Combating Disruptive Behaviors: Strategies to Promote a Healthy Work Environment

By Longo, Joy | Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, January 2010 | Go to article overview

Combating Disruptive Behaviors: Strategies to Promote a Healthy Work Environment


Longo, Joy, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing


Abstract

Disruptive behaviors among healthcare workers threaten the safety and well being of both patients and staff. The Joint Commission now charges healthcare organizations seeking accreditation to address these behaviors. All members of the healthcare team need to be knowledgeable about disruptive behaviors. In this article the author reviews the causes and consequences of disruptive behavior for both patients and healthcare workers, discusses initiatives for addressing disruptive behaviors, and provides specific steps for nurse managers and staff nurses to combat disruptive behaviors.

Citation: Longo, J., (Jan. 31, 2010) "Combating Disruptive Behaviors: Strategies to Promote a Healthy Work Environment" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 15, No. 1, Manuscript 5.

DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol15No01Man05

Keywords: bullying, conflict, disruptive behaviors, eliminating disruptive behaviors, healthy work environment, horizontal violence, job satisfaction, patient safety, sentinel alert, zero tolerance

Disruptive behaviors among healthcare workers threaten the safety and well being of both patients and staff. Although disruptive behaviors have long been a concern among healthcare workers, they have often gone unchecked, or even worse, accepted as part of the system. By not addressing these behaviors, organizations silently supported and reinforced them. The good news is that these disruptive behaviors among healthcare workers have recently come under increased scrutiny. The American Medical Association (AMA) (2002) has stated: "Personal conduct, whether verbal or physical, that affects or that potentially may affect patient care negatively constitutes disruptive behaviors" (para. 1). The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) (2005) has noted that collaboration among healthcare providers, which is paramount to establishing and sustaining a healthy work environment, is lost in the presence of disruptive behaviors. In 2008 a sentinel event alert was issued by the Joint Commission (TJC) to warn organizations of the safety risks posed by disruptive behaviors and to increase awareness of this risk for both individual workers and healthcare organizations.

Those exposed to disruptive behaviors can experience stress, frustration, and physical and psychological disorders. Nurses have been reported to leave a particular place of employment due to disruptive behaviors (Veltman, 2007), and this drain on resources can further compromise care. In order to address this threat the Joint Commission, in January of 2009, instituted a leadership standard mandating that facilities seeking accreditation institute policies to address disruptive behaviors among healthcare workers.

Now all workers are charged with understanding and addressing this necessary culture change within healthcare. In this article the author will review the causes and consequences of disruptive behavior for both patients and healthcare workers. Initiatives to address disruptive behaviors will be discussed, and specific steps nurse managers and staff nurses can take to combat these behaviors will be provided.

The Nature of Disruptive Behavior

Disruptive behaviors include overt and covert actions that are displayed by any healthcare worker and that threaten the performance of the healthcare team (TJC, 2008). The most frequently reported type of behaviors includes emotional-verbal abuse (Anderson, 2002; Anderson & Parish, 2003; Hader, 2008; Hesketh et al., 2003). For nurses this verbal abuse is frequently reported as coming from other nurses (Hegney, Plank, & Parker, 2003; Hesketh et al., 2003; Rowe & Sherlock, 2005). Examples of these behaviors include using threatening or abusive language; making demeaning or degrading comments; humiliating someone in front of others, including staff and patients; rolling eyes in disgust; sending nasty emails; refusing to mentor; refusing to help others; ignoring attempts at conversations; throwing items; physically assaulting team members; and intimidating others (Capitulo, 2009; Hader, 2008; North Carolina Physicians Health Program, 2009; Porto & Lauve, 2006; Rocker, 2008). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Combating Disruptive Behaviors: Strategies to Promote a Healthy Work Environment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.