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Over Half of US Nurses Report Abusive Treatment at Work

In a recent survey, over 90% of nurses questioned reported witnessing abusive behavior against other nurses, and over half reported experiencing abuse themselves. The study, conducted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations found that the majority of abusive behavior comes from physicians, followed by fellow nurses, according to Physorg.com.

Dianne Felblinger, an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati in Columbus and the study’s author, stated that abusive behavior and bullying in the workplace hinders nurses’ ability to perform their jobs, causing emotional distress and even leading some nurses to leave the profession, reports United Press International. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.

The Center for American Nurses released a position statement (PDF), stating that: “Bullying, lateral violence and all forms of disruptive behaviors have a negative impact on the retention of nursing staff and the quality and safety of patient care. Nurses, individually and collectively, must enhance their knowledge and skills in managing conflict and promote work place policies to eliminate bullying and lateral violence.” The Center also called for zero-tolerance policies to deal with workplace abuse against nurses.

The study is published in the March/April 2008 issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing.

Sources:

Physorg.com 3/20/08; Nurse.com 3/30/08; United Press International 3/24/08; Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing; Center for American Nurses