Embracing Civility

The REAL Healthcare Reform!

Tag: kindness (page 1 of 2)

How Will You Thank Your CNAs?

behind_nurse_running_cna_buttonHey Nurses!  Have you thanked your CNA today? 

National Nursing Assistants Week starts in 2 days!  Now is the time to shout out to the world just how much your CNAs mean to you!

Here are a few ways you can do it:

JFNA-logoCheck out what some celebrities have to say about nursing assistants!  Then leave
your comment to share in the shower of praise for your healthcare team’s
hardest working members!

newcover.inddAnd don’t forget, we’re giving away a free copy of our book when you
leave a comment HERE!
 Tell us how much you appreciate the
CNAs on your team!

12packHow about a gift to give your team?  Today only get a 12 PACK of our books
to give as gifts to your team.  Get them today only for a special, one-day-only, teeny-tiny price!  Hurry! This offer ends at midnight tonight!

Free Giveaway for National Nursing Assistants Week

CNA WeekNational Nursing Assistants Week starts in just 3 days.  So we’re getting a head start on saying “THANK YOU” to all the hardworking Nursing Assistants out there!

From now until Thursday, June 19th, we’re giving away free copies of our book!

It’s pretty easy.  Just follow these three quick steps:

1.  Leave a comment below, (where it says “Join the Conversation”).  

If you are a nursing assistant, tell us what you love about your job.

If you are a nurse, tell us about an amazing nursing assistant you know.

2.  Fill out this form so we know where to send your book.

(Giveaway Ended – Form No Longer Available)

3.  Pay it Forward. When you are done reading the book, pass it on to another nursing assistant who you think may benefit from reading it.

Please Note: You must leave a comment below and send us your address in form above in order to receive your free book.

No Fields Found.

Can You Spread This Germ?

You are contagious! Will you spread the happiness germ today! Here’s a little song to get you started. Go on, get up. Do your own happy dance. You don’t need a reason. Just do it. You’ll see!

How Do You Handle Criticism?

I recently watched this video series from Jimmy Kimmel where celebrities read the “Mean Tweets” that people post about them on Twitter.

Everyone’s a critic these days!  Our ultra-connected, mostly-anonymous online lives allow us to criticize products we buy on Amazon or to “review” services like restaurants on Yelp.  Every day, millions of us go online to publicly criticize movies, books, gardeners, restaurants, doctors, dentists, actors, day cares and even public schools.

Here’s a funny series where children’s book authors read their 1 star reviews from Amazon!

You can look up “reviews” on anything.  Go ahead try it!  It doesn’t even have to be something you spend money on.  For instance, you can look up “reviews” on public parks near your home and, believe it or not, you’ll find someone who has a complaint!

Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’re not a celebrity!  But, on a smaller (and less public scale) you still have to deal with criticism and complaints from clients, co-workers, supervisors and maybe even your own family.

So what’s the best way to respond to a complaint? Or more importantly, how do you respond with civility when the complaint does not contain one shred of civility toward you?

By chance, or luck, or fate, whatever you call it. I received an email this morning from “The Universe,” (I subscribe to the website, Notes from the Universe!) and here is what it said:

Stacey, the trouble with troublesome people is that they often have much to teach to those they trouble.

Love ’em all,
The Universe

Well, that works! I can do that.  Can you?

As the old birds sing . . .

birdI’m always fascinated by the “words of wisdom” that come from other cultures. For instance, in Italy they say “Cercare il pelo nell’ uovo,” which means to “look for the hair in the egg,” or in other words, to find fault or nit-pick!

In Spanish, I’m drawn to “Poco a poco se anda lejos.” This translates to “Little by little, one goes far.”

And now, thanks to Linda Leekley, my new favorite Norwegian expression is “Some dei gamle sungo, so kveda dei unge.” In her latest blog post over at In the Know, Linda translates it to “As the old birds sing, so do the young ones tweet.”

And as it turns out, it’s a good lesson for some of us “Old Bird” nurses!

Linda writes: 

Blog Quote from Linda Leekley at In the Know.

Thanks for the great lesson, Linda! 

Are You Spreading Specific and Measurable Sunshine?

“A compliment is verbal sunshine” 

~ Robert Orben

Our sister blog, nurse-aide.com challenges us all to be more than just generous with our compliments. Linda Leekley, BS RN believes we need to make compliments really count by carefully crafting them to be specific and measurable! She writes:

Read the entire post here!

Now you try it! Set a goal for yourself to give at least one specific and measurable compliment to someone who deserves it every day! Check back and let us know how it works! We love to hear your success stories!


Answers to your personal questions about
combating workplace incivility right NOW!

We get lots of questions about workplace incivility, and we’d like to share them with you! While each problem is specific to the individual who sends it,
most people will be able to relate and make use of the information.

If you have something you’d like to ask our workplace incivility experts, click here and send us your anonymous question.  We will never publish real names or workplaces in this column.


Dear Civility STAT!

I work in a nursing home in Tennessee. Our employer does not provide a private break area away from resident’s and their families. We have to share the snack machines, fridge, and microwave. Our time clock and other personal items are in there. We are not paid for a 30 minute break, and we have no where to get away from resident care. Is this legal?

~ fed up in tn


Dear Fed-up in TN,

Thank you for submitting your question. It’s a good one!

First, regarding the unpaid lunch:Federal law does not mandate any specific meal or rest breaks. It does, however, give guidance as to whether or not an employee should be paid during these times. Short breaks (usually 20 minutes or less) should be counted as hours worked. True “meal periods” are usually 30 minutes or more, and do not need to be paid as work time.

But, here’s the catch: During an unpaid meal break, a worker must be completely free of his or her work duties. If the employee is still required to do any duties (even minor duties such as answering a phone), it can’t be considered a meal or lunch period and must be paid. So, if patients or families are coming in and engaging employees in patient-related discussions or making requests, it would seem that that could not be considered a break.

