My Nurse Consultant

HealthCare Management & Consulting Advocate

Five Ways to Survive in a Toxic Environment

Much has been said about working in a toxic environment and its effect on your health. But what about if you could not only work in a toxic/hostile environment but thrive in it as well?

Here are 5 tips to thriving in a toxic environment

  1. Understand the worst that can happen: Knowing the worst that can happen, you losing your job, will make you stand up for yourself in a hurry. Since you realize that is the worst that can happen, it tends to give you an added confidence in ways that you may not have imagined. There is a saying that goes, “cowards die many times before their deaths” and the reason for this is simple! The human mind is very fertile and can come up with the worst imaginings, so you already knowing the worst and accepting it makes you feel incredible and willing to take on what comes your way.
  2. Stand Up- Don’t sit, stand up for yourself. A toxic workplace is no different than a school play ground- the bullies pick on those they consider weak. Don’t allow another adult do that to you- it can be very damaging. In spite of your fear, speak out and stand up for yourself. The way to get the most out of this is to speak, in clear measured tone what behavior you consider unacceptable and let it go.
  3. Document: If you think that you are ever going to need it, then keep good notes of all occurrences, the behavior or behaviors that occurred, participants, what actions you took …everything you would need to bring that situation to life.
  4. Human Resources: Still feeling confident? Take the matter down to human resources sharing your concerns, feelings and making sure to get a copy of what ever action that was taken
  5. Get friendly &  Socialize: You are building your “team” here. Get friendlier and make it a point to interact with a different co-worker during your lunch breaks. Go to the desks or offices, meet with them and if they let you, find out what makes them tick. With this strategy, you are doing two things- becoming more visible and secondly building you a portfolio of support.
    Toxic Work place

    No to toxic Workplace

You have decided you will no longer be the victim of a toxic work place so rather than turn tail and run, you have decided to fight back. You will come out a stronger and more confident person knowing what you will or will not accept. This is the new age, stop giving in to work place toxicity!

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Health Care Employers Embracing Real Change

Change is constant but not everyone likes change. But to grow, change is needed and especially important in the field of healthcare. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

If a person were to play a trick on you the first time, you would get wiser the second time and refuse to allow yourself fall victim to the same trick again. To fall for the same trick would be insanity, correct?

Embracing Change

Embracing change


But why is it allowed in the field of health care to continue in the same path, doing the same things you have always done but yet expecting a different result?

Healthcare is an evolving entity- the same practices that worked years ago are no longer viable in this current market and when they are- the competition


Health care embracing change


is stiff. Employers need to think outside the box, dare to be different in order to stand out.

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How to Use Office Politics to Your Advantage

The popular sentiment is to avoid office politics at all costs. But what happens when after you have done your very best, it still finds you? You should become proactive- learn to use office politics to your best advantage.

Four Tips on how to use office politics to your advantage

Office Politics in the Workplace

Using Office Politics to Your Advantage

  1. Find out the main protagonist: This person has to be one who is able to call the shots. You don’t have to pretend to be anything different from your personality just be friendly with this person. A warm greeting and quick conversation is all it should take. It keeps you present in the protagonist’s mind and with good feelings.
  2. Keep your ears open: The office grapevine can be both good and bad. Do not contribute to the grapevine in any way but by all means keep your ears wide open. Usually there is an element of truth to the grapevine. Don’t turn a deaf ear completely.
  3. Be on friendly terms with the office gossip: The office gossip usually knows more than you think they know-they earned that nickname and usually live up to it. By staying on friendly terms with this office gossip, you usually hear of things before they happen. The office gossip is not to be entirely discredited- their office chatter may help you avert a negative outcome.
  4. Be Lavish with your praise:  When it is deserved, share the praise. Do not at any time resort to flattery- people can usually see through that immediately and it is a turn-off. But when necessary, be very vocal in your praise to the recipient and behind the recipient- the office gossip/ grapevine would do their work in spreading your praise.
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Engaging Your Millennial Work Force

1. Create a sense of purpose around achieving Zero Harm. Millennials are seeking a sense of purpose in their careers and jobs. In a recently reported survey of nearly 4,000 millennials, aged 18–34, more than 60% said that social responsibility plays a significant role in choosing where to work and 75% said they valued a purposeful career over salary.

2. Shape culture with story. When you share stories of patient harm and stories of saving patients from harm you make harm visible, and once harm is visible, it’s easier to take action. Millennials, in particular, thrive off of stories because they are so involved in telling and hearing their own stories through social media. You can tell your stories through your organizations’ website and social media outlets.

3. Establish organizational structures that foster mutual respect. Work to reduce power distance relative to safety, especially inter- and intra-professional and generational power distance. Recognize and do not tolerate overt or subtle disrespect.

4. Support teamwork. The results of the millennial workforce survey indicated that 88% of millennials prefer a collaborative culture rather than a competitive one. In terms of keeping our patients safe, we need the sharing of lessons learned, wingmen who have our backs and teams who are comfortable working together.

5. Support open communication. Millennials are constant communicators. All generations desire more positive, affirming feedback than corrective, negative feedback, and millennials in particular expect feedback often. (How am I doing so far?)

6. Be transparent with safety progress. Share events of harm that have occurred, how they occurred and what’s being done to reduce the risk of recurrence.

7. Improve the systems in which people work by seeking out and finding problems and inefficiencies. Some of the ways to find problems include

•   Rounding to influence: Having individual conversations focused on safety with your employees so that they know what’s important to you and you can influence their behavior,
•   Creating a positive event reporting culture,
•   Holding a daily Safety Huddle for situational awareness and escalation of concerns and
•   Using local learning systems such as learning boards to engage team members in finding problems.

8. Fix the problems you find. Nagging problems are disengaging for millennials who are able to resolve most issues quickly through an Internet search or social media query.

9. Incorporate technology and innovation. Millennials have an affinity for technology. Engage them in safety efforts by focusing on innovation and adopting intuitive technology that enables safe care.

10. Offer learning through simulation. Millennials were the first generation to have video games throughout their entire childhood. Interventions (education, town halls, workshops) that use simulation, competition, social sharing and audience response are familiar and comfortable to them and will likely support high engagement.

In addition to these action items, creating future generations of safety-conscious health care workers requires constant reinforcement, early and often. Future nurses and physicians should be socialized to behavioral expectations, error prevention tools and safety science when they are still in school so that when they come to our health care organizations, they do so with high expectations for a culture of safety.

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When Your Work Culture (Good/Bad) affects Your Bottom Line- Part 1

Work culture, good or bad, plays a fundamental role in every company- they actually affect your company’s bottom line. If this is true, then why is it that so many long term care companies do not pay attention to the negative culture that is allowed to fester and grow in the work place?

Situations such as bullying, violence etc should never have any place in the work place and for your work place to especially thrive, you need to find and immediately nip in the bud any hint of a negative culture.

What most long term care companies fail to do, is to meaningful put in place, actions that would eradicate these negative cultures? They mention it in passing and perhaps it is even in the employee manual to keep appearances but are you really taking concrete steps to make sure that you are channeling a positive work place culture?

Positive work culture


Companies such as Apple, Google etc thrive because they recognize that their employees are their most important “assets” and so they go the route of creating a positive environment that employees want to work in.

Five excellent benefits of creating a positive environment where your employees want to work include

  • Stress free: A stress free environment brings peace of mind to your employee and they in turn bring their best to the job
  • Loyalty: Your employee knowing that you have their backs will in turn be loyal to go and would be willing to go the extra mile in making sure that they do not disappoint you
  • Positive Advertising: When your employee values you and what you provide, they can’t help but praise and talk about you to their friends, families and anyone who would listen. This in turn creates free and better advertising for you because it was unsolicited.
  • Teamwork:  A team only truly thrives when there is trust and everyone knows they are on the same mission. Without trust, your team will not succeed. And this is a benefit of a positive work place environment.


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