Nursing

Ask the expert: The effects of horizontal hostility

Nurse Leader Insider, February 22, 2010

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This week, Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, RC, MN, discusses the effects of horizontal hostility.

Q: On my unit, I am beginning to notice some hostility between nurses, and was wondering what effect this behavior will have on the rest of the staff if the issue is not addressed immediately?

A: The terms lateral violence and horizontal hostility are used to portray aggressive behavior between individuals on the same power level, such as nurse-to-nurse and manager-to-manager. Research on anger, aggression, bullying, and verbal abuse is relevant because these behaviors are all ways in which hostility expresses itself.

The effects of a hostile work environment cannot be minimized. Research shows that verbal abuse significantly affects the work environment by decreasing morale, increasing job dissatisfaction, and creating hostility. Bullied staff report a decreased sense of relaxation and well-being at work, increased mistrust, low self-esteem, and lack of support from both staff and superiors ).

To read more about the effects horizontal hostility can have on your facility, click here.

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