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Running head: TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH 1Translational Research for Practice and PopulationsMisti HollingsworthWestern Governors University
TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH 2Translational Research for Practice and PopulationsProblem IdentificationNurses have been notorious for treating new staff poorly. They live by the live or die motto and will allow a new nurse to drown before helping them. It is often said that nurses eat their young. This history of bullying has been the normal and accepted behavior of nurses for many years. Workplace bullying, a serious issue affecting the nursing profession, is defined as any type of repetitive abuse in which the victim of the bullying behavior suffers verbal abuse, threats, humiliating or intimidating behaviors, or behaviors by the perpetrator that interfere with his or her job performance and are meant to place at risk the health and safety of the victim[Mur09]. In the operating room, bullying has been an acceptable behavior for many years. New staff members are immediately looked upon as sub-standard and treated as such. I have personally witnessed a scrub tech tell a nurse to put a sterile pan on the floor and then open it because he did not like the stool she was going to use to set the pan on. Sitting a sterile pan on a stool is not proper and would result in placing the sterile instruments below the waste which is considered non-sterile, but instead of educating her, she simply told her to set it on the ground and she followed his suggestion. Fortunately I was available to intervene, however I have heard of many other incidents where new staff were treated just as poorly and then ridiculed for their responses. This is simply unacceptable and must be changed. With the increasing median age ofour operating room we are desperately in need of new, younger staff. Staff turnover in our department is at an all-time high. Bullying the new staff is not only counterproductive and unethical but is having a negative impact on the department as a whole.
TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH 3Why Change is NeededBullying not only affects the direct victims but also has a negative effect on the quality ofpatient care, negatively affects interpersonal relationships within the department, causes a financial loss and causes an overall negative impression of the department. Nurses who are subjected to repeat bullying may suffer physical ailments resulting in increased absenteeism which ultimately causes inadequate staffing. Increasing awareness of bullying in the workplace and setting up policies to prevent bullying and protocols to affectively handle the situation will be a positive step toward eradicating the problem altogether. New staff will be able to learn the skills needed to work independently and effectively in the operating room and will prepared to handle any emergencies and traumas that arrive. Employee retention rates and overall employee satisfaction will increase and moral will improve. Staff will ultimately work better together as a team and patient care and safety will increase.