Hostile Work Environment Essay
There are many challenges in the work environment for a nurse; understaffing, forced overtime, and insufficient qualified managers and experienced staff - Hostile Work Environment Essay introduction. All of these problems affect the outcome of patient care and the possible recurrence of admissions. The Nursing Organizations Alliance, developed and presented its Principles and Elements of a Healthful Practice/Work Environment (Nursing Organizations Alliance, 2004) which provided a framework for organizations to improve nurses’ work environments.
In 2009 the Center for American Nurses adopted a position statement on restructuring and redesigning nurse’s work environments. Improving the nurses work environment can increase satisfaction with the professional role in addition to improving outcomes and cost of care (Stichler and Ecoff, 2009). Hostile work environments still exist today for many nurses and continued efforts are necessary to change these environments for proper patient care and retention of nurses.
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As a new graduate RN I was unaware of these standards as I began my first position in the operating room as a scrub nurse in our local hospital. My experience was very difficult and in the end I resigned my position and began a career as a home health nurse. I was verbally abused my two orthopedic physicians multiple times during various surgeries. I was absolutely unable to learn anything or even try to remember anything as they were not teaching or providing a learning environment. In addition to abusing me verbally they also abused the circulating nurse as well as my preceptor.
Looking back on this situation I realized that everyone in the operating room is to blame for this experience I had. The clinical coordinator, my preceptor as well as the director of surgical services failed to assist me. Everyone is so “used” to this behavior that they simply choose to take it and look the other way. Multiple times I met with the director of nursing over the hospital, she did nothing. I was told that they were “better than they used to be” and “at least they have not thrown instruments at you yet.
” I soon realized that I could not longer work under these conditions. I sought assistance from the Human Resources department who encouraged me to apply to other departments in the hospital. Unfortunately this was not possible as the DON was unwilling to allow me to transfer from the OR. In a study in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship titled Violence Toward Nurses, the Work Environment, and Patient Outcomes I learned that perceptions of violence were related to adverse patient outcomes through unstable or negative qualities of the working environment.
This article made me aware that different types of violence occurs in medical settings and does not have to be just “part of the job”. This study was performed in Australia over 21 hosptials on the their medical/surgical departments. Nurses predominately RNs were asked if they had experienced any time of violence in the last 5 shifts. The majority of the abuse was reported by patients but up to one-fifth was reported by co-workers. The conclusion to this study was that violence in the workplace can be avoided by further education of staff.
In an article posted in the November/December 2007 issue of ASPAN; American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses titled The Hostile Work Environment: Speak Out-Be the Voice written my Susan Fossum, BSN, RN, CPAN ASPAN President, helped me to realize that even though I was alone in my fight against the treatment by these surgeons I still needed to speak out. This article reinforced my nursing philosophy; that we must have a team approach with respect for each other to ensure the best possible care of our patients.