Horizontal violence in the nursing profession
Workplace violence, which exists in many professions, is not excluded from the nursing profession. The term horizontal violence is commonly used to define violence amongst colleagues in the work force. Despite an increase in the literature during the last three decades, horizontal violence continues to remain a serious issue for the nursing profession. This phenomenon must be taken seriously because studies indicate that nurses encountering co-worker violence often intent to leave the profession. Clearly, this will cause a greater strain on the current nursing shortage, which is currently projected to increase. The strain of nurses encountering incivility amongst one another, will not only impact the nursing profession but also health agencies/organizations. The ongoing recruitment and termination of nurses' will adversely impact organizations. Finally, as health care is already associated with many stressors, the additional strain of horizontal violence will ultimately impact patient care. The intent of this study was to explore nurses' experience of horizontal violence; this to draw attention of the possible consequences and the seriousness of horizontal violence to the nursing profession and health care organizations. The intent was also to identify strategies to mitigate horizontal violence in the workplace. A qualitative approach was employed using phenomenology as the research methodology. Phenomenology is the study of the phenomena through the lived experience, which is exactly the essence that I intended to capture in the work place violence study. Data collection was completed via individual in-depth interviews. Themes and patterns were identified during the interview process. The results of this study revealed that nurses were enduring horizontal violence and the current methods of dealing with co-worker incivility were not effective. Although policies were in place to deter co-worker violence, these were not enforced, and the reporting methods were a deterrent to report horizontal violence.
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