Workplace Violence

SMYS Supports Women Leaders Launch of TIME’S UP Healthcare

By | Advocacy, Blog, Healthcare Policy, News, Nursing, professional, Unity, Workplace Safety, Workplace Violence | No Comments

TIME’S UP announced today the launch of TIME’S UP Healthcare, a new affiliate which aims to drive new policies and decisions that result in more balanced, diverse and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse; and create equitable and safe work cultures within all facets of the healthcare industry. TIME’S UP Healthcare is the newest industry affiliate of TIME’S UP, joining a coalition of women across industries dedicated to advancing the organization’s mission of creating safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds.

Show Me Your Stethoscope, through our STAMP Out Violence campaign, has striven to raise awareness to the epidemic of violence and harassment that Nurses endure everyday while on the job and has stood by our colleagues, helping to amplify the voice of a Nation of Nurses. We work to address a workplace culture that has come to expect that Nurses will be abused, encouraging all people to speak up and report incidents of physical, verbal and sexual assault.  Show Me Your Stethoscope is proud to support TIME’S UP Healthcare’s goal “To unify national efforts to bring safety, equity, and dignity to our healthcare workplace.”

SMYS’ Kelley Muldoon-Rieger MSN PNP and Julia Sierra-Sanchez will be on hand and speaking at the March 1 launch of TIME’S UP Healthcare.  


For more details on TIME’S UP Healthcare, please visit
For more details on the STAMP Out Violence initiative, please visit
For more details on Show Me Your Stethoscope, please visit

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Our Young eating our Young.

By | Advocacy, Nursing, Workplace Violence | 6 Comments

This morning, I was scrolling through the Facebook group as I pried my eyes open with a cup of really really dark roast and found this question:

Just curious…has anyone replaced a PICC line dressing where it wasn’t sterile? New nurse here asking the question… 

I thought it was valid.  As a new nurse, seeing different policies in different places, or seeing your preceptor doing something not quite ‘by the book’ could be confusing. Naturally, there was a flurry of correct replies, that a PICC line dressing change should always be a sterile procedure.  Yay.  Educating.  Being helpful, etc.  Lots of explanations piccand descriptions of hospital policies all over the country.  I thought to myself, “Self, this is why you created this group! Collaboration………and then….<sigh>….

Because nursing school is the best time to get started on your ‘eating my coworkers’ practice.  

Look, kids…. you have to be the change you want to see in the world.  When you are rude and scornful to another human being, you do not look smart.  You look like a jerk.  This isn’t about a Facebook group either.  It is about thousands of interactions each day between healthcare staff.  Also, the “You are being rude for calling me on it” makes you look petty.  So stop it.  Sometimes we are wrong, and we have to own it  God knows I have to do it all the time. Maya

I keep hearing these stories.  Let me help you out, snowflake.  If you are a nursing student, new nurse, old nurse, or ancient nurse….. you will learn something new today. No, really.  Completely true.  I do not think I have ever worked a shift without picking up a fun fact or new technique.  I love saying, “Wow! I had no idea!” because it means my knowledge just increased a little.  I can incorporate that factoid into my patient care, if appropriate.  Patients could receive better care because someone took the time to pass a little knowledge on to me.

And that is why I love precepting.

So, please don’t make it a habit to snack on your peers right out of school, kids.

We are trying to curtail this, not perpetuate it.




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A Junior High Sign……and it is PERFECT for hospitals!

By | Education, Nursing, Workplace Violence | 2 Comments

Today, my youngest was sick at school and I had to pick him up midway through the day. I was able to actually look around the school office for a moment, and found this sign.

think2Perhaps you just totally rolled your eyes at me, and I am ok with that.  It bounced off of my brain and made me think about how much easier life would be at work if we followed these suggestions.


A Scenario:

Your coworker is late, it is the third time in as many weeks.  She has a sick mom, and has been taking care of her. Her routine is not settling down as fast as she would like.  She has two children to take to school, her husband isn’t home to take the kids to school because he works nights, and her mother needs medications in the morning.  Because she has new onset dementia and a recently replaced hip, your coworker is concerned about her compliance with her medications and nutrition, as well as her ADL’s.

Your coworker arrives, 20 minutes late.  You have things to do this morning, and she has put you way behind.  You are back at work for 12 hours tonight, and you didn’t get all the sleep you wanted yesterday either.

How do you respond?

“You are always late now! Aren’t you going to get a home health aide or something?”

  • Is it TRUE that your coworker is always late? No. She has been late three times in three weeks after a life-changing event. 
  • Is it HELPFUL to say this, at this moment in time? No.  Your coworker is stressed out because of her recent life changes, and is probably very embarrassed about being late all of a sudden. It will likely make her defensive, and then she has to go deal with an entire nursing assignment all day, knowing you are angry.
  • Is it INSPIRING to say this? No.  Telling someone that they are not meeting your expectations is never inspiring for them.  Suggesting a solution can be.
  • Is it NECESSARY to say this? No, your coworker knows she is late.  She knows that she is inconveniencing you.  And if you would like to address it, now is not the time anyway.  Not when you are upset.
  • Is this a KIND thing to say? Obviously not.  It may make you feel better initially because you were able to vent, but it will make you feel worse after you have time to think about it.

