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Happy Halloween!

Have you ever been in a situation when you were saying to yourself, “That nurse scares me?” And not because of their scary Halloween costume.

Can you recall a time when you followed a nurse or reviewed some charting that prompted you to question their critical thinking skills? If you have been a nurse or nurse manager for a little time, the chances are good you have.

What happened next?

  • Did you find yourself judging this nurse harshly?
  • Did you become cautious when working with them?
  • Did you gossip or complain to your coworkers?

How we react determines whether we are helping or hurting our nurse teammates (and our profession). Negative thinking and behavior towards other nurses can be hurtful leading to bullying. Bad mouthing and gossiping about others on the unit can permeate through the team creating negativity.

As nurses and leaders, we are in a profession of helping patients and families. Our job is to help others! The same compassionate consideration should be applied to helping our teammates.

Here are some tips on how each of us can help:

  1. Do not gossip or complain to your teammates. This behavior can be damaging to the nurse, your team and yourself.
  1. Change your mindset. We are human and make mistakes. The quickest way to change our perspective is ask these questions: How would I like to be treated if the role was reversed? How can I be helpful?
  1. Be honest. Sometimes as humans we can be quick to judge and think we know all the facts. Instead of gossiping or complaining about your teammate, approach the nurse and talk to them about it. We can learn what they were thinking and the facts surrounding the situation. Come from a compassionate and nonjudgmental place.
  1. Be helpful. Ask your teammate if there is anything you can do to help them. If they are open to feedback, offer to coach and guide them. Encourage them to talk about it, sometimes listening can be the best way to help.

 Some simple changes in thinking can go a long way.  As nurses, we can make a difference in the life of our teammates by being helpful rather than hurtful.  Share your experience and inspire others by commenting below.