Nursing

Ask the expert: Uncovering nurse-to-nurse hostility

Nurse Leader Insider, October 3, 2011

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This week, Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, discusses how to uncover if nurses on your unit feel they have been the victim of bullying or if any horizontal violence is occurring in the department.

Q: I am concerned there may be cases of nurse-to-nurse hostility occurring at my facility. How do I evaluate my staff to assess whether or not this is true?

A: I recommend that you use questionnaires to assess the cohesiveness, productivity, and psychological safety of your team. Questionnaires can elicit a wealth of information and often help with assessment because although we might think that we have a good handle on the climate, we often do not.  Simply "checking in" with managers or staff is empowering because it sends the message that you want to know the truth.

You may also want to use what I refer to as nominal group technique. In this process, a question or problem is written down on the board and team members write down their ideas/solutions. Then each person reads one idea off of his or her list, with no discussion, and the ideas are all listed for everyone to see. Team members assign points to the most important idea/solution, and the votes are tallied on a flip chart.

-Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN

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