Time’s Up Healthcare promotes equitable and healthy workplaces

“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the healthcare workplace. It’s time to do something about it.”

That’s the slogan for Time’s Up Healthcare, a campaign charged with unifying national efforts to bring safety, equity and dignity to healthcare work environments.

The campaign’s advisory board is made up of prominent physicians, nurses and others, including Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, past-president of the American Nurses Association, and Roberta E. Gebhard, DO, president of the American Medical Women’s Association.

The ANA and American College of Physicians are among the national organizations partnering with Time’s Up.

The campaign is about focusing on what can be done to promote equity and end sexual harassment so nurses, physicians and others can work in healthier environments, according to Time’s Up Healthcare Advisory Council member Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, professor of nursing and dean at New York University College of Nursing.

Nurses, according to Sullivan-Marx, are a big part of the campaign’s focus.

Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN

“Nurses are present everywhere and are such a critical part of environments. When nurses practice in healthy environments, outcomes are better,” she said.

Harassment in the healthcare workplace needs to be part of the conversation, so men and women feel free to talk about and report the bad behaviors of others.

“This is everyone’s issue, and when you have bad behavior and an unhealthy environment, there needs to be approaches that are built in to not only empower women to speak up but empower everyone to speak up when they see a situation or have a situation,” Sullivan-Marx said.

Learn how to identify unhealthy behaviors

Time’s Up is asking not only individual providers to join in the effort, but also institutions, organizations, universities and health systems to join and create solutions for healthier workplaces.

Self-reflection, awareness about what others might find offensive and learning are part of the improvement process, according to Sullivan-Marx, who said she hasn’t personally experienced workplace harassment.

But she explained it doesn’t have to be obvious harassment. Sometimes, it’s subtly part of the culture in work environments, and most can remember a time when they might have contributed to that culture.

“When I was early in my career as a staff nurse, there would be inappropriate flirtations or comments that just were embarrassing,” she said. “Sometimes when I reflect back on those, it was like a breakdown of discipline. Things maybe got too casual or too chummy … and maybe we all did that.”

In other situations, harassment is overt. Sullivan-Marx said physicians and nurses can be caught in a workplace hierarchy, where providers feel they have to give in to the sexual harassment to get a promotion or even keep their jobs.

Bullying also contributes to unhealthy work environments in healthcare. An RNnetwork survey suggests 45% of nurses have been verbally harassed or bullied by other nurses.

How to address sensitive issues

Time’s Up can help providers start chapters in their communities in which they hold meetings to openly and safely talk about issues and work on solutions. But …read more

Read full article here: nurse.com