The OR Today Live! Surgical Conference continues to deliver quality experiences for perioperative leaders from around the nation.

The 2016 OR Today Live! Surgical Conference provided a unique conference experience for attendees which included an excellent opportunity for quality exhibit hall interactions with industry-leading vendors, top-notch educational materials eligible for CE contact hours, a powerful and inspirational keynote address and entertaining networking events.

One highlight of the 2016 conference was the partnership with the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) that included the pre-conference workshop “Fundamentals of OR Management” and other educational opportunities.

“OR Today Live strives to present a conference with quality education because we know the importance of earning CE contact hours for our attendees,” explains Kristin Leavoy, vice president of MD Publishing, the parent company of OR Today Live. “But we also want to balance the curriculum with an opportunity for attendees to relax and enjoy themselves. It’s more often than not that the networking events allow the attendees to let down their guard and really get to know each other and the struggles they face on a day-to-day basis.”

The ’80s Karaoke Party sponsored by AIV was such an event. The evening provided a fun, relaxed atmosphere for quality interactions. Attendees and exhibitors alike were able to let loose as they enjoyed delicious food and belted out some ’80s classics.

OR Today Live once again succeeded in bringing together perioperative leaders in an ideal environment for fostering solutions for the prevailing challenges, regulations and culture changes facing the surgical suite and the professionals called on to manage the decisions and patient care within the OR.

“I think this is one of the best conferences I have attended. It was intimate, small, well run. I like that you partnered with CCI. I thought the content was professional, and kept me engaged. I hope you keep it small to not ruin the atmosphere of the up close and personal relationship you gained with the presenters,” says Megan B., a director of surgical services.

“Excellent, excellent excellent! Well worth the money and time spent! Great experience from the time I registered until the time I left … great price, great learning, great networking, great activities and, lets not forget, great food,” says Rebecca S., a perioperative educator. “I know this was only your seconnd year to do this conference. I loved the small, intimate feeling and personal attention. I know you will grow larger each year as word gets out, but please continue to provide the same excellence in learning sessions and personal, hands-on attention during the conference. You have a great organizing staff!”

Q&A: Keynote Speaker expands on workplace bullies

orlive-1The keynote address at the 2016 OR Today Live! Surgical Conference addressed a topic on the minds of many perioperative professionals. “Bringing Shadow Behavior Into the Light: Understanding and addressing bullying behavior,” presented by Phyllis Quinlan, Ph.D., RN-BC, President, MFW Consultants, fostered a greater understanding of why bullying occurs, explained the subtle distinctions between incivility and bullying behavior, and discussed the collaboration needed between leadership, labor and human resources to create a zero tolerance for bullying culture.Quinlan shared more in a recent Q&A.

Q: Do you believe that workplace bullying and incivility are the same?

Quinlan: No. Workplace incivility can best be defined as low-intensity unpleasant behavior that is rude, impolite, or inconsiderate. While the target can feel insulted or angry; an actual desire or intent to harm the other person is ambiguous. Anyone has the potential to behave inappropriately toward a coworker given the right circumstances coupled with a lack of self-management.

Workplace bullying, however, is ongoing offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior or actions directed at a person(s), causing the target to feel threatened, abused, humiliated or vulnerable. The person experiencing prolonged bullying can feel a range of psychological and physiological symptoms. The research supports that those who bully are very aware of their behavior and its effect on others; even though they may deny that there is intent. Fortunately, there is a very small percentage of the workforce that is capable of such sustained disregard for another individual.

Q: Since these behaviors are very different, should the management be different as well?

Quinlan: Yes, they should and I want to be clear as to why. The two keys here are insight and sustainability. The person who behaves in an uncivil manner has the ability to self-reflect on that indiscretion, feel remorse or regret and make the active choice to work on their self-management skills and achieve personal growth. A bully does not have this ability.

It is vital that we understand and accept that a nurse bully is a narcissist with a license. A narcissist lacks the capacity for empathy. The ability to reflect empathically on the consequence that one’s poor behavior has on another is vital for driving the desire to change. Bullies (narcissists) are incapable of this.

An uncivil staff member can gain insight though coaching and training. Positive, sustained changes in behavior can be noted within six to twelve weeks of working a clear emotional intelligence improvement action plan. A narcissist typically reacts in one of two ways to someone attempting to hold them accountable. They may escalate their behavior and retaliate or they will tell you what you want to hear and vow to reform. However, they cannot sustain any improvement because they lack a connection with the need to improve.

Q: Why is managing bullying behavior in nursing so challenging?

Quinlan: This is a complex issue, but one reason is that nurses are professional caregivers. Nursing leaders have a good deal of difficulty coming to terms with the fact that a bully/narcissist cannot be fixed. It is not a part of our caregiver DNA to “give-up” on someone. We talk ourselves into believing that if we just try a little harder that this individual will have an epiphany and the problem will be resolved.

The bully/narcissist is hoping that you will react exactly in this manner. They are experts at taking your wonderful qualities of empathy, patience and the need to heal and use them against you to achieve their goal of never being held accountable to sustained improvement. Essentially, we need to get out of our own way in order to take charge of this situation. Nurse leaders must try to accept that once someone shows you their true colors, you need to resist repainting them.

The only performance improvement plan for a bully/narcissist is a collaborative effort put forth by administration, human resources and the nurse leader that is time sensitive and rich with mandatory training. The documentation should discuss the need for improvement to be demonstrated within three to six months then sustained for six months as well.

Most bully/narcissists will not be able to withstand this type of scrutiny and may decide to move on. The others may stay, but will find it very challenging to sustain the improvement. Should termination be the only option left, you can have the peace of mind that a sincere effort was made on your part; and 12 months’ worth of documentation to support your action.

SAVE THE DATE for the 2017 conference to be held August 27-29 in Washington, D.C. More information can be found at ortodaylive.com along with a Call for Presenters application for those interested in presenting at next year’s conference.