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Do I have to answer employee survey questions and include my name?

Dear Nancy,

Our hospital did an employee satisfaction survey. It could be filled out anonymously. The results of the survey showed nurses are not happy. My manager gave us the same questionnaire and asked us to write our names and answers on the new surveys. Is it legal? Do I have an obligation to answer these questions and include my name? i am affraid she will use this as a tool to dismiss unhappy workers.

Sam

Dear Sam,

The description of the way the second satisfaction survey was handled sounds like the nurse manager is quite insecure and believes if the second survey turns out to be as bad as the first, he will loose his job. More likely than not, most of the employees will sign their names to the surveys and those that do not will be clearly identified. It is assumed that staff responded truthfully and carefully suggested better approaches to increase employee satisfaction. If you and your colleagues did so, this response is a poor management approach that simply won’t work.

It might be worth your while to confidentially speak to your CNO about the requirement of everyone signing their name to their evaluation. The CNO might not know this requirement has been demanded by your nurse manager. If the CNO discusses this issue with the nurse manager, she can persuade him to remove the requirement of the nurse having to identify himself on the survey. This result will not only protect the nursing staff and allow them to provide honest evaluations, it will also allow the evaluations to be more meaningful to both the nurse manager and the CNO in making needed changes to your unit’s overall management.

If your CNO does not respond in a manner that makes positive changes for you and your nursing colleagues on the unit, you may have to consider leaving your position there. Perhaps there are openings on other units in the facility. If not, exploring other work options where a nurse manager is more responsive to his staff’s constructive and well-meaning suggestions is your next step.

By | 2015-08-07T16:29:23-04:00 August 7th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

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