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How do I create an environment of open communication for my staff?

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I recommend what is known as an "open system" - an environment where staff can speak the truth without fear of retribution. Role modeling is a critical way of educating staff and creating and maintaing an open system. If you hear a rumor and go directly to that staff member to check it out, your staff will do the same with you.

Managers can build communication skills that are characteristic of an open system by promoting the following:

  • Charge nurse development
  • Inservices on assertiveness, confrontation skills, and conflict resolution
  • Role modeling
  • Performance evaluations

-Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN