Physical, Psychological, and Organizational Consequences of Bullying Among Nurses in the United States and Australia

Physical, Psychological, and Organizational Consequences of Bullying Among Nurses in the United States and Australia

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It has been said that nurses eat their own. Although this phrase may seem particularly harsh, nurse-to-nurse aggression does exist to the detriment of the profession. Nurses are vital to our health-care system. There is a nursing shortage in the United States and Australia. The existing nurses are employed full-time, usually working twelve hour shifts and are overburdened with unachievable responsibilities and large patient assignments. Recruiting and retaining new nurses is critical to maintaining effective and accessible health-care services. Nearly one-third of all new nurses plan to leave the nursing field within their first year of practice. The psychological impact of bullying can be devastating to nurses and can cause stress, anxiety, fear, depression, physical pain, work injuries, and even suicidal thoughts. The cognitive abilities of the bullied nurse are diminished resulting in lack of confidence and self-doubt that distracts them from their duties and can result in serious consequences to patients in their care as well as injury to the bullied nurse.
These factors reflect negatively on the health care organization by damaging the reputation of the institution, which in turn has an effect on recruitment and retention of qualified nurses. Monetary consequences to the organization include increased use of sick time, possible injury of distracted, impaired nurse and litigation resulting from malpractice or worker’s compensation. Organizations must develop a zero-tolerance policy and provide education to help inform nursing staff that bullying is not acceptable workplace behavior.

In Australia, the Queensland nurses union was asked to comment on workplace bullying by the House of R...

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... and Employment.Queensland Nurses Union.
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