And, here is some OSHA stuff that addresses the problem with the public break room:

“OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard prohibits the consumption of food and drink in areas in which work involving exposure or potential exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material takes place, or where the potential for contamination of work surfaces exists [29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(ix)]. Also, under 29 CFR 1910.141(g)(2), employees shall not be allowed to consume food or beverages in any area where occupational exposure through the contamination of food and beverages is likely.

From what I can tell, OSHA inspectors evaluate each facility on a case by case basis. If your break room has the public in and out frequently, and you are expected to share the same fridge and microwave with potentially infected residents, then OSHA might object.

Then, there’s the HIPAA issue. Mixing staff, residents and families in a space intended for staff to relax is a HIPAA violation just waiting to happen. Staff members talk. They have to. It’s part of the debriefing process. It’s how we process and deal with all the stuff that happens on a typical shift. Residents and family members will, sooner or later come upon a discussion in that public break room and a hipaa violation will be tremendously costly the facility.

And finally, it’s a morale issue. A private break room would create a space for your team to unwind. Nobody can stay “plugged-in” all day long. Your body and mind will become drained. Drained staff members are more likely to experience decreased morale, a drop in sharpness (leading to more medical errors) and loss of productivity. A private break room would give you and your co-workers a place to go to get away for a while and mentally recharge so you can return to your residents rested and re-energized.

You could present all these angles to your employer. But, if you also want to present a solution, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a space anywhere in the facility that is unused (or poorly used) that could possibly be converted into a private staff room?
  • Are there any staff members who would be willing to get involved in making the private staff room happen? Your employer might be more willing to agree to renovate a space if you meet halfway and offer some elbow grease.
  • If money is a problem and items like a fridge and furniture are not in the budget, maybe a fundraiser could help. Your employer may be willing to match funds if every staff member was willing to contribute $10-$20 dollars.

If you need more specific information about the laws in your state, call The TN Division of Labor Standards at 615-741-2858 (option 3) or toll-free at 1-866-588-6814.

Hope this helps. Please keep us posted. We love to hear your success stories!


If you have something you’d like to ask our workplace incivility experts,
click here and send us your anonymous question.

Nurse Managers: Ditch the Trinkets, Trophies and Doodads!

Looking for an innovative way to reward and inspire your team? It’s probably safe to assume they have enough pens, key chains, water bottles and canvas tote bags!

Before you order your next trinket or chachki, ask yourself if any of those giveaways ever really made a change. For example:

– Did your customized water bottles ever reduce costly medical errors?

– Did the pens and key chains increase employee retention?

– Did the canvas tote bags improve client satisfaction or enhance your organization’s reputation?

The Real Healthcare ReformChances are good that your answers are “No, no and no!” So, why keep doing it?

Instead of the typical gimmicks and giveaways, make your incentive dollars count!  Give a gift that shows just how much you value your employees, your clients and your organization.

Give the book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform: How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout and Revive Your Healthcare Career” as your next incentive gift!

By giving “The REAL Healthcare Reform” to your team, you will

    • Encourage civility,
    • Promote healthy teamwork,
    • Enhance your team’s communication,
    • Decrease your turnover rate,
    • Improve client care, and
    • Reduce costly medical errors.

That’s a valuable return you won’t get by giving t-shirts or tote bags!

With special bulk pricing in place, you can put of a copy of “The REAL Healthcare Reform” into the hands of every member of your organization for as little as $4.98 each. Here are your options:

of Books




























List Price:  Book / Instructor’s Manual
$19.95 ea. /  $125.00 ea.

Click here to learn more about
“The REAL Healthcare Reform” and read a sample chapter!


Start Out Strong with the Power of Kindness and Giving

August is National Win with Civility Month! Here are some ideas (from the folks at helpothers.org) that you can use to start out strong and get your team thinking about the power of kindness and giving:

– Take flowers to work and share them with coworkers.

– Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee.

– Leave enough money in the vending machine for the next person to get a free treat. (Tape the change and a note to the machine)

– Leave a cake or other food item in a central area anonymously with a Thank-You note.

– Email an article about an act of kindness to your group every week. (For examples, see www.helpothers.org)

– Give your manager or co-worker a thought-provoking book. (Hint: “The REAL Healthcare Reform: How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout and Revive Your Healthcare Career” is a great option for this one!)

– Print an inspiring story and put it on your work bulletin board.

– Commit “Random Acts of Thankfulness” with these “Thank You” cards.

– Buy a cup of coffee or snack for someone who is having a long day.

Have fun with this! It shouldn’t feel hard or forced. Just do what feels right and enjoy the collective, satisfied sigh of relief you hear from your team!

Leave us a comment about what you did and how it worked for you!

August is National Win with Civility Month!

Can you believe it’s time to flip the calendar to a new month again? Tomorrow is the first day of August! Phew . . . and it’s a hot one. The dog days of summer are enough to test anyone’s patience and civility!

We can’t take a break from the heat, but we can take a break from incivility! August is National Win with Civility Month.

Civility expert, Dr. P. M. Forni, author of The Civility Solution writes, “Incivility often occurs when people are stressed, unhappy, and rushed.” Sound familiar?

As a healthcare professional, you (and your co-workers) probably spend a good portion of your workday feeling stressed, unhappy and rushed. It’s no wonder healthcare workplaces have become breeding grounds for incivility.

Will you commit to embracing civility for this one month? Our challenge to you is to do one thing each day that honors your commitment. Of course you can always do more if you want!

If you need some ideas on what to do, go to our Top Ten Ways to Embrace Civility at Work, or check out the suggestions listed in our change.org petition!

What will you do to honor this observance? Leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you!


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