A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare

Case Facts

The IV therapist at Acme medical hospital is asked to draw a blood sample from a patient in a coma, and she does that following the professional code of conduct. She informs the patient who she is, verifies if she has the right patient, and describes what she is doing. Being a senior health professional, the chief resident enters the room and, using a condensing tone, tells the IV therapist there is no need to speak to the patient since he is in a coma. The chief resident further tells the IV therapist that the patient is Russian, so there is no need to speak to him in English. The nurse acknowledges that and starts speaking to the patient in Russian. His crowd, the coterie of junior residents, medical students and nurses laughs and walks out of the room (Sharon Bell Buchbinder et al., 2014).

Identify two examples of Civility and two examples of Incivility in this case. Provide a rationale for your responses

Civility is defined as the behaviour towards another person that makes them feel valued and lead to mutual respect, team collaboration and effective communication. An example of Civility in the case study is when the IV therapist enters the room, introduces herself, informs the patient why she is there and describes what she is doing despite the patient being in a coma. This shows that the IV therapist has humanity and is caring, which are the basic virtues for Civility (Clark, & Dunham, 2020). Her communication shows respect to the patient and leverages the benefits of their differences and diversity (Pattani et al., 2018).

The other example is demonstrated when the Chief resident reminds her that the patient is Russian. Although the chief resident does it in a condescending tone and laughs her off, she thanks him and proceeds to talk to the patient in Russian. She demonstrates Civility by showing humility to the chief resident by thanking him and kindness to the patient by talking to him in Russian.

Incivility is disrespectful, discourteous, and rude actions that may have negative intentions behind them. The Chief Resident shows Incivility in this case study by mocking the IV therapist for talking to a patient in a coma. “You’d better be able to speak Russian because that’s what he is”, says the Chief Resident (Sharon Bell Buchbinder et al., 2014). This shows disrespect for the patient and bullying behaviour for the IV Therapist. The chief resident does not respect the patient’s right to get information because he is in a coma.

How Cultural Upbringing, Personal Assumptions, and Opinions Influence Etiquette, Civility, or Incivility? Should Healthcare Workers and Managers be held to a higher standard for Civility in the Workplace?

Despite enhancing positive working relations in healthcare centres, Incivility still exists directly or indirectly. Some of the factors contributing to Incivility are cultural upbringing, personal assumptions and opinions (Pattani et al., 2018). Nursing is one of the professions that present a caring and trusted professional culture. However, when new professionals enter the field, they find a less nurturing environment. Most nurses recall being abused and bullied instead of nurturing, making them adapt to Incivility (Clark, & Dunham, 2020). Bullying occurs from the senior employers and managers and ends up nurturing junior employees who are bullies and filled with Incivility.

The other factors are personal assumptions and opinions whereby healthcare professionals assume that Incivility does not affect others; therefore, they take it as part of the daily activities. Through personal experiences, some healthcare professionals disregard Civility because of factors such as having high ranks in the healthcare facility and people who have a contrary opinion (Clark, & Dunham, 2020). This provides them with an opportunity to disregard other junior employees without any fear. In this case study, the Chief Officer, due to his rank, thinks that it is not of any harm to be in civil to the nurse and patient.

Healthcare workers and managers should uphold the highest degree of Civility because treating one another well is requisite to creating high function team and communicating effectively. Effective communication is important for healthcare providers and managers to save costs, protect their patients and increases-day-to –day efficiency (Clark, & Dunham, 2020). Civility allows healthcare providers and managers to listen and understand other people’s points of view, leading to better service delivery. This shows that healthcare providers and managers should uphold high standards of Civility in the workplace.

Assessing the behaviour of the Chief Resident and the assumptions he held about the patient, IV Therapist and his Colleagues. What the IV Therapist should have done after the incident

The Chief resident did not behave in an appropriate manner. He disregarded the patient by claiming that he is in a coma and cannot hear what the IV therapist was telling him. He assumed that the patient did not understand what he said to the nurse because he was Russian. The assumptions that he had on the IV Therapist was that she did not have to explain to the patient the procedure she was carrying out because he was in a coma. He assumed that since the patient could not respond, there was no need to give him information on his treatment. The Chief Resident assumed that his colleagues were juniors and therefore did not have any power over him; therefore, he could just behave the way he wants. He influences them, and as they walk out of the room, they burst into laughter.

The IV therapist should have reported the incident to the healthcare management. This is important because it helps solve the matter and ensures mutual respect between healthcare workers. If he is not reported, he will likely nurture the junior residents to adopt Incivility too.

I have personally learned from this case study that Civility is essential in delivering healthcare services because it enhances effective communication, respect, and collaboration among healthcare workers. Incivility does affect not only the patients but also healthcare professionals, making it difficult for them to deliver quality healthcare services to their patients. In my future position, whenever offered an opportunity to train young nurses and other healthcare professionals; I will ensure I nurture them with Civility because it is key to quality health delivery. From the biblical worldview, it is not good to laugh at or mock the people who are in problem or suffering; therefore, it was wrong for the Chief Resident to enter the room and interrupt the IV Therapist.


Buchbinder, S. B. & Buchbinder, D. (2014). Cases in health care management. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Clark, C. M., & Dunham, M. (2020). Civility Mentor: A virtual learning experience. Nurse educator, 45(4), 189–192. Web.

Pattani, R., Ginsburg, S., Mascarenhas Johnson, A., Moore, J. E., Jassemi, S., & Straus, S. E. (2018). Organizational factors contributing to Incivility at an academic medical centre and systems-based solutions: A qualitative study. Academic Medicine, 93(10), 1569–1575. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2022, November 29). A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/a-case-study-on-civility-and-incivility-in-healthcare/


BusinessEssay. (2022, November 29). A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare. https://business-essay.com/a-case-study-on-civility-and-incivility-in-healthcare/

Work Cited

"A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare." BusinessEssay, 29 Nov. 2022, business-essay.com/a-case-study-on-civility-and-incivility-in-healthcare/.


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare'. 29 November.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare." November 29, 2022. https://business-essay.com/a-case-study-on-civility-and-incivility-in-healthcare/.

1. BusinessEssay. "A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare." November 29, 2022. https://business-essay.com/a-case-study-on-civility-and-incivility-in-healthcare/.


BusinessEssay. "A Case Study on Civility and Incivility in Healthcare." November 29, 2022. https://business-essay.com/a-case-study-on-civility-and-incivility-in-healthcare/.