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The Bullying Aspect of Workplace Violence in Nursing

Johnston, Michelle BSN, RN; Phanhtharath, Phylavanh BSN, RN; Jackson, Brenda S. PhD, RN

JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation: April-June 2010 - Volume 12 - Issue 2 - p 36-42
doi: 10.1097/NHL.0b013e3181e6bd19
ARTICLES

Workplace violence is becoming an issue that all organizations must be aware of. In healthcare organizations, these behaviors, especially that of bullying, are detrimental and affect staff, patients, and outcomes. Healthcare organizations that do not address this issue and instill measures to prevent it will soon see the effects that bullying and other forms of workplace violence can create: those of toxic work environments. Because bullying and other forms of workplace violence have become so prevalent, organizations such as The Joint Commission have addressed the need for healthcare organizations to address the issue. This article examines bullying, the most common type of workplace violence, and nursing, the profession where bullying most often occurs. Theories about why it exists and suggestions on how to prevent it and maintain a healthy workplace will be discussed.

Author Affiliations: Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center, School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas (Ms Johnston) and School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio (Ms Phanhtharath and Dr Jackson).

The authors thank Dr Mickey Parsons and Dr Brenda Jackson for their encouragement, support, and input for this publication and for their efforts as mentors and instructors in the graduate program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Corresponding author: Michelle Johnston, BSN, RN, Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center, 2829 Babcock Rd, Ste 300, San Antonio, TX 78229 (chelajoy@hotmail.com).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.