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BULLYING IN NURSING: A PERSISTENT PROBLEM

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Bullying is a serious issue that can have negative effects on both the victims and the perpetrators, and it is especially concerning when it occurs in the healthcare profession. Nurses are responsible for the well-being of their patients and should be held to high standards of professionalism and respect for their colleagues. However, bullying in nursing is a persistent problem that can compromise patient care and create a toxic work environment.

Types of Bullying in Nursing

Bullying in nursing can take many forms, including physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. Physical bullying may involve hitting, pushing, or any other physical aggression. Verbal bullying may involve yelling, belittling, or threatening language. Psychological bullying may involve manipulation, isolation, or exclusion.

There are also different types of bullying that can occur in nursing. Horizontal bullying involves a nurse bullying a fellow nurse or colleague. Vertical bullying involves a nurse bullying someone who is lower in the hierarchy, such as a nursing assistant or student nurse.

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Impact of Bullying on Nursing

Bullying in nursing can have serious consequences for both the victims and the perpetrators. Victims of bullying may experience physical and emotional harm, as well as difficulty concentrating and decreased job satisfaction. They may also be more likely to suffer from burnout and leave their job.

Perpetrators of bullying may also suffer negative consequences, such as decreased job satisfaction and an increased risk of burnout. In addition, bullying can create a toxic work environment that can lead to poor patient care and an increase in medical errors.

Preventing Bullying in Nursing

There are several steps that can be taken to prevent bullying in nursing:

  1. Establish clear policies and procedures: It is important to have clear policies in place that outline appropriate behaviour and the consequences for violating them.
  2. Promote a culture of respect: Encourage nurses to treat each other with respect and kindness and hold them accountable for their behaviour.
  3. Provide training: Offer training to nurses on how to recognize and prevent bullying, as well as how to support those who have been victimized.
  4. Encourage reporting: Make it easy for nurses to report bullying and reassure them that their concerns will be taken seriously.
  5. Address incidents promptly: When bullying is reported, it is important to investigate and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
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Bullying is a serious problem in the nursing profession that can have negative consequences for both the victims and the perpetrators. It is important for healthcare organizations to take steps to prevent bullying and create a positive and supportive work environment. By promoting a culture of respect and providing training and resources, we can work to eliminate bullying in nursing and ensure that all nurses feel safe and supported in their workplace.

References:

  1. Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. L. (2011). Bullying and harassment in the workplace: Developments in theory, research, and practice. Psychology Press.
  2. Pachankis, J. E., & Goldfried, M. R. (Eds.). (2015). Clinical practice of cognitive therapy with individuals. Guilford Press.
  3. Ray-Barruel, G., & Duffield, C. (2014). Bullying in nursing: A literature review. Journal of Nursing Management, 22(3), 289-298.
  4. Ribero, M. L., & Loureiro, S. (2015). Bullying in the nursing profession: A review of the literature. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 68(suppl 2), 893-900.
  5. Salin, D. (2003). Working across boundaries: Making a difference in health care through work process improvement. Blackwell Publishing.
  6. Thomas, S. P., & Ganster, D. C. (2013). Workplace bullying and harassment: A review of the literature. In Handbook of Occupational Health Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 121-142). American Psychological Association.

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