Bullying in Health Care Professions: Theories, Repercussions and Recommendations

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Start Time:12:00 AM
End Time:12:00 AM
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Provided by MHA Center for Education

Date & Time

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Register on or before Wednesday, March 22, to ensure delivery of instructional materials.

MHA members — $225
Nonmembers — $275

The webinar registration fee is for one phone line connection. Additional phone line connections each will be charged a registration fee. Multiple participants on the same connection is encouraged. Get more value by inviting colleagues to join you!

This webinar is being offered at a reduced registration fee to MHA-member hospitals because of a contribution from MHA Management Services Corporation.


This session is recommended for all health care professionals

The following program content was provided by the speaker.


Lateral violence or “bullying” among health professionals, but especially among nurses, is thought to be a very common phenomenon. It is typically characterized by senior level or veteran nurses abusing nurses who occupy lesser positions of power in the organizational hierarchy. Nurses who claimed they were bullied have reported unrelenting condemnation of their work; consistently being given difficult assignments; and even feeling their careers were being actively conspired against by other nurses.

The toll this takes on nursing personnel and their health care organizations can be considerable. The literature reports that bullied nurses frequently suffer serious psychological and physical damage; their care of patients might be compromised; and their quitting their positions can result in considerable financial loss to the clinics and hospitals who have to spend money to recruit their replacements.

This presentation will survey the nursing literature examining the nature and suggested causes of lateral violence in nursing; its personal and organizational effects or repercussions; and conclude with some suggestions that seek to remediate the problem.


  • describe the phenomenon of lateral violence or bullying in the nursing profession and give examples
  • discuss some theories that offer causal explanations of bullying
  • describe the physical and psychological toll bullying takes on nurses
  • list recommendations whereby bullying behaviors might be reduced or eliminated


John Banja, Ph.D.
Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and
Medical Ethicist at the Center for Ethics
Emory University

John Banja has conducted research and educational projects with numerous federal and private organizations. He currently serves as the Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience. His research interests include topics in patient safety, neuroethics and ethical dilemmas occurring in clinical and translational research. His most recent book, Medical Errors and Medical Narcissism, was published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers in 2005. Banja has no real or perceived conflicts of interest that relate to this presentation.