Professor Publishes Research on Positive Working Relationships in Hospitals

Assistant Professor Deb Orr, pictured here with her niece, Ava

Just like mom always said, be nice to others.

Assistant Professor Deb Orr recently published her research on the working relationships between nurses and their support service employees, such as those employed in hospital housekeeping, food services, patient transportation, security, and linen services, among others. Using information gathered from 298 support service employees within ten hospitals around the United States, Orr found that various issues related to power structures, education, culture, and language could affect their ability to work together well. Additionally, Orr suggests that the nurses’ mindsets and communication styles affected the relationships between them and the other employee groups. Collaboration between these groups worked best when internalized attitudes and communication were positive. Orr found that “Repeatedly, support service workers expressed that they were willing to go the extra mile, work above and beyond their required scope for those nurses who treated them respectfully.” Orr’s article, entitled “Characteristics of Positive Working Relationships Between Nursing and Support Service Employees”  appeared in the March 2010 issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration.

So be nice–and those who work with you will hopefully do the same.


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