A Moment of Science

Minding Your Manners Could Save a Life

Rudeness in the work environment is shown to increase mistakes. In a medical setting this could be particularly dangerous.

operating

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Professionals in the medical field, especially those with a scalpel in hand, need all the focus they can muster.

Your parents and teachers probably taught you to mind your manners. But why are manners really so important?

Etiquette serves a very real purpose in the work environment, beyond trying to impress your superiors. When people are rude and careless of one another, it can cause chaos and distraction. When this happens, the risk of making a mistake is likely to increase.

In her editorial, Professor Rhona Flin makes the point that this type of distraction is especially risky if lives are on the line. Professionals in the medical field, especially those with a scalpel in hand, need all the focus they can muster. A tiny mistake for them can result in a major loss for a patient.

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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