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Work Environment Assessment
No matter what type of nurse, the job has its moments of extreme stress. Leadership needs to maintain a healthy work environment which is defined by Clark (2015) as having a group working together to achieve a goal, individuals functioning at their peak and cultivating the best of everyone, defined leadership roles, and civility. The Clark workplace environment assessment tool was designed to assess all those characteristics of an optimal workplace environment. The assessment consists of twenty questions that ask the test taker to rate the relevance to their workplace on a scale of 1 to 5. At the end of the twenty questions, the score is added up to be categorized (Clark, 2015). My most recent travel assignment organization received a gratuitous fifty, placing them in the downright unhealthy work environment with which I would agree.
Incivility in the Workplace
It would be a fairly difficult task to find any emergency department that is completely composed and civilized. The erratic nature and consistent high-stress environment do not cultivate the most professional work environment; however, it does promote a sense of belonging and being a part of a team that delivers life-saving interventions together. The reason for the extremely poor score is mainly due to the organizational leadership, who has consistently demonstrated that they do not care how overworked, overwhelmed, or underappreciated hospital staff feels. Time and time again concerns are sent to the organizational level over nine months and not one thing has been done about ongoing concerns, which most are concerned with patient safety. The staff in this unit only have each other to rely on and cannot count on any form of leadership to help them. At one point, leadership even refused to witness what was going on in the emergency department because they were afraid “to get COVID”. The audacity of upper management to make a statement to staff who has been knee-deep in COVID for 3 years cracked the rift between management and nurses wide open, to the point of irreparable. Needless to say, there are not many nurses left in the department and the ones who are left, are feeling the effects of being overworked. These actions, according to Clark (2019), have a great impact on the well-being of nurses and further extend into impacting patients and their families.
At the organizational level, the leadership needs to recognize the importance of civility in the workplace. The organization could recognize personal achievements, consider the opinions of the workers in the trenches and enact plans to help adapt to current situations. By adopting some or all the characteristics of a civil working environment this organization will see healthcare professionals’ commitment to the cause, build a strong relationship with workers and substantially increase job satisfaction (Alam, Fozia & Imlan, 2021).
Alam, M., Fozia, G. U. L., & Imran, M. (2021). The impact of ethical leadership & civility on organizational commitment: The mediating role of work engagement. Journal of Arts & Social Sciences (JASS), 8(1), 173-188.
Clark, C. M. (2015). Conversations to inspire and promote a more civil workplace. American Nurse Today, 10(11), 18–23. Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ant11-CE-Civility-1023.pdf
Clark, C. M. (2019). Fostering a culture of civility and respect in nursing. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 10(1), 44-52.