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Critical Appraisal of Research: Best Practices

Workplace violence is one of the issues that health professionals encounter on a regular basis. However, nurses are more exposed to violence in the workplace than their peers in differences scopes of practice. The adverse impacts of workplace violence are far and wide. For instance, violence and bullying often results in poor performance and productivity of nurses. In addition, nurses who are exposed to violence and bullying have an increased possibility of developing mental and physical health problems. Those problems may interfere with nurses’ competence in the workplace, thereby exposing patients to safety issues. In light of the above, there are various best practices that can be embraced by nursing professionals and researchers in order to avert violence against and among nurses in the workplace. For instance, health institutions and nurse leaders should put in place a safe organizational culture that is conducive for employees to work. This safe culture requires a comprehensive and systems-level approach to establishing a civil environment for all employees. Furthermore, evidence-based structures, processes, and guidelines should be embraced to act as Global Positioning Systems for practice.

Leadership is also an important factor that can help reduce violence against nurses in the workplace. Many ways exist for leaders to work with other stakeholders and establish policies, procedures, and actions that condemn violence in the workplace. Nurse leaders such as managers can play an integral role preventing and discouraging negative interactions among nurses. Examples of efforts that such leaders can take in collaboration with stakeholders include introduction of systems for controlling and punishing bullying, lateral violence and deviant behaviors in the workplace. Moreover, nurse leaders can introduce occupational psychologists in employee health, staff meetings, emergency departments and other vulnerable areas with high cases of negative interactions and bullying. More precisely, radical changes in staff compositions during shifts can go a long way in restoring respect and trust across all nursing groups. Workplace partnerships between nurse unions and professional bodies and employers can help to develop strong continuous commitment by senior company and union management to help prevent violence. In addition, awareness creation can be done by building educational and training programs on a regular basis that enlighten employees on the rules of civility and socially acceptable behaviors. Furthermore, workplace safety audits and concrete plans for protection for workers should be undertaken on a regular basis. Security personnel should be increased or implemented working to protect the wellbeing of nurses from aggression and attacks. Finally, methods of reporting and responding to violence and bullying should be introduced.

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