I have been researching lateral and horizontal violence in the OR. For so many years, I have experienced the sabotage and mean-spirited antics of co-workers. So many times I have heard, " It's just the way she is. Don't take personally." I've also been told that I'm too nice(therefore, it's MY fault). Well, I am so happy that finally this issue is coming into the limelight and exposed for what it is: Institutionalized BULLYING. This problem is being addressed by many agencies, including the ANA, Joint Commission, APNA, and the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.
I have seen nurses cope with difficult doctor's by flirting, "spoiling"them, cowering, crying, and feeling nervous and sick all the time. Lateral violence is just as bad, if not worse. Co-workers setting one another up to look bad, sabotage, withholding information, back-biting, spreading unkind rumors and untruthful information. The new employee gets a hazing session by being "frozen out" by the insiders.
Yes, it has finally been identified for what it is. I urge all nurses who feel victimized by their co-workers to speak up. Your employer is legally bound to provide you with a safe work environment, free from threats and harassment. The bullies are the problem, not you.