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Survey Says: Your most-violated policies

by Dennis Ernst • March 09, 2017

Lady listening

 Thirty six percent included taking/making personal phone calls as common policy violations, while exceeding allowable sick days and gossiping were violations for 32 percent of those responding. 

Last month we asked our readers and visitors to our web site what policies where they work are commonly violated. The clear winner: personal texting. 

A full 75 percent of those responding said texting personal messages was by far the most common policy infraction in their places of employment. The next four frequent violations included tardiness (50%), duration and frequency of breaks (43%), handwashing (43%) and surfing the Internet for personal reasons (43%). (Multiple selections were permitted.) Violations of dress codes were reported as problematic for 29 percent of those responding. 

Limits to piercing, policies against vulgarity and offensive speech, policies assuring a safe work environment, and HIPAA policy violations were each reported to be common with 14 percent of respondents. Failure to wear gloves was cited by 4 percent.

While texting, tardiness, excessive breaks, and web surfing are certainly problems managers must address to improve morale and productivity, each could be considered victim-less crimes. However, failure to follow policies on handwashing is far more consequential to the very people healthcare professionals are employed to serve. 

When asked what the single most commonly violated policy was where they worked, exceeding allowable sick days was cited by 21 percent of those responding. Coming in second at eighteen percent was personal texting.

We also wanted to know how consistently policies are enforced where survey respondents worked. Forty-three percent said "my manager is inconsistent with what policies he/she enforces and with whom" (inconsistently inconsistent). Twenty-five percent said "my manager enforces some policies with all employees" (consistently inconsistent).

Comments include: 

  • Not sterilizing hands between changes of gloves when taking blood from a single patient. Our policy is to change the gloves 3 times per patient for each draw.
  • Most women don't respect the Appearance policy. They want to work with their hair down, large earrings, and long fingernails. I can't understand why it is so hard to follow the protocols that are there for their own safety and the patients.
  • Allowing cliques and not recognizing problem areas when brought to the attention to supervisor

This month we're asking our readers which of the 28 steps of a basic venipuncture listed are most commonly omitted, or performed incorrectly, where you work?

Take the survey.

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