Make yourself heard

Nurses are not always as assertive as they should be, but there are some simple measures that can be taken to address this, writes Kathy Oxtoby

Nurses are not always as assertive as they should be, but there are some simple measures that can be taken to address this, writes Kathy Oxtoby.

Abstract

A lack of assertiveness among nurses can affect job satisfaction and has a detrimental effect on patient care, according to a nurse educator.

People are often told they need to be assertive, particularly in the workplace, but they do not know how to, explains former colorectal nurse consultant and Coloplast UK head of education Terri Porrett.

She describes the quality as having the confidence to be able to have one’s voice heard and be able to speak freely.

However, there is a delicate balance between being assertive and being aggressive.

Dr Porrett says a lack of assertiveness in the nursing profession has been ‘its Achilles’ heel’. Some people may be reluctant to speak up because they want to please people and they fear confrontation.

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 15

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