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Feedback in the moment

Case study about speaking up for standards

Right from report, Yuki can tell it’s going to be a busy day on the medical unit.


As she’s passing Mrs. Silva’s room, she stops to answer her call bell. While in the room, Yuki hears her colleagues in the hallway discussing another client’s care. She’s surprised at how clearly she can hear their conversation. Concerned about confidentiality, she makes a mental note to let them know as soon she finishes with Mrs. Silva.

As she heads out of Mrs. Silva’s room, Yuki mulls over the best way to address what she’s just discovered with her colleagues. She still finds giving feedback a little uncomfortable—she’s never confident she’s chosen the right words. She knows she needs to say something. Yuki takes a deep breath and begins to think about how to frame what she’ll say.

 What does Yuki do?

She speaks up now

Yuki catches up with her colleagues outside the room. "Hey, can we move down to the nurses' station?" As they walk down the hallway, Yuki continues, "I didn’t realize until just now how well patients can hear what we are saying in the hallway. I was in with Mrs. Silva and could hear your conversation very clearly. It was a heads up for me!"

Her colleagues agree. Later, one of her colleagues approaches Yuki and mentions, "I appreciated the feedback. It's a good reminder and I think we should bring it up at our next staff meeting."

She decides to wait

Yuki feels uncomfortable approaching her colleagues in the moment. She passes them in the hallway, deciding she'll mention it to them in private later. Her busy day carries on and Yuki forgets to bring it up.

At the end of the day she’s tired and wants to go home. "Somehow," she muses, "it doesn't seem like such a big deal any more. I'll say something next time."

 What would you do?

Giving feedback to peers about a workplace issue can be difficult. Often in a busy work environment, we focus on providing care and meeting the needs of our clients. It’s important to remember that feedback is a valuable way for nurses to help each other meet the Standards of Practice.

Feedback from clients about their care or from peers about our practice can help us see where we are meeting standards, and also when we could make some changes for our professional development. In this situation, feedback is important, not only because it protects client confidentiality, but also because it’s Yuki’s professional responsibility to act when she’s aware of issues that impact the provision of safe, appropriate and ethical care.

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