Bullying threatens nurses' health and careers

Mar 20, 2008

In workplaces where nurses are bullied, the quality of patient care declines, the health of nurses suffers, and the retention of quality nurses becomes difficult. A new article published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing reviews the psychological and social issues related to bullying in the workplace and strategies for creating a respectful work environment.

More than half of nurses surveyed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations reported that they had been abused at work, and over 90 percent said they had witnessed abusive behavior. Most verbal abuse to nurses is instigated by physicians, yet abuse from fellow nurses is the second most common type.

Many nurses develop serious health problems and may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Other abusers may direct their anger toward co-workers or patients. Up to 75 percent of healthcare workers believe disruptive behavior reduces patient satisfaction and care.

Author Dianne Felblinger, nursing Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, explains how bullying causes severe emotional distress that hinders nurses’ ability to do their job. Some are so traumatized they abandon their careers. “We’ve lost bright, dedicated neonatal and women’s health nurses,” Felblinger says.

To ensure a positive work environment, Felblinger encourages employees to report bullying to senior leaders and take immediate action against perpetrators. She recommends the zero-tolerance standards of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Felblinger says, “Administrators who want to promote a healthy, respectful place to work must establish boundaries.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...