UMMC Policy and Procedure Manual A-IP-GEN-GEN-PO-00127
Subject: Disruptive Behavior Policy
Revised Date: 10/22/2020 Effective Date: 10/14/2020
Prepared By:
April Nutt
Approved By:
Brian Rutledge

Reviewed By:
Ralph H. Didlake
Richard L. Summers
Alan E. Jones

I. Purpose

The objective of this policy is to assure to all individuals who are a part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center an environment that is safe, cooperative, and professional by demonstrating behaviors that reflect our values of teamwork, diversity, innovation, integrity, and quality. Everyone within our institution will be afforded courtesy, respect, cultural sensitivity and dignity.

II. Scope

All employees, students, independent contractors and all other individuals on UMMC property.

III. Policy

All employees, students, independent contractors and others on UMMC property are expected

  • to demonstrate our values through our standards of performance
  • to conduct themselves in a professional manner when in the workplace
  • to treat all people in an open, fair, honest, and ethical manner
  • to serve others with dignity and respect
  • to support each other and promote collaboration to achieve results

Any employee, student or independent contractor who engages in disruptive behavior will be subject to administrative intervention, including but not limited to suspension pending the outcome of an investigation of the situation. It is especially important that each and every incident be reported so that repeated incidents of disruptive behavior on the part of an individual is recognized and the supervisor is aware of repeated incidents, appreciates the significance/frequency and can take appropriate action to eliminate the disruptive behaviors.

Investigations will be conducted in a fair, equitable manner. Findings of disruptive behavior will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

If a visitor becomes potentially dangerous to self and/or others campus police will be notified immediately.

  • Zero Tolerance
    Disruptive behavior must be reported immediately through the applicable supervisor, advisor, or sponsor. If for any reason one has reservation to report suspected disruptive behavior through this chain of command, the report can be filed with Human Resources or the Office of Integrity and Compliance.

  • Inappropriate Behaviors - Behaviors that disturb the professional working and learning environment and/or interpersonal exchanges and surroundings. These behaviors may be active (direct) or passive (indirect). Examples of inappropriate behaviors include but are not limited to the following

    • Active – angry and loud arguing; verbal/written threats or actions; cursing or derogatory comments; displaying disrespect to others; intimidating words or actions; bullying; making direct commands that are inappropriate; speaking to others in a condescending manner; throwing things; pounding on a desk, door or wall; destroying property; any physical violence such as grabbing, striking others, etc.

    • Passive – refusing to complete assigned tasks; uncooperative attitude towards others; reluctance or refusal to answer questions; failure to return phone calls, pages or messages; impatience in relating with others; avoidance; gossiping about another employee; impertinent and inappropriate comments written in patient records, any official document and/or shared via social media

  • Personal Responsibility
    All UMMC employees, students, independent contractors and any other individual on UMMC property are accountable for their own behavior. This responsibility dictates that behavior is consistent with the institution’s values and creates an environment for others such that courtesy, respect and dignity are reflected.

  • No Retaliation
    Individuals reporting in good faith, suspected disruptive behavior, are protected from retribution or retaliation. Every effort will be taken to ensure that persons involved in reporting an incident or subsequent investigation or in providing information during an investigation do not suffer any form of retaliation because of their good faith participation. If it appears that reaction/action has occurred, the subject of this behavior must report it immediately through the applicable supervisor, advisor, or sponsor. If for any reason one has reservation to report it through this chain of command, the report can be filed with Human Resources or the Office of Integrity and Compliance. Retaliation from an employee, student, or independent contractor, regardless of form, will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

  • Training and Education
    To establish and maintain a culture that reflects our values, the organization will provide training and education opportunities so individuals can further develop as effective communicators. Sessions will be offered through the organization’s learning management systems and through facilitated sessions. Programs are available in effective interpersonal communication, horizontal hostility, the art of negotiation, and conflict resolution.

IV. Procedure

When confronted with disruptive behavior, you will:

  • If the person is very angry/out of control and physical action/harm seems to be a possibility, DO NOT TRY TO INTERVENE.  Call quickly on other people close at hand to create a group around you/those involved, contact a supervisor, and/or call Security at 5-7777.
  • Respond with courteous language and a calm, quiet demeanor.
  • If necessary/possible, ask that the interchange be moved to a quiet place in order to continue problem-solving, out of public view/hearing.
  • Acknowledge that the other person seems upset or frustrated.
  • State your desire to work with the other person in resolving concerns/frustration.
  • Courteously remind the other person that it is important to speak quietly and respectfully to one another in the hospital/work environment. This will often help calm the situation/person enough to have a more quiet conversation.
  • Listen respectfully to the other person’s concerns.
  • Attempt one-to-one resolution, without further escalating the emotion.

If the approaches listed above are not effective, you should:

  • Request the assistance of another person and/or supervisor in dealing with the individual’s concerns and disruptive behavior.
  • Tell the person you are sorry you are not able to assist them to their satisfaction at this time and refer the issue to your supervisor.
  • You or your supervisor will report the incident of disruptive behavior to the individual’s supervisor (department head, nurse manager, director, etc.). The chain of command is followed if the supervisor is not available.
  • If a patient or their family report that they have been the recipient of disruptive behaviors - follow the Patient Complaint and Grievances Policy.