Effects of vertical violence on the work of nurses in hospital settings: An exploratory study

By David Poulin-Grégoire, Patrick Martin

Introduction: more than 39.7% of nurses report being victims of psychological harassment in the workplace. In 60% of cases, the abuse is vertical, involving a person in a position of authority.
Context: few studies have examined this phenomenon without conflating it with other forms of workplace violence.
Objective: the purpose of this study was to shed light on cases of vertical violence experienced by nurses working in hospitals.
Method: data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews with six nurses working in hospitals in the province of Quebec (Canada). Descriptive phenomenology was used to analyze the collected data.
Results: the overall effects of the vertical violence experienced by nurses in hospital settings resulted in less diligent and individualized nursing care.
Discussion: it is recommended that organizational policies against vertical violence put in place in hospital be enforced in a rigorous and transparent manner. Further investigation is needed to identify the organizational factors that contribute to vertical violence in hospital settings.

  • harassment
  • workplace violence
  • caregiving
  • nursing administration research
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