Custom «Horizontal Violence in Nursing» Sample Essay

Custom «Horizontal Violence in Nursing» Sample Essay

Clinical Question


This paper addresses various types of violence nurses face in their profession with the most common one being bullying. Horizontal violence (HV) is a hostile or aggressive behavior expressed by individuals at the same level, in this case nurse-to-nurse violence. Thobaben (2007) also defines it as any unwanted behavior, whether physical or verbal, which may be humiliating and offensive, and viewed as unacceptable to the recipient. As one of the major manifestations of horizontal violence, bullying can be defined as “repeated offensive, intimidating, insulting or even abusive behaviors that make the recipients feel victimized, humiliated, vulnerable and even threatened, and in so doing creating stress and undermining their confidence and self-esteem” (Anderson, 2011, p. 1).

Description of the Problem

The main research question is whether there are cases of horizontal violence in the nursing field, and if so which are they, why and when they occur, and whether they are reported to the right authorities in order to understand how to deal with such problems.

Significance of the Problem

On the international level, research shows that one out of every three nurses plan to leave one’s position due to horizontal violence. It describes the extent of to which HV negatively affects nurses. Research shows that 90-97% of nurses in the USA alone reported verbal abuse from physicians. These worrying numbers grow day in day out with other cases not reported in many other parts of the world resulting in a closer look at HV phenomenon meant to help the affected and encourage those aspiring to be part of the nursing profession. Thus, HV simply demotivates, as well as demoralizes the recipient. Therefore, measures need to be put in place to help end this vice.

My PICOT Question

A specific guiding PICOT question is whether there are nurses affected daily by horizontal violence. If yes, how do they live with this to perform as effectively as they are expected? How do those affected perform in comparison to the ones not affected? As a result, it will be possible to find out how to help those affected.

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Purpose of This Paper

This paper is basically prepared to give answers to the PICOT question with an ultimate intention of increasing and ensuring a good working environment among health care workers and in this case nurses. Ethics, respect, and other moral standards are of importance for achieving this purpose and eradicating horizontal violence.

Levels of Evidence

Questions Asked

People wonder and ask themselves many times whether horizontal violence is real, whether it happens among healthcare workers and especially nurses or it is more of vertical violence, that is, a manager to a nurse or a patient to a nurse. What forms of violence are common to nurses? Are myths about HV in this field really true?

Best Evidence Found for the Questions Above

Evidently, HV is real affecting many nurses. Every day, a nurse may call a fellow nurse, find fault, blame, shout at the one, bicker, criticize, intimidate, raise eyebrows, or ignore other person’s greeting, and the list is endless. For others, it can be sarcasm to ignore one another, including eye rolling, making faces behind someone’s back, unfair assignment, isolation, and refusal to work with someone among other forms of HV (Anderson, 2011). It is important to know that HV does not relate to many myths about violence, bullying, and harassment. Workplace violence is not only physical, but also mostly psychological and is not always reported by victims (Brunt, 2015). Research shows that most of it goes unreported. For instance, in 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than 50% of violence cases at workplace remain unreported. Therefore, the best evidence can be obtained from qualitative study based on anonymous questionnaires given to certain groups of nurses. However, workplace violence is inevitable. Therefore, prevention is more expensive than repairing the damage. Victims believe in justice and its support. All these are myths that have proven to be wrong in most cases.

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As noted earlier, bullying is one of the earliest and the most common forms of horizontal violence. In the medical field, it is common among physicians, patients, and families. However, over the last decade, nurses have also engaged in this behavior; bullying of fellow colleagues has become frequent (Farrell, Bobrowski, & Bobrowski, 2006). A negative impact is quite severe in the light of the ongoing shortage of nurses around the globe. For a long time, they have been known to be the most honest and ethical professionals. However, currently most of them engage in such humiliating, demeaning, threatening, and intimidating behaviors (Jones, 2010).

Dealing with Horizontal Violence

All the issues mentioned above disrupt the normal organizational climate, decreasing the social network. Basically, low yields and bad working conditions will be evident in an institution that encourages HV. On the other hand, when early detected and dealt with, effective work will also be true. It means that cases of violence in institutions in the nursing field need to be reported immediately for an immediate action. However, violence may result into something really big that may cause the recipient to opt to resign (Thobaben, 2007). To curb this, professional ethics, moral, understanding, respect, harmonious living and brotherhood among workmates are required. It is vital for those who are in charge (nursing leaders) to conduct awareness campaigns that will engage everyone in the nursing profession with the aim of enlightening nurses on the importance of good and favorable working conditions that will be a result of denouncing HV. Through this practice, people will understand various forms of HV and know how to avoid them (Susan, 2012).

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As noted above, HV has individual, organizational, as well as financial implications. The individual impact can be stress (psychological), anger and decreased self-esteem (emotional), strained relationship (social), frequent headaches and dry throat (physical). At the organizational level, individuals may be affected in such a way that they may require sick leaves, leading to low productivity and finally low finances (Thobaben, 2007).

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