August 19, 2015 | | Comments 0
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Try This: Build nursing team self-esteem

Hierarchy of Voice

Excerpted from Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition, by Kathleen Bartholomew

Try the following exercise that I often use to encourage nurses’ self-esteem. I call it a “hierarchy of voice” because each step results in greater empowerment. Addressing specific behaviors that are a challenge to a nurse stimulates meaningful conversations about that individual’s stumbling blocks to empowerment and self-esteem.

In performance evaluations, share the following list and ask team members to pick 10 meaningful actions that they would like to perform to increase self-esteem. Then have team members rank their choices from one to 10 (easiest to hardest). Each of the chosen actions incrementally build self-esteem, respect, and autonomy.

(Note: this tool will be available as a download in the tools library in the coming days. Look for a notice here and in Nurse Leader Insider, our weekly email newsletter.)

Pick 10

Rank Rank your selections by difficulty, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest.
Introduce yourself to patients with a firm handshake.
Use “Nurse” or “RN” when introducing yourself to patients and their families.
Educate each patient about your role in his or her plan of care every day.
Don’t apologize when calling a physician.
Use the progress notes for communicating any areas of concern to physicians.
Invite a new nurse or nursing assistant to eat lunch with you.
Shake hands with and introduce yourself to all new physicians and staff.
Expect physicians with whom you work daily to know your name. Remind them, if necessary.
If you witness an abusive interaction, report it to the manager.
Volunteer to represent your organization at community events.
Use reflective practice to recognize your skills and attributes.
Compliment a coworker every shift; recognize his or her skills and attributes.
Always use “I” when approaching another peer with a problem.
Speak your truth. Verbalize your feelings.
Bring concerns that cannot be resolved to the manager’s attention.
Participate in shared governance.
Refuse to participate in gossip.
Don’t sit by and say or do nothing while someone else is being talked about negatively. State that the issue should be brought up with the person involved, and then leave.
Identify a problem AND its solution for the unit. Then share it with everyone.
Write an article or editorial for a newsletter.
Make a presentation at physician rounds.
Participate in regional nursing conferences and events.
Speak at your nursing specialty’s national conference



Entry Information

Filed Under: Care for the caregiverHealthcare communicationHot topicsImage of nursingInterprofessional issuesnurse-physician communicationnurse-to-nurse hostilityRetentionstaff developmentStaff motivationteam-building


About the Author: Claudette Moore is an acquisitions editor at HCPro, focusing primarily on nursing topics. She is always looking for new books that will create a better workplace for nurses and their managers, so contact her if you would like to publish with HCPro.

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