Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tips for a drama-free school year

As summer comes to an end, it is normal for girls have mixed feelings about returning to school. While it is exciting to see friends again, some girls also worry about the relational aggression they encountered in previous years. Here are some tips for girls to avoid the “drama” and have successful friendships this school year!

1. Be nice and respectful to others! Sometimes it is as simple as the golden rule. If you are nice, you are more likely to have friends that are nice and respectful, too!

2. Spread the word! Demi Lovato and Secret™ have started a “Mean Stinks” campaign, to help girls who are affected by bullying. As a part of the campaign, girls everywhere are painting their pinky nails blue as a promise to have a ‘Drama-Free School Year’.

3. Talk to a trusted adult! If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or if you are unsure how to handle a friendship problem, talk to an adult you trust. Believe it or not, they will understand and they may have just the advice you need! (This is a link for your parents!)

4. Use your social media “smarts”! Do not post any opinions, gossip, or pictures on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that you would be embarrassed to have your parents, grandparents, or teachers see.

5. Choose your friends carefully! Take the time to make a list of qualities you are looking for in a friend (loyal, respectful, generous, etc.). If you find you are spending your time with girls who do not share the qualities you find most important, you may want look for a better fit!

Liza A. Kalloz, M.Ed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nurses in the Workplace: Nasty or Nice?

As an expert author who has written extensively about relational aggression (RA or nonphysical bullying), it wasn’t unusual for a workshop participant or audience member at one of my talks to comment on how much the concept applied to nurses. The expression “eat their young” was used more than once. Ouch.

Work on my two books about the topic (When Nurses Hurt Nurses, and Toxic Nursing) convince me that bad behaviors in the nursing workplace often are a result of circumstances rather than personalities. Nursing education doesn't include adequate training to Nurses aren’t educated to cope with the many demands of today’s complex work setting, and hospitals often overlook bullying because there are other more important problems to be confronted.

“RN RA” is bad for business, and has far reaching effects for both individuals and institutions. It’s no longer sufficient to accept the situation and watch our colleagues crash and burn. Be a nurse who makes a difference for your patients, your coworkers, and yourself! How can you take the first step?

My nursing education colleagues tell me there's too little time in the curriculum to educate nurses about bullying -- but when one professor used a story from my book to prompt a discussion, she told me: "We could have stayed there all night exchanging horror stories."  Although emotions can be tender, beginning a dialogue about past experiences can be the beginning of a healthy change.

Cheryl Dellasega, PhD