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Study Finds Low Levels of Workplace Incivility Among Nurses in Southern Philippines

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A recent study provided important insights into the nature and severity of workplace disrespect among nurses working in Jolo, Philippines, hospitals. Conducted by researchers from Sulu State College, the study aimed to understand how nurses experience and perceive incivility in their work environments. This research is crucial in shedding light on an often-overlooked issue that can have profound implications on both nurses’ well-being and patient care.

The findings were published in the journal Social Psychology and Human Experience.

The study surveyed 100 nurses using statistical analysis methods such as weighted mean, standard deviation, t-test, One-way ANOVA, and Pearson’s r. The nurses’ responses revealed a general disagreement with the prevalence of various forms of incivility, including supervisor, physician, and patient/visitor incivility. On average, nurses did not find inappropriate jokes, hostility, rudeness, inconsiderate behaviour, gossip, or free-riding to be prevalent in their workplaces.

Interestingly, the findings support Betty Neuman’s System Model, which suggests that individuals respond uniquely to stressors, and these responses can vary widely. Despite the stressors present in the nursing profession, the nurses in this study did not perceive them as significant in terms of workplace incivility.

The study also explored whether socio-demographic factors such as age, gender, marital status, employment status, and educational attainment influenced nurses’ perceptions of workplace incivility. The results indicated that these factors did not significantly affect how nurses viewed the prevalence and forms of incivility. For instance, both younger and older nurses had similar perceptions, as did male and female nurses, and those with different marital statuses and educational backgrounds.

The study categorised incivility into various sources (supervisors, physicians, patients, and visitors) and forms (general incivility, nurse incivility). To ascertain the degree of incivility the nurses encountered, each category underwent evaluation.

Nurses generally disagreed with the presence of supervisor incivility. Statements such as “My supervisor is verbally abusive” and “My supervisor yells at me about matters that are not important” were met with disagreement from the respondents, indicating that these behaviours were not commonly experienced.

Similarly, incivility from physicians was also rated low. Nurses disagreed with statements like “Some physicians are verbally abusive” and “Physicians yell at nurses about matters that are not important”, suggesting that these issues were not prevalent.

Regarding patient/visitor incivility, nurses again disagreed with the statements that pointed towards verbal abuse and other forms of rudeness from patients and visitors. This suggests that the nursing staff in Jolo hospitals did not frequently encounter such behaviours.

In terms of general incivility, the study looked at behaviours such as inappropriate jokes, hostility, and rudeness. Nurses disagreed that such behaviours were prevalent in their work environment. This includes behaviours like making inappropriate remarks about race or gender and raising voices in frustration.

When it came to incivility among nurses themselves, the respondents also disagreed with the presence of inconsiderate behaviour, gossip, rumours, and free-riding. Statements like “Nurses argue with each other frequently” and “Nurses take credit for work they did not do” were not seen as common issues.

The study’s findings have significant implications for policy and practice within hospital management. By highlighting that incivility is not perceived as a widespread issue, hospital administrators can focus on maintaining and enhancing the positive aspects of the workplace environment. However, it is essential to remain vigilant and continue promoting a culture of respect and professionalism to ensure that any potential incivility is addressed promptly.

The insights from this study can also be used to inform the development of training programmes aimed at further improving interpersonal relationships among hospital staff. Such programmes can help reinforce the importance of mutual respect and support, ultimately contributing to better patient care and job satisfaction among nurses.

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