What Does Age Mean to Diversity

It should come as no surprise by now that research has repeatedly shown that teams made up of members from diverse backgrounds outperform teams composed of homogenous backgrounds overall. And while every leader aims to hire the most capable employees to create the strongest team possible, one aspect of diversity that is often overlooked is the age of a team’s members. Ageism, or discrimination based on age, whether it be biased toward younger or older nurses, can potentially negatively impact patient engagement. To add to that, it can often be one of the more overlooked forms of discrimination and has an unjustified negative impact on the individuals it is aimed toward and their career.
While some hiring managers may voice concerns about hiring new grads due to their lack of clinical experience, or more tenured nurses for fear that they might be inclined to retire sooner, doing so can cause hiring managers to overlook talent. Additionally, it can mean isolating the patient populations these nurses reflect. Each age group brings value to the teams they work with and adds a unique advantage to their organization. Studies have also shown that nurses in every age group are critical to promote patient engagement. That is to say, patients generally communicate best with people that are around the same age as them2. A strong nursing team is able to connect and communicate effectively with patients of every age within their patient population in order to promote strong patient engagement and quality care.
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1 https://www.ausmed.com/articles/ageism-in-nursing/amp/


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