Medicine is one of the most essential industries since it is responsible for the physical well-being of the world’s population. Various certified specialists care for seriously ill patients and provide constant professional help to them and their families. It is necessary to mention that doctors are not the only ones who ensure that the results of treatments are successful. Nurses play a crucial role in developing effective medical care programs and giving psychological support to individuals. Despite their importance, nursing professionals suffer from abuse in the workplace. As indicated by Hohman (2019), around 85 percent of nurses experienced bullying at least once in their career. Even though this problem seems to be unavoidable, various techniques can be undertaken to improve the situation. Therefore, the following paper will discuss the approaches in leadership and management that can help manage this challenge by describing the issue itself and explaining the differing role of leaders in this instance.
Workplace bullying is a serious issue that has a detrimental effect on the quality and success of nursing operations. As mentioned by AL-Sagarat et al. (2018), this problem is widespread in nursing and can lead to a harmful, violent, and abusive work environment. In addition, bullying is a systematic matter that appears during education and continues throughout the nursing career of specialists (AL-Sagarat et al., 2018). Due to the inappropriate behavior of coworkers, a significant number of young professionals are forced to leave their jobs and look for other places for personal development (AL-Sagarat et al., 2018). As a result, it can be stated that one of the adverse consequences that can be brought by workplace bullying is the shortage of specialists and the inability of nursing departments to provide high-quality care to the patients.
Even though nurses are the ones who suffer from violence and psychological abuse, the issue has a direct influence on the patients. The culture of bullying contributes to a poor working environment for nurses who lose their interest in the job, receive constant dissatisfaction, and fear returning to work every day. Consequently, this situation puts patients at a heightened risk of not receiving proper care from their health providers and being humiliated by the hospital staff (AL-Sagarat et al., 2018). According to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), the work environment is tightly correlated with the levels of patient satisfaction (AL-Sagarat et al., 2018). Thus, in case nursing professionals are not satisfied with the kind of treatment they receive from the managers and coworkers, they are more likely to engage in the same behavior with their patients. This phenomenon leads to sick individuals experiencing disrespect and indifference from hospital workers.
Managing the Issue with Professionals Standards and Leadership Approaches
Specific practical steps have been developed to manage the issue and prevent the emergence of violence in the nursing environment. Blackwood et al. (2017) stated that “organizational responses to experiences of workplace bullying in the public services are generally the responsibility of direct line managers and HR staff” (p. 34). These professionals have to do everything possible to raise awareness about the issue and encourage leaders and nurses to follow strict rules and professional standards during the operations (Blackwood et al., 2017). In general, managers have to show an example of how respect should be maintained while communicating and cooperating with coworkers.
It is evident that role leaders and managers play an essential role in improving the situation and ensuring a positive work environment in medical institutions; however, their responsibilities are differing. The leaders’ primary duty should be establishing anti-bullying policies, organization of informal discussions, and the arrangement of special training and mentorship programs for managers and employees (Blackwood et al., 2017). Overall, leaders should take advantage of their power and eliminate the problem at its roots. At the same time, nursing managers have to follow the directions of leaders and implement different techniques provided by them. Managers also have to observe the performance and interactions of nurses with each other, create reports, and deliver them to the leaders (Blackwood et al., 2017). Such a technique can create an organized work system and ensure that the information is delivered quickly, and the challenges are managed successfully.
Additional Aspects to Ensure Professionalism
Since lateral violence is common in nursing workplaces, professionals are continually working on developing new approaches that can help to manage the problem. While addressing this issue, leaders and managers have to pay significant attention to maintaining professionalism throughout diverse healthcare settings. For instance, since bullying is associated with various psychological problems and emotional distress, healthcare facilities can organize individual meetings with counselors (Koh, 2016). These specialists will be able to provide professional support to the workers and improve the quality of their performance (Koh, 2016). Furthermore, professionalism can also be ensured at the level of reporting disrespectful behaviors. Instead of receiving written or spoken complaints, administrators can develop specific anonymous forms that can be filled in by employees at any time (Hohman, 2019). Thus, these techniques can contribute to professionalism in different settings.
Effective use of the democratic leadership style can help address the issue and prevent its emergence in the future. This style is also referred to as participative or shared leadership in which individuals take an active role in the decision-making procedure (Cherry, 2020). This approach allows people to participate in various activities, express their ideas and concerns without fear of judgment, and engage in serious discussions (Cherry, 2020). Therefore, in case this leadership style is implemented while dealing with the problem of bullying, all the employees can have a possibility to share their opinion and raise important questions related to this issue. In addition, if the managers use the democratic style, it is more possible that the institution will take action and try to overcome the challenge.
Overall, medicine is an essential industry; therefore, its operations have to be properly organized and controlled. While doctors are responsible for the development of effective treatment plans, nurses play a crucial role in supporting patients and their relatives and assigning people with correct diagnoses. Even though nursing specialists prove to be important, they are often mistreated and suffer from bullying and violence at work. This problem causes them to develop serious psychological problems and leave jobs at a young age. Moreover, patients also feel the negative effect of bullying when nurses fail to provide them with appropriate care. Thus, the presented paper discussed the issue of bullying in nursing environments and provided information about various approaches that can be implemented to manage the issue effectively.
AL‐Sagarat, A., Qan’ir, Y., AL‐Azzam, M., Obeidat, H., & Khalifeh, A. (2018). Assessing the impact of workplace bullying on nursing competences among registered nurses in Jordanian public hospitals. Nursing forum, 53(3), 304-313. Web.
Blackwood, K., Bentley, T., Catley, B., & Edwards, M. (2017). Managing workplace bullying experiences in nursing: the impact of the work environment. Public Money & Management, 37(5), 349-356. Web.
Cherry, K. (2020). The democratic style of leadership. Verywell Mind. Web.
Hohman, M. (2019). 5 top things to know about nurse bullies – and how to stop them. Florence-Health. Web.
Koh, W. M. S. (2016). Management of work place bullying in hospital: A review of the use of cognitive rehearsal as an alternative management strategy. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 3(2), 213-222. Web.