that I had taken an assignment at was undergoing a 2-month renovation project which caused us to relocate to a new unit. We were understaffed without an aid and a secretary for a 36-bed intensive care unit. At the beginning of my shift, I had received an admission where my patient needed to be emergently intubated and his blood pressure wasn’t cooperating. I swiftly walked to the nurse’s station to find the phone number for the critical care doctor. During this time, the nurse manager rounded the corner and proceeded to pick up the call light and immediately hung up afterwards. She didn’t even answer the call light and in a very unpleasant tone asked me why I was not answering the call lights, but she left before I could answer. She made a scene for everyone to see. I didn’t have words because I was in a state of shock. After I settled the patient, I was furious. I couldn’t forget what had happened. I confronted her and asked her if there was a problem. I further discussed with her what my admission had entailed and wanted her opinion as to whether a call light should have been my priority at the time. She never apologized, but she stopped walking by my desk glaring at me. I have never been treated in this manner. Other nurses who had witnessed the scene came and apologized for the nurse manager’s reaction. I feel as though they lost respect for the nurse manager that day too. The morale of the ICU that day was destroyed. As much as I wanted to forget about the situation, I had a foul mood for the rest of the day. It affected how I performed patient care. The situation could have been prevented by the nurse manager stepping in and taking charge by answering call lights and phone calls while we settled our patients. She could have handled the situation in a more positive manner. Stanton describes strategies to decrease lateral violence such as developing a guideline to define behaviors that are inappropriate in the workplace and if unfollowed warrants punishment. Then educational programs are utilized to teach the staff the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Expectations are set to mentor staff and develop unity in the workplace (2015). A healthy environment is vital to team morale.


Schilpzand, P., De Pater, I., & Erez, A. (n.d.). Workplace incivility: A review of the literature and agenda for future research. Journal of Organizational Behavior,37, 57-88. doi:10.1002/job.1976

Stanton, C. (2015). Action needed to stop lateral violence in the perioperative setting. AORN Journal, 101(5), 7–9. doi:10.1016/S0001-2092(15)00320-8