Search for school

How Nurses Can Help Prevent Horizontal Violence

While there are many advantages associated with entering the nursing profession, one of the biggest drawbacks is the prevalence of horizontal violence. Horizontal violence is the practice of bullying and belittling colleagues, resulting in emotional distress for the victims. With an estimated 46% to 100% of nursing workplaces being subject to horizontal violence according to Nurse Together, it’s important that nurses take steps to reduce and eliminate this harmful practice.

A Cycle of Horizontal Violence

In order to understand how to fight against this trend, it’s important for nurses to be informed about how horizontal violence is perpetuated. New nurses who are just starting out in a particular workplace are especially vulnerable to being bullied. However, since they are new to the work environment, they assume these are unchangeable practices and are less likely to speak out against them. When that new group of nurses becomes more experienced, they will sometimes become the perpetrators of the very same bullying techniques that they were victims of.

Remain Informed

Nursing publications have created many reports, resources and studies that can give nurses the opportunity to educate themselves about the dangers and signs of horizontal violence. In addition to seeking out their own information, nurses should talk with hospital managers and administrators about providing learning opportunities for their colleagues.

Along with implementing training and information sessions, a great way to educate hospital employees is by sharing personal stories of experiences with horizontal violence. Nurses who are already informed about this dangerous practice can volunteer to help train new nurses or the entire staff by offering insights into being a victim, a bystander or even a perpetrator of horizontal violence.

Break the Cycle

One of the most effective ways nurses can fight against this practice is by putting an end to the cycle of hostility. Seasoned nurses who experienced ridicule, sabotage, shaming or undermining at the start of their careers should make a point to take a different approach with the new nurses they interact with.

Nursing Management recommends changing the value system within the staff, so that experienced employees are encouraged to share their knowledge and advice with new nurses. Seasoned nurses should also make an effort to be supportive, maintain open communication, celebrate achievements and collaborate to help foster and create a more pleasant environment.

Speak Up

It can be especially difficult for bystanders to talk about harmful or abusive treatment that may be the precursor to horizontal violence. Ideally, a hospital will have a system that allows employees to report troubling incidents or behavior without feeling intimidated or frightened.

If those systems aren’t already in place, nurses should reach out to administrators and managers about creating a safe way to report horizontal violence. In the meantime, nurses who are bystanders to abusive treatment should speak out at the time and try to diffuse the situation. For example, if one nurse is purposely excluding another nurse from an important conversation, bystanders should step in and try to bring the excluded nurse into the group.

Victims should take a similar approach of choosing to be vocal instead of silent. If at all possible, they should stand up to perpetrators and assert that they aren’t willing to accept abusive treatment. If a victim is uncomfortable with this tactic, he or she should confide in a trusted staff member or manager and ask for guidance on how to best handle the issue. When perpetrators know they can get away with the abuse, they will continue to do it. Addressing the issue head on and discussing the problem openly will make it harder for horizontal violence to continue.

Remain Proactive

Horizontal violence has many harmful financial and operational consequences for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. However, the personal damage it can inflict on nurses may be even more troubling. Not only does it make the workplace a more stressful environment for everyone, but it can cause depression, panic attacks, GI issues, hypertension and other serious problems for victims.

While hospital administrators must certainly take responsibility for ensuring the well being of staff members, nurses can also take a stand and make significant strides toward ending horizontal violence for good.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

University of Southern California - DSW

The University of Southern California Doctor of Social Work (DSW) online program is designed for experienced practitioners to harness innovative solutions to solve real-world problems.

Unlike a PhD in social work, which prepares scholars for careers in research and the professoriate, the DSW@USC is an online advanced practice degree program for working professionals who want to have a greater impact in their practice.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Argosy University, Online Programs

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs:

  • Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
  • Sport-Exercise Psychology (MA)
  • Business Administration (AS)
  • And more...

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance schools are distinguished institutes committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student interested in the Aviation Industry.

Programs:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer

CDS Tractor Trailer Training

Start your rewarding career in trucking at CDS Tractor Training School.

Programs:

  • Class "B" Training and Bus Training
  • Class "A" Training

Platt College

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

Programs:

  • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Veterinary Technology - Associates

The School of Architecture at Taliesin

The School of Architecture at Taliesin builds architects of the future by offering comprehensive study towards a professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree. 

Programs:

  • Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Program

All-State Career

Prepare for an exciting career in the trucking industry at All-State Career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Programs:

  • Class A CDL Driving Programs

Virginia College

The goal of Virginia College lies in its responsibility to its students, the technical and business communities, and the general citizenry. We have a long history of offering new direction to students.

Programs:

  • Pharmacy Technician Diploma
  • Medical Assistant Diploma
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Diploma
  • And more...

Culinary Institute of Virginia

Turn your passion for food into a career at the Culinary Institute of Virginia.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Culinary Arts

Northcentral University

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

Programs:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

Related Post

How to Obtain a Career in Correctional Nursing

Choosing to become a corrections nurse is a decision that should not be taken lightly. A corrections nurse is responsible for attending to inmates at correctional facilities across the country.

Why Taking a NCLEX Refresher Course is Important

Every licensed nurse in the United States has gone through the grueling experience of taking the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and most likely every nurse can verify that an NCLEX