Nurse leader calls for ‘civility’ in radiology: 4 steps to get there

The common saying among RN circles is that “nurses eat their young,” and radiology is far from immune to this occurrence.

Such “incivility in the workplace reaches far beyond the nursing unit” and can often bubble up across the imaging team, according to one expert.

“Radiology departments bring together a wide variety of individuals, each with a different role, focus and expectation,” Valerie Aarne Grossman, a medical imaging nurse manager with Highland Hospital, wrote Jan. 7 in the Journal of Radiology Nursing. “This vast mix of team members further leads to difficulty in finding a common ground for teams to focus on.”

Oftentimes, the first line of defense for nurses is focusing inward to address unprofessional behaviors in the workplace, whether through resiliency training, self-care or avoidance of negative situations. “Individuals may not be able to control the behavior of others; however, they can surely control their reaction to it,” Grossman wrote.

Beyond that, she offered imaging care teams four steps they can take to strive toward civility:

1) Make a list of agreed upon behaviors that are unacceptable and empower staff to speak up without fear of reprisal.

2) Get active on peer-review committees to explore such allegations and make any recommendations to address them.

3) Promote teamwork among all disciplines to create policies that imaging team members will be held to, free of favoritism.

4) Institutionalize the work by creating a council or employee experience team with representation from all modalities. This group could continue identifying issues affecting the radiology department, and pinpointing changes to improve the work environment.

“Employees should be able to enjoy a professional work environment where individuals are respected, diversity is accepted, and the team as a whole is proactive and positive,” Grossman concluded. “This can only occur with individual engagement and organizational support, and the outcome will be increased patient safety, increased staff retention and increased employee satisfaction.”