Speaking up, being heard: registered nurses' perceptions of workplace communication

J Nurs Manag. 2012 Apr;20(3):361-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01296.x. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Abstract

Aims: The aim of the present study was to explore nurses' perceptions of their own ability to speak up and be heard in the workplace.

Background: Nurses are central to patient care and patient safety in hospitals. Their ability to speak up and be heard greatly impacts their own work satisfaction, team work as well as patient safety.

Method: The present study utilized a qualitative approach, consisting of focus group interviews of 33 registered nurses (RNs), in staff or management positions from a variety of healthcare settings in California, USA. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis.

Results: Findings were organized into three categories: influences on speaking up, transmission and reception of a message and outcomes or results. The present study supported the importance of the manager in setting the culture of open communication.

Implications for nurse managers: It is anticipated that findings from the present study may increase understandings of nurse views of communication within healthcare settings. The study highlights the importance of nurse managers in creating the communication culture that will allow nurses to speak up and be heard. These open communication cultures lead to better patient care, increased safety and better staff satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology*
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Perception
  • Qualitative Research
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Young Adult