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Dealing with Unhelpful Nurses




It is not an easy task to manage workers in health-care settings. High levels of stress caused by unsociable working hours together with the emotionally, physically and intellectually draining nature of clinical-care delivery contribute to ‘unhelpful’ behaviour.

Recent changes in working conditions have compounded the manager’s problems; for example, the ‘mania’ for downsizing has increased uncertainty about employment and the increased use of contract/casual staff and the reduction in permanent/core staff has weakened the organisational culture.Whereas in the past there has been a reasonable expectation that employees would understand the organisation’s philosophy, policies and procedures with respect to care delivery, the situation is now less clear. Moreover, the creation of work teams that have both permanent staff and contract/casual staff has given rise to a number of problem behaviours, including distrust and stereotyping (Clarke 2003).


Contents include

  • Introduction
  • Defining unhelpful behaviour
    • Unhelpful clinical behaviour
    • Unhelpful behaviour towards colleagues
    • Unhelpful behaviour as a manager
  • Dealing with unhelpful behaviour
  • The manager as bully
  • Conclusion
  • References
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Author / Editor Biographies

Michael is a nurse educator at Ipswich Hospital (Queensland, Australia) with interests in mental-health nursing, care of older persons and aggression minimisation. He has a particular interest in the mechanics of clinical decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. 

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