Bullying in the Nursing World: What is It? Who is Affected? How Do We Fix It? Of all professions, nursing has been consistently ranked as the most honest and ethical of all professions polled. In fact, this year our profession was ranked the most honest and ethical for the thirteenth year in a row (Sachs & Jones, 2014). But for our consistent rankings, there is a quiet festering problem that has been growing among us; a problem that has largely been disregarded as too infrequent to worry about or just paying your dues. The problem is “not new to nursing, but has been long ignored as an issue critical to the profession. As a result, the behaviors have been allowed to contaminate the work environment” (Longo, 2013, p. 951). Only in the last decade has substantial research been conducted across many cultures that shows this problem to be a widespread and serious problem (Ekici & Beder, 2014, p. 24). This problem is workplace bullying, also referred to as lateral/horizontal violence or vertical violence. This bullying, while seemingly trivial at times, can have broad and devastating consequences. Most notable of these effects of the consequences are employee productivity, mental and physical health, retention of staff, facility costs, and most importantly, patient safety (Ekici & Beder, 2014, pp. 25,31; Gaffney, DeMarco, Hofmeyer, Vessey, & Budin, 2012, p. 2). Bullying can be experienced by anyone at any level of the work place: graduate nurses, experienced nurses, charge
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Nursing is a predominately caring and compassionate field. Nurses care for their patients and the patients family day in and day out. Yet nursing is not immune to hostile behavior towards their fellow nurses. Lateral violence is the politically correct term for addressing “bullying” in the workplace (Hippeli, 2009). In nursing, the phrase: “Nurses eat their young”, can be commonly heard to describe bully-type behavior. Beacher & Visovsly (2012) describe horizontal or lateral violence done by nurses to nurses as hostile, aggressive, and harmful behavior by a nurse or group of nurses towards a coworker or group of nurses via attitudes, actions, words, and/or behaviors
“The first step in teaching nurses how to decrease bullying by others is to help them understand what to do and what not to do when confronted by a bully” (Rocker, 2008, Education, para. 13). Nurses need to be aware of how to recognize horizontal violence, and how to be able to stop it. Furthermore, Baltimore (2006) explained that nurses need to try and resist the temptation of participating in gossip which could ultimately result in people losing respect for nurses (p. 35). Nurses also need to be respectful and value differences among other nurses. Each nurse is unique and may have different ways of implementing his/her type of care. Therefore, it is crucial that nurses respect these differences (Rocker, 2008, Policy, para. 14). If nurses are able to be consciously aware of these small things, it can make a huge difference on how they treat other coworkers, and how others view them. Not only is it important for nurses to understand what horizontal violence is, but managers of hospitals need to be well educated of this as well. Brunt (2011) stated that managers have a key role in preventing and altering horizontal violence in the workforce. It is important that managers create an environment where staff members feel comfortable coming to the managers with concerns. Managers need to be educated about how to deal with the negativity of horizontal violence (p. 7). Managers can improve relationships, trust, and productivity and reduce tension by
Nurse bullying is not limited to the new nurses being the victims. Bully behavior is a learned process and a choice. A new nurse might observe and embrace the bully behavior in hopes to fit in a little bit more (Rocker, 2008). Cliques may form on nursing floors which are the vehicles for nurse bullying. Cliques help a bully hide and gain support. It seems easier for people to join the group instead of fighting against it (Rocker, 2008). This is why workplace bullying is a growing statistic.
To the public eye, hospitals and nurses are there for them and their work environment seems like one that would promote growth in the work place, but the public doesn’t see what happens behind the curtain at these hospitals. Bullying can be in every company, but the public never really sees it happening just the employees that work there. The definition of bullying according to Terri Townsend, who wrote “Break the bullying cycle”, states that “[b]ullying is defined as repeated, offensive, abusive, intimidating, or insulting behaviors; abuse of power; or unfair sanctions that make recipients feel humiliated, vulnerable, or threatened, thus creating stress and undermining their self-confidence” (Townsend). This bullying greatly affects the employees and makes the work place environment suffer. By using Bruno Bettelheim’s essay “The Ignored Lesson of Anne Frank”, as a reference to compare why these employees put up with what happens to them at work. A very common everyday example where work place bullying/dehumanization happens would be the employees of McDonalds in Barbara Garson’s essay “McDonald’s – We Do It All for You”, which shows what these employees put up with on a daily basis. There is a huge difference in work places from that of a hospital to that of McDonald’s, but the question is why do these employees put up with the abuse? Hospital employees are also scared to stand up to their supervisors, because they don’t want to face the possible consequences that would
In 2009 unspecified electronic survey was conducted with factors such as type, frequency, perpetrators, and professional/personal concerns on bullying identified (Quine, 2001). The results revealed that out of 330 RN respondents, 72% reported positive to bullying at various occasions in line of their career. Of this segment, clear hostility seemed most frequent in surgical/medical, operational rooms, emergency, obstetrical areas of care and adolescent residential behavioral/ mental health units. The main culprits to these act are non-other than; charge nurses, senior nurses, physicians and nurse managers. This is impartial research among others that have been
There has been much research done on the prevalence of bullying in the nursing workplace. Smith, Andrusyszyn, and Laschinger (2010) report that up to 90% of nurses encounter bullying in the workplace. Because this has become so commonplace within the nursing environment, many nurses turn a blind eye, or passively participate in bullying, accepting it as a normal occurrence in the workplace
Workplace bullying is a growing problem in the American workplace and the Nursing Profession no exception. Addressing workplace bullying and its impact on the nursing profession is paramount to upholding patient safety and decreasing nursing attrition rates. Defining the problem is the first step in addressing it. In the past, workplace bullying was referred to as “Nurses eating their young.” There are many names for the various levels of workplace bullying like horizontal and lateral violence, hostility, mobbing, and verbal abuse. Bullying actions can take place overtly or covertly. Nurse-to-Nurse bullying is known to occur during interaction communications and manifests by withholding information, intimidation, threats, verbalizing harsh innuendo and criticism, and undermining personal values and beliefs (Rocker, 2008). Power disparities are also a source of bullying. For example, using charge position for controlling staff assignments, reporting coworkers for perceived lack of productivity, placing others under pressure to achieve impossible deadlines, and withholding knowledge for policies and procedures (Rocker, 2008). Outright actions of yelling at coworkers and refusing to mentor new staff with their practice are also considered bullying behavior.
