Horizontal Violence In Nursing

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When asked to describe nurses, the public may use words such as “kind”, “caring” and “healing”; however a peek behind the curtain of a career that requires so many positive attributes, may lead to the discovery of behaviors that go against the ethical duties of nursing. This troublesome issue is commonly known as horizontal violence. Horizontal Violence may be defined 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” (Becher, & Visovsky, 2012). Other words used to refer to this issue include “lateral violence”, “bullying” or “nurses eating their young”. This behavior is of increasing interest because all nurses are susceptible to …show more content…
Studies have been conducted in specific areas to try and understand the extent of the bullying that occurs among nurses. These Studies estimate that 44% to 85% of nurses are victims of lateral Violence. Up to 93% of nurses report witnessing lateral violence in the workplace (Jones, 2013). One particular study conducted by the New York organization of nurse executives was established in upstate New York and consisted of 19 facilities and a sample of 2,659 nurses. These participants were asked to answer a 40 question survey which assessed the nurse’s current knowledge on horizontal violence. Surveys were also put into place to determine the occurrences of horizontal violence. The study concluded that the majority of respondents reported their organizations did not have a formal Horizontal Violence policy (61%). Almost one-third of RNs (29%) perceived that in those organizations with Horizontal Violence policies, the policy was not enforced. Another significant finding was that nurses with more years of experience had a wider knowledge about horizontal violence than younger/newer nurses (Sellers, Millenbach, Ward, & Scribani, …show more content…
The preferred nursing practice for this concern is to first identify an instance in which bullying may be occurring. Whether the nurse is the victim or a bystander, she or he must address this situation. Staff nurses need to develop the skills required to confront disruptive behaviors and to report any breaches in the code of conduct. Staff nurses can also support fellow workers who are victims. Listening to the stories of fellow workers will allow the victims to express their emotions and rethink the situation so that they are prepared to confront it through conversation. Nurses who have experienced these situations can provide insight, advice and also guide victims through the process of escalating the situation if needed. Furthermore staff nurses need to be aware of their own behaviors. Knowledge of the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors outlined by the code of conduct can prompt nurses to reflect and raise one’s consciousness about one’s own performance.
There are many improvements that can be made to nursing in order to reduce the occurrences of horizontal violence. Victims of horizontal violence often feel helpless with no one to turn to. To prevent this from happening administration should consider assessing the hierarchy of nursing on every unit for competence in mediating such situations. This will confirm that the authoritative figures on each unit are of an unbiased, culturally

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