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Horizontal violence seems to be taking a toll on a few of my new grad nurses. How can I help them manage the situation if it happens again?


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Most nurses like to manage conflict by avoiding it. We like to sweep issues under the rug rather than rock the boat and disturb the status quo. But such an attitude does nothing to solve the problem and improve the work environment. 

In case they experience horizontal violence again, tell them to use open, effective communication to get to the root of the problem. Also, take some time to role play how the nurse should go about confronting the person(s) involved. This will prepare them for the conversation and teach them how they can communicate their side of the situation. To prevent any new nurse from becoming a victim of horizontal violence, encourage them to ask for help whenever it is needed. When help is given, tell them to express appreciation to the nurses that lent them a hand.

-Patricia A. Duclos-Miller MS, RN, CNA, BC