Bullying in Nursing: Causes and Ways of Dealing with It

Background: Βullying is a widespread phenomenon in nursing, with multiple harmful effects such as decreased quality in patient care, illness among the personnel, drop-out and low levels of professional satisfaction. Aim: Study of the causes of bullying and possible ways of its management at the individual and organizational levels. Method: Study of international and Greek literature in electronic data bases and scientific journals. Results: The most frequently reported explanations for bullying are: sophisticated power mechanisms in the hierarchical and bureaucratic organization of nursing training and services, the use of bullying as an established method of effective administration by managers, formation of nursing clique groups which are influenced by dominant personalities who endeavour to secure their power status through bullying, an organizational culture that tolerates violence, and various factors related to the professional socialization of nurses. Management of these problems at the individual level demands enhancement of cooperation and conflict resolution abilities among nursing personnel and development of a robust professional identity. When a conflict has already escalated, the intrapersonal approach and seeking third-party intervention are the most useful coping strategies. At the collective level, dealing with bullying includes education of the management personnel in the recognition and elimination of bullying, provision of access to clinical supervision for young professionals and education of nursing students in group processes. Conclusions: Dealing with bullying is the responsibility not of the individual nurse but of the entire nursing organization, which needs to ensure zero tolerance of power misuse and to protect assertively a culture of collaboration and open communication.

Category: Volume 50, N 2
Hits: 28 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2011
Authors: Evdokia Missouridou