Microaggressions in the Workplace (Nursing)

by Amber Vanderburg

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    00:00 Sometimes, bullying in the workplace is easy to identify.

    00:05 Hitting, yelling, insulting, and demeaning others is quickly noticed and recognized by most people.

    00:12 However, many times workplaces are not overflowed with apparent aggression, but rather a series of microaggressions.

    00:22 This little picking, tapping, and poking overtime can add up to an exhausting and toxic workplace.

    00:32 Here are a couple of examples of microaggression in the workplace you can recognize and confront.

    00:40 One type of microaggression is assumptions.

    00:43 These could be assumptions based on position, gender, experience, race, socioeconomic status, age, department, or education.

    00:54 Essentially, this microaggression sounds like this.

    00:58 Because you are x, you probably are or are not or like or don't like y.

    01:06 these types of microaggressions are slight comments and remarks within the course of your conversations and can add up to hurtful and meaningful impacts.

    01:18 Studies show that these microaggressions can lead to higher levels of depression and anxiety and lower self-esteem when you encounter microaggressions in your workplace.

    01:31 First, I want you to take a moment and take a breath for your own emotional balance.

    01:38 If you are emotionally charged and the aggressor is unaware, then this will likely not be an ideal environment to have a healthy conversation.

    01:50 So, first, take a breath.

    01:53 If this is your first confrontation of microaggressive behavior with the individual, I want you to pull the person aside and explain to the individual that the comment is not appreciated and why.

    02:08 Allow space for a conversation and clarify alternative action for the future.

    02:16 If you have allowed microaggressions for an extended period of time and are now addressing the issue with the individual, this could take more time for the behavior to change as habits have already been formed and must be broken and rebuilt at this stage of the working relationship.

    02:37 The best way to address microaggressions is in the beginning of the working relationship.

    02:43 If you are in a situation where you have allowed microaggressions for an extended period of time, you might plan for a longer conversation about the impact of the microaggressions on yourself.

    02:58 If the microaggressions continue, then you may include other people including your charge nurse or supervisor to help support you in your conversation to reach a solution.

    03:11 Microaggressions are a series of small comments and actions that can build up to a big impact.

    03:20 Do not let these microaggressions continue to have a negative impact on you.

    03:26 Address the issue directly and proactively for a more positive workplace.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Microaggressions in the Workplace (Nursing) by Amber Vanderburg is from the course Communication in Healthcare (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Everyday comments or actions that target and negatively impact marginalized groups.
    2. One-off, intentional comments targeted toward people in positions of power.
    3. Comments that, although negative, have minimal impact.
    4. Small actions or comments that are rare, unintentional, and target marginalized groups.
    1. Take the coworker aside and initiate a conversation about the incident.
    2. Report the coworker to human resources.
    3. Lodge a complaint against the coworker.
    4. Have the charge nurse talk to the coworker about the incident.

    Author of lecture Microaggressions in the Workplace (Nursing)

     Amber Vanderburg

    Amber Vanderburg

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