What Educators Can Do to Promote Civility

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Dealing with student incivility in the academic environment is challenging and a bit like parenting. When children act out, especially teenagers, our initial response may be to withdraw rather than engage. Parents may avoid dealing with unacceptable behavior for a variety of reasons: They want to be liked, fear retaliation or are uninformed about ways to address the problem.

The same can be said for unruly and disruptive students. It may seem easier, at first, to avoid the problem, since addressing it takes a certain amount of courage and know-how, as well as a considerable amount of tact and finesse. My fundamental belief—and that of most nurses—is that investing time in preventing an undesirable event is much more effective than reacting to it. Here are several strategies to create a culture of civility in nursing education.

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