I just returned from the superb National Conference for Workplace Violence Prevention & Management in Healthcare Settings, hosted by the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing. This was one of those rare conferences where every speech, panel discussion, and poster session offered something informative and thought-provoking.
For the conference website, go here. Podcasts of conference programs will be posted during the summer.
An invitation to be one of the keynote speakers led to my being a part of the conference. Titled “Responding to Workplace Bullying in Healthcare: Ten Propositions,” here were my main points:
1. The healthcare sector is an ideal locus for developing best practices to address workplace bullying, mobbing, and incivility.
2. Somehow, someway, the case for taking workplace bullying seriously has to be made to the most powerful stakeholders, especially management.
3. Medical schools need to inculcate students in the importance of developing and exercising social intelligence in the healthcare workplace.
4. Nursing schools need to teach students about bullying behaviors and the need for personal resilience.
5. Nurses’ unions are uniquely situated to raise concerns about workplace bullying.
6. Physicians and nurses should not be promoted to management positions without training in management skills.
7. Individuals who treat co-workers abusively should be counseled, disciplined, and – if necessary – dismissed.
8. The enactment of legal protections against severe, targeted bullying at work could enhance, not hinder, the management and HR functions of the healthcare workplace.
9. Internal codes of conduct in healthcare institutions should (1) promote responsible speech, (2) nurture civility, and (3) prohibit abuse.
10. Research must inform practice, which — in turn — must inform research.
I won’t even attempt to provide a sampling of the good stuff we heard, though I will be discussing various presentations and poster displays in future blog posts. For now, I simply want to extend my gratitude to members of the conference committee, especially professors Gordon Lee Gillespie and Donna Gates and coordinator Katy Roberto Marston, for their extraordinary efforts and hospitality:
Gordon Lee Gillespie, PhD, RN, UC College of Nursing; principal investigator
Donna M. Gates, EdD, RN, FAAN, UC College of Nursing; co-investigator
Bonnie Fisher, PhD, UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
William K. Fant, PharmD, University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy
Barbara Forney, Program Manager, University of Cincinnati College of Continuing Medical Education
Michelle Caruso, PharmD, BCPS, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Terry Kowalenko, MD, FACEP, University of Michigan Emergency Medicine
Alison C. McLeish, PhD; UC Department of Psychology
Dianne Ditmer, PhD, RN, FACFE, Kettering Medical Network
Christine Luca, MSN, RN, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
Katy Roberto Marston, Conference Coordinator, University of Cincinnati
Carolyn Smith, PhD(c), RN, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Ahlam Al-Natour, PhD(c), RN, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
Peggy Berry, MSN, RN, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing