Renee Thompson -- CEO and Founder -- Disruptive Behaviors in Healthcare, Creating a Culture of Giving and Receiving Feedback, and How to Build a Strong Clinical Team

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Summary
In this episode, our guest is Renee Thompson, CEO and Founder of the Healthy Workforce Institute, a team dedicated to helping healthcare organizations cultivate a professional workforce by addressing workplace bullying and incivility. Thompson discusses disruptive behaviors and how they impact patient care, creating a culture of giving and receiving feedback, managing anxiety in stressful healthcare settings, how to build a strong clinical team, and why she has a passion for creating healthy workforces.

Show Notes
Disruptive Behaviors & Their Impact on Patient Care
Thompson begins the conversation by defining disruptive behaviors as any negative behavior that should never occur in healthcare and that disturbs the work that is getting done. This includes behaviors such as bullying, incivility, physical violence, gossiping, public criticism, and even the silent treatment. Thompson discusses how disruptive behaviors can lead to poor patient care and neglect. She mentions a survey that reported 71% of nurses and physicians believe there is a significant link between the disruptive behaviors of professionals and medical errors.

Creating a Culture of Giving and Receiving Feedback
Thompson offers strategies to cultivate a culture where giving and receiving feedback is a habit. She believes that change begins with clinical leaders and their willingness to admit their own shortcomings. She also references the scholar Amy Edmondson who wrote the book The Fearless Organization which explores how to create psychological safety in the workplace.

Managing Anxiety in Stressful Healthcare Settings
During the pandemic, Thompson noticed a big uptick in disruptive behaviors in healthcare, which she attributes to the increase in stress and anxiety among clinicians. She discusses shares helpful techniques to mitigate anxiety such as reminding healthcare workers to focus on the present.

How to Build a Strong Clinical Team
Thompson believes that a huge way to decrease disruptive behaviors is for the entire team to set behavioral expectations that are agreed upon by each member, instead of one nurse manager deciding guidelines for the whole team. This creates a culture of accountability and teamwork where the burden does not fall solely on the nurse manager but is equally distributed among team members.

Closing
Thompson has written two books that explore this topic in greater depth: Enough! Eradicate Bullying and Incivility in Healthcare: Strategies for Front Line Leaders and "Do No Harm" Applies To Nurses Too!: Strategies to Protect and Bully-proof Yourself at Work.

Humans in Healthcare is produced by Shearwater Health in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Chief Marketing Officer, Nathan King.
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