Prevention of Workplace Violence

Prevention of Workplace Violence

Brunt B. (2011). “Breaking the cycle of horizontal violence”. ISNA Bulletin. 37(2): 6-11.

Brunt (2011) is one of the articles that have addressed the problem of workplace violence. Brunt (2011) noted that cases of horizontal violence have become prevalent within the healthcare setting. Approximately 97% of nurses experience some form of horizontal violence. The most prevalent form of horizontal violence is verbal abuse. This trend has resulted in adverse impacts for patients, nurses and employers. This paper has explored into the issue of horizontal violence. Brunt (2011) main purpose is to define horizontal violence and identify some of theories that explain the occurrence of this phenomenon.

This article defines horizontal violence as “an offensive, intimidating, abusive or malicious behavior or abuse of power directed to others by a colleague of group of workers. This behavior often leaves the recipient feeling upset, humiliated and threatened. Thus, horizontal violence not only encompasses physical violence but also encompasses emotional and psychological violence. Sabotage, bickering, scapegoating, criticism and infighting, are some of the acts that the article has classified under emotional abuse.

Brunt (2011) identified three elements that are important in defining violent behavior. The first element suggests that violent behavior is defined based on its impact on the recipient rather that the intention of the perpetrator. Thus, an action is considered as bullying if it results in intimidation, humiliation and loss of self confidence by the recipient. The second element suggests that negative effects on the victims must be visible for one to consider an action as bullying. The third elements suggest that the intimidating action must be persistent for one to consider it as bullying.

Brunt (2011) has also identified some of the impacts of horizontal violence. One of the impacts of horizontal violence is high attrition rates of nurses from the nursing profession. Horizontal violence also results in diminished organizational performance. This is because victims of bullying always experience stress, low satisfaction, emotional disturbance and other psychological effects. Brunt has also discussed some of the strategies that an organization may use to curb this problem.

Miller M. & Hartung Q. (2011). “Covert Crime at Work”. Pennsylvania Nurse. 66(4): 11-16.

The article by Miller and Hartung (2011) also explores the issue of workplace violence. Specifically, this article looks into terms and trends associated with workplace violence, as well as, strategies for overcoming this vise. Miller and Hartung (2011) define workplace violence as all forms of antisocial conduct that is directed by a colleague towards other workmates. Vertical violence refers to antisocial behavior involving employees of different job level. Vertical violence is often perpetrated by a senior level employee towards a subordinate employee. However, a reverse situation can also take place. Horizontal violence is whereby antisocial behaviors are performed by and directed to employee of similar job level.

Miller and Hurtung (2011) also noted that behaviors that do not involve physical contact but have an unpleasant effect on the recipient qualify as workplace violence. Miller and Hurtung (2011) article reveals that nurse are vulnerable to abuse within the workplace. According to this article, 80% of nurses have undergone some form of workplace violence within the last 5 shifts at the time the study was conducted. Violence results in dire outcome for any organization. Victims often experience trauma, loss of confidence and emotional trauma. Patients also suffer as employee dissatisfaction is always reflected in their work leading to poor quality of services.

The organization also suffers from increased rates of nurse attrition, low productivity, high absenteeism rates and high levels of conflicts within the organization. Establishing work protocols, promoting adaptive behaviors, encouraging dialogue and enhancing coping behaviors are some of the strategies that the authors have suggested for dealing with workplace violence.

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