Nursing

AORN argues that nurse bullying can affect patient outcomes

Nurse Leader Insider, September 8, 2016

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In a recent online discussion, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) outlined the dangers of nurse-to-nurse hostility.

Nurses in the discussion reported a variety of incivilities that they experienced regularly, everything from off-hand comments to eyerolls to outright intimidation. The presenters argue that while these events might seem insignificant at the time, these gestures can have a big impact on nurses, especially young nurses just starting their career. Feeling excluded or isolated can hurt team morale and negatively affect staff retention.
 
Though some of these hostilities can come from physicians or executives, nurses often bully their colleagues, and AORN reports that nurse managers often ignore reports of bullying. Survey data suggests that only 30 percent of managers respond to bullying incidents, which can further isolate the victims from their team. The AORN representatives argued that nurses that feel ostracized or intimated are less likely to express concerns or speak up for their patients, which is a barrier to providing the best possible patient care.

For more information on how to handle hostility and bullying with your staff, check out Kathleen Bartholomew’s Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, and invaluable resource that the American Nurses Association recommends in their hostility prevention guide. 



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