Disruptive Behavior Case Study

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The Ethical Issues of Disruptive Behavior in Health Care
Disruptive behaviors such as bullying, incivility, and horizontal/lateral violence are prevalent issues in the health care field. These behaviors not only create hostility among colleagues, but they also decrease safety and can increase cost of patient care. The affect disruptive behavior has on patient care and team morale are reasons for action against this issue. Disrespectful behavior violates the code of ethics for nurses, which are ethical standards set by the American Nurses Association (ANA) (Lachman, 2014). While disruptive behavior is a violation of ethical standards, it goes unnoticed in many health care settings.
Presence of Disruptive Behavior in Health Care
The presence of specific types of disruptive behavior is unknown, but evidence is clear that disruptive behaviors exist among health care professionals. Nursing and health care in general focuses on patient care. Individuals that demonstrate disruptive behavior can damage the integrity of patient care, and create a hostile work environment. This leads to decrease patient satisfaction, safety issues, and health care providers to seek a more professional work environments (Lachman, 2014). Despite the negative outcomes from disruptive behavior, it is still present in many health care facilities. One- report states that 39% of graduates witness bullying in their first year of practice, and 31% said they were the victims of bullying (Lachman, 2014). The author also notes that 85% of nurses experience horizontal/lateral violence. Large amounts of health care professionals witness disruptive behaviors. Often these behaviors are unreported, one survey found that 40% of practitioners remain quite ...

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...avior. Another issue that leads to disruptive behavior is practitioner impairment. Substance abuse, mental illnesses and ineffective stress management are all issues that can lead to disruptive behaviors. Senior individuals must deal with these issues to provide the necessary support and resolutions. Employers need to address individuals demonstrating disruptive behaviors, and appropriately resolve the situation. On the other hand, the victims might need support and counseling to overcome the abuse.
Disruptive behavior is a serious issue that needs addressing whenever it is prevalent. Reducing disruptive behavior can improve the morale of the health care team, patient care, and decrease medical errors. Health care professionals should maintain professional conduct, and abide by the code of ethics for nurses to prevent disruptive behavior.
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