This paper is based on workplace violence, predominantly in the health care industry. Workplace violence in the today's time has accelerated immensely amongst various industries, and healthcare industry is considerable amongst them. The violent actions and behaviors performed in the workplace environment that can cause emotional and psychical damage to a person is typically referred to as workplace violence.
The paper includes an incident of workplace violence amongst nurses in the healthcare industry. The situation, current culture of the organization, and other factors attributable to workplace violence has come under extensive discussion. The key people that have been directly or indirectly affected by the incident have also been included.
Based on such adverse consequences, preliminary corrective actions and recommendation plan have been proposed as a nurse manager. These preliminary corrective actions have been recommended with the intention to mitigate future incidences from occurring. Lastly, the paper has also included the measures of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the plan.
This world is infested with numerous social issues and workplace violence is significant amongst them. Workplace violence is generally explained as the acts that involve physical violence, verbal abuse, threatening behavior, harassment, intimidation, bullying and even homicide that are likely to be witnessed at any work place. Overall, these actions harm the psychical and psychological well-being of the workers. Concerning the healthcare industry, workplace violence embraces employees (such as nurses, doctors, paramedic staff and so on), patients and even visitors into its harmful effects. Moreover, the performers of workplace violence are themselves the stakeholders of the same industry (healthcare industry) (Linsley, 2006).
Statistical records of the healthcare industry have exposed the fact that millions of employees each year are seriously affected by the internal violence. However, it is appalling to declare that not all such cases come into limelight where a number of cases remain unrecorded in files. Workplace violence is spontaneous in nature, which implies that it can happen in any workplace and the risk factor for employees of being intimidated is escalating. On a broad spectrum, the occupational health and safety organizations have identified various occupations that are on the list of higher risk when work violence is concerned. These particularly include health care workers, social service employees, education staff (especially teachers), public work members, and so forth (Privitera, 2010).
In this regard, reports have clearly exhibited the fact that a significant percentage of nurses become subjected to workplace violence by their nurse co-workers. The elevating incidences of workplace violence in the health care profession have become a grave concern for the workers and management within the industry across the globe, as the healthcare workers are more vulnerable of becoming the victims (Privitera, 2010).
Pertaining to the issue of increasing number of workplace violence in the healthcare industry, the paper aims to have a comprehensive discussion on the topic. The situation that is taken into account for analysis is the incident of violence between nurses (nurse-to-nurse). Person A is a young, part-time nurse who has been recently employed at XYZ Acute Care Centre. This healthcare centre is a small scale organization that offers a standard range of medical, critical care, and surgical services to the population of the community. The primary services include emergency department, diagnostic and support services, and laboratory for pediatrics, obstetrics, psychiatry, and emergency.
The overall culture of the organization is pleasant and satisfying; nevertheless, incidents related to workplace violence have been monitored, but unfortunately, these incidents have not been reported at the same time. The employees who were involved in such actions tried to bury such matters. Even though, the management of the organization developed workplace violence policies and guidelines, yet, these were violated at many instances. The intimidating nurses harassed many of their co-worker nurses in order to eliminate their work by dividing their responsibilities amongst others.
Since Person A is new to the environment, thus, she is not aware of the detailed policies related to workplace violence and structures of the healthcare centre. Due to this reason, she encountered an incident of workplace violence. Several violating behaviors were witnessed by Person A from her nurse co-worker. These behaviors particularly include disrespectful body language like raising eyebrows, and humiliating in front of other co-workers or patients. The intimidating nurse co-worker even made fun of her due to her over-sized physical body. Even during discussions and sharing of experiences between co-workers, she was negatively criticized and at many occasions excluded from such healthy debates.
The internal factor (organizational culture) of the healthcare centre immensely contributed to workplace harassment with Person A. This is typically due to the reason that the senior nurses formed a group and did not welcome the newly appointed nurses. The senior nurses had the fear that the new ones would take over; therefore, they developed a culture that practiced workplace violence. This practice was being followed since a very long period by the junior nurses who feared to report it earlier.
All these violent behaviors left a drastic impact on her emotional and physical well-being, with poor self-esteem and confidence. It even resulted in absenteeism and loss in her appetite. Nevertheless, she did not complain about such a series of violent behaviors, due to the fear of being fired from job, and indeed, she also thought that no one would believe her. Finally, this issue was highlighted by me (nurse manager), as I interviewed all the nurses who represented excessive absenteeism with the aim to identify the reasons of low attendance on their duties.
Major Findings and Implications
Person A was the key person who was directly affected by the series of situations of workplace violence. Due to the experience of violent behaviors of co-workers, Person A has experienced psychological stress that resulted in emotional unsteadiness. In addition, she lost her level of confidence and was not able to perform to her maximum capabilities. Additionally, the emotional stress is also affecting her sleep and diet patterns. This emotional as well as physical distress has affected not only her overall health but also her professional and personal life. As an eventual outcome of it, the patient's well being was affected, since she was not able to concentrate on the doctor's instructions for the patients.
Similarly, other junior staff or newly appointed nurses of the health care centre are the indirect entities being affected due to such violent and intimidating behaviors of the senior nurse group members. They face the same consequences as Person A. If the junior nurses attempt to adapt in the current organizational culture they sometimes butter around their seniors, which often results in loss of self-esteem.
Furthermore, the patients as well as their family members are another group of people that are coming under the harsh impacts of the workplace violence indirectly, which was encountered by the victim nurse. Due to the workplace violence, the patients often do not receive proper health care, attention and medications from the healthcare workers (particularly the nurses)
In view of the fact that several people are directly and indirectly being affected by the workplace violence, the doctors and specialists should take safety considerations, as the patient care is the primary responsibility of all the health care workers, whether it is a doctor, surgeon, administrative staff or a nurse. The management of the health care centre should develop strategies and policies related to workplace violence as a safety measure. The designing of these policies is not enough, therefore, the management should also take care that these policies are being implemented properly by all the employees.
The safety considerations that the doctors and surgeons can implement are to have more than one nurse for individual patient, preferably one senior and one junior nurse with equal responsibilities and rights. In this manner, even if one nurse is not able to look after the patient, the other nurse would be present for the patient care. Consequently, it would facilitate the management on tracking the productivity of the nurses.
Corrective Actions and Recommendation Plan
Since it is the responsibility of everyone (including both, the employer as well as the employee) to prevent workplace violence, therefore, a positive workplace environment should be created (by the employer) as well as maintained (by the employees). In order to establish a constructive environment at the workplace, following are few of the creative actions and recommendation plan:
The management of the healthcare workplaces should provide support and care to the employees that will eventually convince them to act confidently in case they become subjected to workplace violence. Additionally, officials should personally involve themselves in catering to the enormity of workplace violence. They should encourage the employees to immediately contact them and report in case they experience or witness events related to violence at the workplace. The most essential aspect that management should not shut its eyes to is the urgency and extent of reaction on their part. It is highly recommended that management should not…