As we continue to learn more of your positive and negative experiences, we will continue to add to our collection of stories.
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"Nearly everybody who experiences workplace incivility responds in a negative way, in some cases overtly retaliating. About half deliberately decrease their effort or lower the quality of their work."
The Price of Incivility, January 2013
"I saw incivility really impact the performance of an experienced registrar in theatre, that then caused all of the other theatre staff to make mistakes. It has a massive negative impact on performance"
January 10, 2017
when I was an F1 we had to run all radiology requests by a radiology registrar/consultant in person. Many of them would be quite rude or belittling about the requests. However one of the consultants was always incredibly kind. He'd start every response with "I'm happy to do the scan but maybe you'd rather...." and then he would explain why a different test or imaging or perhaps no test at all would be better. In addition to being a good learning point, it also meant you'd go away from each encounter thinking you'd made the decision together that the patient should have a different plan, rather than going away feeling stupid for asking for the wrong thing. I often think back on it as it was an incredibly gracious way to deal with the asymmetry of knowledge between a consultant and an F1 and a great example of how to reject a request politely.
May 1, 2018
I worked with a registrar who was persistently grumpy and unapproachable. He thought it didn’t make a difference to patient care but it made a massive difference. No one wanted to work with him, patients felt they couldn't confide in him and it made his colleagues not want to come to work. He thought they had problems not him. I tried to find out why he acted and felt the way he did and tried to explain why his behaviour was so negative but it remained someone else’s problem as far as he was concerned. I was relieved when he rotated to another hospital.
January 19, 2018
I worked in a practice run by two elderly senior partners who fostered a culture of rudeness and we got lots of complaints When I moved practice I could not believe the difference and now complaints are infrequent.
January 21, 2018
"When I am working with someone who is civil and treats me with respect, I feel empowered and encouraged to work at my best"
May 5, 2017
I took a phone call from another department who asked to speak to a nurse. I asked if the nurse concerend would take the call, her reation to me was " I'm not being funny but are you so thick that you can't take a message?" To be fair a lot of the time the departments don't need to speak to a trained member of staff, I am perfectly capable of taking a message and passing it on to everyone concerned, it's my job . I wish these people would treat me with the same respect that I afford them.
October 21, 2019
When I was involved in an acute situation, I expected that someone would be stressed and rude. When I found that the team was working respectfully with each other, interdiciplinary, I instantly felt clear-eyed, shoulders down, calm and could focus on the shared purpose.
November 2, 2019
I'm glad that lower level rudeness is finally recognised for the damage it does. So many times I have been told that there are far worse things done or said to other people, so I should just calm down. Incivility may not seem like much, but over time it has the ability to break down even the best Mental Heath defences. It makes you feel like the world is a harsh place and so you feel you have to be tougher to get through it. It can take away the best part of who you are, and who you are meant to be. It closes down communication and the ability to be vulnerable, which you have to be in order to develop and learn. When someone is civil it makes you feel like you can do anything, kindness is truly that powerful.
October 16, 2019
I work with a range of professionals often by phone rather than face to face- there are many great professionals who are a joy to work with who put the patient first. Unfortunately there are those who seek to point score/ belittle/ shout or actively take actions to disrupt the smooth processes of referral. Causing delay and inconvenience to others and when challenged about their behaviour lack self awareness or ownership of their behaviour.
We need to be kind to each other we are all understaffed and over capacity- Our goal to treat patients and their families. Remember Hello/Good bye and thank you cost nothing
April 1, 2019
Submit Your Stories Below
Appreciation for the positive impact of civility on patient outcomes can begin before you even do your university healthcare training.
I'm a graduate-entry medical student, and as I don't come from life sciences, I sought to acquire as much experience as possible before applying.
As part of that, I trained as a HCA. I was able to observe that when civility was lacking during handover meetings, essential care needed by some patients wasn't given. This resulted in unnecessary infections, pain, etc.
During my training I was paired with many different HCAs, and I observed that if the HCA was uncivil, most of my attention ended up being diverted to dealing with the conflict instead of used for learning and caring for patients.
All these things ultimately result in worse patient outcomes. And while this makes me sad, I am glad I was able to learn this lesson before I even started medical school, because it allows me to include it as a factor in every part of my training.
January 19, 2020