Nursing

In the know: Learn to give feedback to your peers

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, September 22, 2008

The reality is that we have operated for years in an environment where people were punished or looked down upon for making errors. Such negative energy around mistakes has decreased our sense of self-esteem. Therefore, many nurses find it hard to receive feedback and even harder to give feedback directly to the person involved. The culture is changing, however, and your response to mistakes in the workplace is critical to creating a safer environment for your patients.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Don't leave notes on lockers or send emails regarding mistakes—it's too sensitive an issue. You can't reveal your intention (tone of voice) unless the exchange is face to face. All too often written notes feel like an attack.
  • If you judge an error to be significant, say something every time.
  • If the error is insignificant, let it slide once or twice. But if you notice a pattern, you should say something.

Source: Stressed Out About Communication Skills, HCPro, Inc., 2007. Be sure to pick up your copy today!

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