Social Validation in Nursing

Social Validation in Nursing

Many nurses continually report issues in the workplace that have to do with a notable deficiency in social skills, and perhaps not surprisingly, lack of acknowledgment is one of those skills often mentioned as lacking in the workplace. This is especially true in nursing environments in which nurses face a higher-than-average rate of stress, grief, and harassment from patients and their families. Those nurses who continuously must deal with an excess of badgering from the people they are trying to take care of are the professionals who need validation the most in order to help create a “buffer” against the constant insults, the complaints, and the mistreatment they face during their shifts. This includes nurses in emergency rooms, intensive care units, long-term care facilities, and more.

According to an article by TheCommuter, BSN, RN, human nature often operates on emotion, rather than logic. The author explains, “Many people are looking to be told what they want to hear…I developed an awareness of humankind’s profound needs for validation and personal acknowledgement.” She goes on to explain, “Coworkers will want to work with you once you show an interest in them as a person. The point is to validate one’s existence as a person. Some of our colleagues, superiors and subordinates are pathetically lonely people who crave validation at the workplace because they do not get it in their personal lives.”

Furthermore, she says, “It’s all about the skill of acknowledgment. The nurse with the warm personality who knows what to say, when to smile, when to stroke the patient’s hand, and how to allay the family member’s fears will win their approval even though she’s failed to rescue multiple times over the years. Patients and families judge healthcare workers based on how good they were made to feel.”

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Michael Harbron

Michael Harbron is the Editor in Chief of Scrubs Magazine.
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