Workplace Issues/Disaster Management — Journal Review
Nursing profession faces pervasive horizontal violence and there is even a saying “nurses eat their young.” Nurses should take efforts to bring a change in their existing professional culture. They can begin by sharing tips to overcome bullying and model positive behaviors. Nurses can exchange their experiences in horizontal violence through multiple workshops across the country. They have also examined different roles such as discussing contemporary perspectives, employing methods of engagement, promoting debate, and using practical resources to prevent horizontal violence. Those workshops indeed revealed increased knowledge regarding horizontal violence and its application to the workplace, among the nurses. Those evaluations are made through pre-tests/post-tests or written evaluations. Nurses need an exposure to practical approaches to deal with horizontal violence (Egues & Leinung, 2013).
Implications for Personnel
Bullying, horizontal violence or workplace incivility should not be tolerated or accepted by nurses. To stop those issues, nurses should take part in the education on bullying. They need to self-reflect these practices by communicating about bullying among their peers in a respectful manner. They should also discuss on dealing with the associated conflicts and its management. For example, those nurses who have bullying behavior should be treated as perpetrators and should make them aware that their act is harmful.
The three roles in bullying are bully (or perpetrator), the victim and bystander. The bully is a person who consistently shows aggressive behavior and speaks words like spewing venom.
The victim is the target of the bullying person who generally picks someone and compromises their confidence or self-esteem. These victims never do something to incur the wrath of the bully. Rather than manifesting the bully’s insecurities, the victims try to personalize the bully’s aggressions. Most of the times, these nurses have been a bystander and they do not know how to react to the aggressive behavior. The nurse has been experiencing the horizontal violence in one of the roles of bullying. This experience actually paints the nurse as a role model.
Every nurse should conscientiously and consistently model exemplary behavior. It is a general recognition that only teamwork can bring job satisfaction by motivating the helping tendency among the co-workers. The sense of unity while working curtails nurse burnout and turnover. Ideal teams should sacrifice individual autonomy in their roles and responsibilities to excel in their profession.
Nurses should give them care for themselves apart from giving care to others. Also, nurses should get adequate exercise, good nutrition, and sleep. They also need a wonderful massage or other forms of relaxation therapies. Even some provide therapeutic treatments for a lesser cost. Every nurse needs support for their peers in changing the bullying nursing culture. Nurses who are being bullied even leave their jobs as they feel isolated or depressed. But termination and turnover of nurses from their jobs devastates the healthcare facilities by losing nurses.
Patient Care Implications
The complex needs of an evolving healthcare system need more nurses and a shortage in their count is worth a significant mention. But this shortage is really a more complex one than the other ones as we can even see four generations of nurses in the same workforce when we see the history. The existence of unhealthy work environment is a mix up of generational expectations and values. The power imbalance in the field of nursing leaves them with a feel of lack of control, as it associates with restricted autonomy and domination through an authoritative leadership. This lack of control, in turn, affects the personal and professional advancements of a nurse.
The security of the employees in the work environment actually maintains a vital success in the health care industry. But because of bullying practices in the form of daily hostility and violence creates an unhealthy work environment for the nurses. The recruitment and retention of nurses face a major obstacle which is the workplace violence. Absenteeism, anxiety, emotional distress, job termination, low morale, posttraumatic stress disorder, and psychosomatic illness are all caused among the nurses due to horizontal violence in the workplace.
Nurses in the United States should put a stop to those abusive behaviors by participating to adopt and implement clear, zero-tolerance policies and procedures. They should oppose the act of bullying by drafting multidisciplinary guidelines for reporting in collaboration with their peers. They should also enforce and measure the progress and should present the same to the administration and staff. Also, every staff should be encouraged to report the incidents of workplace incivility. They should also keep the records of such incidents and should communicate those to the administrative supervisors. Also, they should be given the assurance that the one who experiences and reports workplace abuse should not be given a reprisal. Those who report abuses should be given protection and appropriate investigation should be carried out. To follow-up the process, there should be a system and an open communication forum between the employers and the staff.
There should be a support system for the changes that addresses and creates strategies against horizontal violence. These changes can actually improve workplace environments, patient outcomes, and nurse retention. Therefore, these nurses should step up to truly embody care of the body, mind, and spirit of all in the quest for a humble and more peaceful world. Nurses instead of being part of the problems of horizontal and lateral violence, they should be a part of the solution for it. The authors have emphasized that self-reflection and education is part of a call to action and it empowers nurses to stop doing harm to themselves in the name of helping others.
Egues, A., & Leinung, E. (2013). The Bully Within and Without: Strategies to Address Horizontal Violence in Nursing. Nursing Forum, 185-190.
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