Nurses have been notorious over time as the profession that “eats their young.”Â Over the years experienced nurses have treated new nurses harshly until those new nurses have proved themselves capable of performing their jobs.Â It happened to me.Â Not by all the older nurses, but there were a few.
Over time this practice has decreased, but other forms of aggressive behaviors have been occurring.Â Even those these actions have decreased, the American Nurses Association has taken a stance on the issue, and have given it a name, lateral violence.
This type of violence is basically from nurse to nurse.Â It can be physical or verbal violence, what it is, is when one nurse makes another nurse feel threatened.
I was asked by another nurse if legal action can be taken against another nurse because of verbal abuse.Â I don’t know anything about that, I am a nurse, not an attorney, and that is a question for an attorney.Â What I can say is, if you feel threatened in any way that is something that needs to be taken to your manager immediately.Â It also needs to be addressed by your organizations Human Resources department, Employee Services or even legal.
Lateral violence is a real and serious issue that our profession needs to address and we as heart nursing need to put an end to.Â If you see somebody mistreating another nurse, new or experienced, it is your responsibility to step in and stop the behavior.Â We get mistreated enough from physicians, families, patients and other departments; we shouldn’t be doing it to ourselves.