Even though workplace politics exists in every profession, the effects of horizontal violence, or bullying, in nursing is a costly behavior. Nurses feel devalued in the workplace and experience psychological effects. Patients are likely to experience less favorable outcomes, and
Acts of incivility such as bullying, lateral violence, or harassment in the work place negatively affects nursing performance, mental health, and retention within an organization or even the profession of nursing (Warrner, 2016). A policy in the American Nurses Association (ANA) proclaims that the nursing profession will not tolerate violence of any kind from any source (ANA, 2015b). The Code of Ethics for Nurses by ANA requires nurses to promote an ethical environment and culture of civility with an emphasis on treating all parties with dignity and respect (ANA, 2015a). A study conducted in a rural Kentucky hospital’s medical- surgical units concluded that educational trainings in itself did not reduce the frequency of experiencing incivility in their unit (Armstrong, 2017). Nevertheless, nurses in the study reported that educational trainings increased their ability to recognize and appropriately respond to workplace incivility (Armstrong, 2017).
In a health and social care setting bullying can be lead to a nurse or socialwoker e.g. who is verbal bullying an elderly patient with sexual orientation. calling them names because of their orientation sex such as stupid, smelly, you look like a girl . Or boy. This will effect the patient physical, emotionally and
Lateral violence also known as horizontal violence, incivility, or bullying has been a phenomenon researched for over three decades according to nursing researchers. This paper aims to discuss the impact that lateral violence has on the work environment, teamwork, self esteem, and patient care. Lateral violence is a phenomenon that has negative implications on the nursing profession due to the fact it can be avoided but still occurs. Lateral violence has been defined as any unwanted abuse or hostility within the workplace and “nurses covertly or overtly directing their dissatisfaction inward towards each other, towards themselves, and toward those less powerful than themselves (Griffin, 2004, p. 257), as quoted by (Roberts, 2014, p.36). According to Sanner-Steieh and Ward-Smith (2014) “lateral violence may be verbal consisting of persistent criticism, gossiping, yelling or berating; or nonverbal consisting of behaviors of undermining, sabotaging, clique formation, failure to respect privacy or confidences, and assigning unmanageable workloads”. Lateral violence has negative implications that directly affect patient care because it creates high incidents of nurse turn-over which results in hospitals often being short staffed, the nurses on shift work longer hours with bigger caseloads, and the patient’s are the ones who experience an unsatisfactory quality of care. Studies estimate that 44% to 85% of nurses are victims of lateral violence and up to 93% of nurses report
Typically, when someone thinks of a bully, childhood memories of scuffles on the playground come to mind. Bullies are not usually people that are associated with adult life. However, nursing has changed this stereotypical view. For many nurses, bullying may be as great a threat every day at work as it was when they were in grade school. This threat is because of what is termed as horizontal or lateral violence in the workplace, and it is a surprisingly, prominent issue in the field of nursing. Furthermore, horizontal violence is a detrimental problem in nursing due to its damaging and negative effects on nurses and the nursing profession as a whole.
Most nurses don’t wake up in the morning with the intention of bullying their coworkers and likely don’t even realize when they are participating in destructive behaviors. The article “Sadly Caught up in the Moment: An Exploration of Horizontal Violence” (2012) provides a list of behaviors that constitute horizontal violence. The article discusses findings of how prevalent these behaviors are and how surprised the nurses surveyed were to discover that they themselves had either participated in or been victim of almost all
A recent study found that new graduate nurses experience bullying only every now and then. However, a study on workplace incivility found that nurses reported very little workplace incivility from their supervisors or their colleagues. Which can mean it is possible that most nurses do not experience workplace mistreatment, but that it is a frequent experience for a small minority. Another possibility is that most nurses do experience workplace mistreatment, but only infrequently. Findings from Lewis and Malecha (2011) support this second perspective: their study showed that 85% of nurses reported experiencing workplace incivility in the last 12
Reporting a witness bullying is the right thing to do; reporting of workplace bullying is very vital. It does not only affect the nurse being bully and also affects the witness, decrease in work productivity which in turn leads to decline in patient care. Nurse to Nurse bullying has many detrimental consequences, not only in terms of the health and well-being of the nurses involves, but also in terms of the safety of patients. The bully victim has the fear of going to work, bringing about high nurse turnover and cost for the organization. (Castronovo, Pullizzi, & Evans, 2016)According to a financial report, the financial costs associated with increased staff turnover can be significant. Based on national average salaries provided,