How about this?

“Janie, I know you are having a hard time. I hope your mom is ok. I don’t want you to get in trouble for tardy arrivals.  Maybe you should think about hiring a home health aide to give you a hand.  You have to be tired.”

Same message, peppered with kindness.kind

  • It is true, she is having a hard time.
  • It was helpful to suggest a home health aide.
  • It is inspiring for her to know that there is help available, and that her work family has her back.
  • It is necessary to address at some point, because you are being totally inconvenienced.
  • It was said kindly, and may really help your coworker realize that she has a really full plate and needs help.


Maybe we can work toward this.  We are so kind to our patients.  Maybe we need to THINK before we react in these situations.







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Incivility among healthcare providers. How does that transfer to your care?

By | Workplace Violence | 7 Comments

We have heard the expression that “Nurses eat their Young” many times, and in fact, new graduate nurses are in danger of being consumed whole by their more seasoned co workers.  However, it does not end there.  Everyone is in danger of lateral violence and incivility, depending on their workplace and the pervasive culture to either bully or not bully. Older nurses are often bullied by younger nurses in certain environments.

Incivility among nursing staff is an epidemic that has been going on since Flo lit a lamp.

Cynthia Clark, PhD, RN, and Sara Ahten, MSN, RN Wrote This Article about Incivility in nursing.  It is extremely informative and describes in plain language what incivility IS, and it is not just words.  They also give great advice about how to respond to lateral violence in the workplace.


Renee Thompson, DNP, RN wrote this material on bullying, and she is especially insightful. She has created workplace education about lateral violence and incivility.  One of the quotes on her website spoke so loudly to me that I simply had to place it here.  Sorry, Dr Thompson for the theft.:


Nurses can be so caring and compassionate to patients, yet they can be so horrific to each other. It’s time for nurse bullying to stop! Join me and bring your friends.

Be  kind – not cruel

The largest problem I see with providing you with all of these resources is that Nurse Bullies Will Not Read Them.  reso

So I challenge you to read this information.  Maybe you will find out that what is being done to you at work is bullying, and not your fault.  Maybe you will find that you ARE a bully and can take steps to modify your behavior for the good of your profession.

And if you just rolled your eyes, there is no easy help for you.

I differ with Dr Thompson in one way.  I believe that incivil nurses are not as compassionate to their patients as people who are naturally kind to their coworkers.  I have done no research to back this up. This is purely anecdotal.  I am a nurse who has been bullied, and I submit that the health care providers who bullied me and others were not especially nice to their patients either.  

So maybe asking you to read this stuff is a public service announcement. 

Nurse, Heal Thyself.







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The Dangers of Advocacy, and why you shouldn’t worry.

By | Advocacy, Health, Nursing, Workplace Safety, Workplace Violence | 2 Comments

You know the stories you have heard about healthcare people getting fired because they tried to start a union, and similar things?

Here is a message from our National Director, Jalil Johnson.  I will expand on it in a moment:
We don’t anticipate anyone having any trouble with their employer because of the SMYS for Change advocacy work.

Rest assured, if any of our members have trouble over this advocacy work, we will make sure that those kinds of transgressions are publicized and media outlets all over the country will hear about it.

We want safety for nurses and better patient care. We will not be deterred.

There is no progress without struggle!

Changers, the Nurses all around the U.S.A have your back!

So, essentially…..

No employers are going to want to get on the wrong side of this thing in public, folks. Firing nurses and techs because they are involved in advocacy work with SMYS will get these employers nothing but a protest at their front door.  Do you think I won’t show up?

Please. You know better.voltaire

Look around you on Show Me Your Stethoscope.  Those are your brothers and sisters.  We are NOT going to allow a healthcare organization to fire you for doing the right thing, and then let them get away with it without publicizing their sins. We WILL let their clientele know that a member of the most trusted profession on earth was fired because he tried to keep the public safe.  

It is well established that I will tell it like it is, kids.  What do you think I am going to say when some ridiculous, lousy health care organization decides to make an example of you?

They cannot scare us, because we are united.  They cannot divide us by hurting one of us. It will only make us cling more tightly together.

Healthcare organizations need to understand that while we can go to work for a different employer, they cannot do business without us.  We will fight for safe staffing, workplace safety, and respect.wellbehaved2_5.jpg.resize.710x399

We are something that has never happened before.  Show Me Your Stethoscope has taken on a life of its own.  We are everywhere, we are united, and they cannot fight all of us.

And if you bring the rest of your coworkers in, you will be even safer.  Who wouldn’t want the chance to change nursing as we know it? Who would fail to be part of a movement to make our patients safer?

Nobody I want to work with.




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