Rudeness in medical settings could kill patients. (2016)
“… if rudeness damages your cognitive system then you can’t function appropriately in a complex situation.
nymag 26 Oct 2016
Photo: Karen Neal/ABC
Based on research by Prof. Amir Erez et al, University of Florida
“Imagine this: You’re a cardiac surgeon who is pushing into the five-hour mark of a complicated seven-hour surgery. You ask a nurse for a specific tool, and he drops it. It’s now contaminated and useless. The nurse stands dumbstruck until you snap at him to hurry up, grab another tool, and stop being so clumsy.
“You were rude, but he deserved it, right? He’ll get over the uncivil remark and everybody will move on.
“But that ‘moving on’ actually might not happen. According to a recent study, rude comments in high-pressure medical settings could have potentially deadly effects on patients.
“(The study) found that rudeness damages your ability to think, manage information, and make decisions….You can be highly motivated to work, but if rudeness damages your cognitive system then you can’t function appropriately in a complex situation.”
“….disruptive behaviors like rudeness are so powerful because they spread like a contagion and sabotage a person’s working memory, which plays a crucial role in our in-the-moment ability to learn, reason, comprehend, and recall information.
“While Erez wasn’t surprised that rudeness affected doctors’ and nurses’ work, he did say he was surprised by the magnitude of the effect rudeness had on doctors’ working memory….Overall, rude comments appeared to cause a 52 percent difference in how well teams diagnosed the disease
“…rudeness isn’t something people can easily get over…It’s not something that you can postpone emotionally to a later time because it affects the cognitive system.”
Access the full article here: Rudeness in medical settings could kill patients.
Access the base research, published by Pediatrics in 2015, here: The impact of rudeness on medical team performance