Nurses need to be kinder to each other or patients will be negatively affected, warns Senior Nurse

Teams that face rudeness experience a 12% drop in diagnostic and procedural performance.

Matt Bodell
19 September 2019
sad nurse

The “Reminder to be Kinder” project encourages nurses to be kinder to each other.

Nurses and allied healthcare professions are being reminded to be kinder to each other in order to improve patient safety.


University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) has launched the “Reminder to be Kinder” project which was designed to recognise the importance of civility on patient care.

Launched to coincide with World Patient Safety Day, the project will see the introduction of a range of action cards which include reminders to celebrate colleagues’ achievements, thank someone for their work and do something to make life easier for a colleague.

‘Rudeness causes reduced performance’.

Juliet Pearce, Deputy Director of Nursing at UHS, said; “The way we interact with each other can have a surprising effect on patient safety,”

“People who witness rudeness show reduced performance and are 50% less likely to help others.


“If a patient was to see this happen, you could understand why they would feel anxious dealing with staff and have less trust in the organisation.”

She said there was increasing evidence of the impact of rudeness on clinical performance, with the actions of one individual potentially impacting on the ability of a whole team to care for their patients.

“In one study we reviewed, teams working on a simulated emergency scenario were exposed to either rude comments or neutral comments during the emergency scenario,” she explained.

“The team that faced rudeness saw a 12% drop in diagnostic and procedural performance. Put simply, when someone in a team is uncivil, that team is negatively affected and so is their patient.”


‘Kindness creates a happier workplace’.

Dr Ahmed Osman, a consultant in the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital and patient safety education lead at UHS, added: “Rudeness is an unfortunately common experience in healthcare and has nothing but negative effects on recipients, onlookers and patients.

“Kindness, on the other hand, is an unequivocally positive experience, so trying to be a little kinder will create a happier workplace for staff and a safer environment for patients.”

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