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Readers’ panel: do nurses need training to cope with rude colleagues?

A new study from researchers at the University of East Anglia and a Canadian university has suggested that nurses need more training and support to help them cope with difficult colleagues who make rude remarks. Nursing Standard readers’ panellists have their say. 
rude colleague

A new study from researchers at the University of East Anglia and a Canadian university has suggested that nurses need more training and support to help them cope with difficult colleagues who make rude remarks. Nursing Standard readers panellists have their say

Linda Drake is a practice nurse in south London

Differentiating between bullying and incivility is vital. We must ensure zero tolerance of the former, but rudeness can sometimes be forgiven. When I have been snapped at by colleagues, a difference in communication styles has usually been to blame. NHS staff are under immense pressure, so just as anxious patients can sometimes be rude, colleagues can react in the same manner without intending to hurt or insult. Nurses need to be supported with

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A new study from researchers at the University of East Anglia and a Canadian university has suggested that nurses need more training and support to help them cope with difficult colleagues who make rude remarks. Nursing Standard readers’ panellists have their say


Research suggests nurses would like more training to be able to deal
with difficult colleagues. Picture: Getty


Linda Drake is a practice nurse in south London 

Linda Drake

Differentiating between bullying and incivility is vital. We must ensure zero tolerance of the former, but rudeness can sometimes be forgiven. When I have been snapped at by colleagues, a difference in communication styles has usually been to blame. NHS staff are under immense pressure, so just as anxious patients can sometimes be rude, colleagues can react in the same manner without intending to hurt or insult. Nurses need to be supported with resilience training and robust mentoring schemes. 


Lauren Ferrier is a mental health nursing student in Scotland 

Lauren Ferrier

Relationships become strained when misunderstanding occurs. Mental health nursing students receive training in multiple psychological therapies to enhance our self-awareness and ability to understand why others behave the way they do. We also receive clinical supervision to help us work through difficult relationships and situations. I find this helpful and think all nurses would benefit from this kind of support.


Drew Payne (@drew_london) is a community staff nurse in north London

Drew Payne

Nurses today are under huge strain and using bad behaviour to deal with stress may be one way of coping. But this does not create a good working environment and ultimately affects patient care. My employer trains staff in conflict resolution. Although I am confident and self-assertive as a nurse, many nurses are not. More confident nurses will be better nurses. Supporting staff to develop these skills will help them cope with the realities of today’s NHS. 


Jane Brown is a quality governance manager, clinical support, in Worcestershire 

Jane Brown

If staff are being rude to one another this has to be dealt with, but the reasons this is happening also need to be explored. Nurses do have training in conflict resolution, so perhaps this needs to be tailored to help nurses deal with rudeness, which seems to be becoming increasingly common. There can be a fine line between rudeness and bullying, so it is vital that staff feel supported to report incidents of rude behaviour where necessary.

 

Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

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