When you know that is lateral work place violence?

Nurses General Nursing


  • by zuzi
    Specializes in trauma, ortho, burns, plastic surgery.

AN is a big site, with a lot of nurses and health care personal, americans and not only. Each of them may be one time in her/his life was around of case of lateral violence in work place. I wish, if God help me, one day to be able to study and apply in practice methods to help people to be never on that side.

How do you know that what is happen with you at work is a lateral violence? Did you ever asked that?

I will tell you my story. I am foreign nurse, I am Zuzi, and I am a happy nurse. Someones told that I am a good nurse, someones tell that I am foreign, someone told that I don't belive in God but I belive in fairies, someones told that I am gay, but I am not, someones hate me, someone love me....but all know that I am a soft one, without anyone around.

And lateral violence start with soft alone people.

Lateral violence is when someone try to put you down correcting you reapetely and emphazing that, is when someone pass closed to you and make sarcastic remarks about you, knowing that no one will hear it, lateral violence is when they talk toghter and they stop to talk when you will appear, lateral violence is when they laugh behind you, lateral violence is when they comment and critic each of your decisions, lateral violence is when they bossy you and put you down, lateral violence is even if you ask them to stop this behavior they louding their voice at you, lateral violence is when you go crying at home and you don't want to go back to work...

Lateral violence, make nurses and helth care workers to hate them job...is the most humiliating experience ever....I wish with all my heart to be able to help people who pass by it.... to EVER to not think that are alone.....

Lateral violence is INTOLERABLE! :crying2:


105 Posts

Specializes in LTC, SNF, PSYCH, MEDSURG, MR/DD.

i agree all of that should not be in the workplace. its unprofessional and mean.

you should report it.

i have worked with many wonderful non american nurses. i am sorry that you have been treated badly by others because of that.

Specializes in Travel.

Zuzi, your description of lateral violence is eloquent. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I've experienced lateral violence and it always makes me wonder "why?" What is it in a person that leads him or her to be so uncaring to others in a caring profession? Is it the work? Is it the person? How can uncaring burst out during the work of caring?

I try to focus on the people who care and ignore the ones who give me unhappy feelings, but it's difficult sometimes, expecially if the negative ones have power over me.

Zuzi, I empathize with what you've gone through!


502 Posts

Specializes in trauma, ortho, burns, plastic surgery.

Lateral violence appear from the desire to control others, when you are not on your own control, or in control of your behaviors and you try to compensate that by somenthing else. Are many factors involved in lateral violence, one is the environment, second is the personality of people involved in.

Professional means on control of actions and behaviors/fellings, balanced. That means a controled attitude! Everything that is not, is unprofessional.

newtress, LPN

431 Posts

Specializes in med surg ltc psych.

With the current economic situation and jobs harder to come by, part of the contributing factor in the L-violence is upper management itself. They would rather keep the shape changers and nucleus of the violence problems on board because they don't want to go through the hiring process and orientating/precepting again. We all know there's not a shortage. There certainly would be more job openings if the bad were replaced with good I think the bad seeds should be weeded out and sent packing. Stop the nonsense and fire 'em. There are so many eagar, hard working, safe, professional nurses out there that want to work in a healthcare facility and not an 8th grade playground. It's been tolerated far too long, compromising good nurses and patients. That's what I think. There is an antidote for this kind of poison.


502 Posts

Specializes in trauma, ortho, burns, plastic surgery.

The problem with lateral violence and bad environment are related to ALL but special to NEW ones, new grads, new nurses hired. Imagine what is happen with a new one, came in this type of environment. He/she has two chances, one to adapt to environment to be able to survive and became like environment or second to be rejected by it, and be an outsider.

We grow-up our own MONSTERS. Is hard to belive but is true. When you are there insiede and you was grow-up like that is hard to see the lightness part, the true part of BE A nurse, a CNA, or whatever. You belive that the true is only one that was shown to you.

We are bad, we will grow-up bad nurses, even if we are good , errors could be happen :lol2:. Lateral violence is a acute problem and really I don't know if it was adressed yet??????


53 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics & luvin it.

It saddens me to think that there are people that still act this way. What I tell everyone is that the person doing the picking is inadequate and needs to make fun of others to make themselves feel better. I have had this problem myself when I was a child and I have had to deal with others doing the picking when I was a manager. I even went as far as telling one employee who continually picked on another that if she quits because of you picking on her your fired and guess what the picking stopped. Sometimes you have to get your suporvisor involved in a situation like this.

Specializes in Case Mgmt, Anesthesia, ICU, ER, Dialysis.

Love the idea of "if she quits because of you, then you're fired, too."

I'm going through it in a graduate program, because I'm not a drinker, I don't smoke, I'm overweight, and it wouldn't even OCCUR to me to talk ugly about people like I have seen being done here. Hateful, vicious stuff. I'm singled out because I don't have the ennui they do...I still think this stuff is fascinating, and I love to know every little detail out there.

My grades may not be as good, because I don't just concentrate on what they give us to know for the test, but I can guarantee I'll be a better clinician because I've made the effort to fully explore more than just the "basic" aspects of what we're expected to know.

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

There's been some research done on something called "Queen Bee Syndrome." It fits here. OP, you might want to look into it!

I've experienced lateral violence and it always makes me wonder "why?" What is it in a person that leads him or her to be so uncaring to others in a caring profession? Is it the work? Is it the person? How can uncaring burst out during the work of caring?


I think it's the personality, i.e. person (these people are often described as "strong personalities"; if you hear this, run!) They were bullies in the playground, I'll bet. Maybe they were abused at home and learned to "defend themselves" by striking out at others. But basically nice individuals will not commit lateral (or horizontal) violence even if under a lot of stress (they'll self-destruct first). I put the blame squarely on the individual bully; no excuses for this behavior, none, not ever.

Actually, there is one other person to blame in the workplace: the manager who fails to fire such abusive types. And there are many of those (are they all afraid of them? As pp pointed out, there is no nursing shortage!!!)




502 Posts

Specializes in trauma, ortho, burns, plastic surgery.

Some nursing cultures, some areas build and develop this type of personalities. Is like a cultural background to be because they belive like that.... "I DESERVE I AM THE BEST", you are the slave, the lower class!

Why and how was implemented this idea in them brain......is hard even for me, that I traveled around to understand. Is an ideea of SUPERIORITY before anything else.... I "own" you, will tell one of my cute coworkers, ever, lol

They told you....I am superior because I am the dominant color (I try to not be discriminative, lol), I am superior to you because my english is without accent and I could use british english style, I am superior to you that MY/OUR school is greater than yours, I am superior because my family is "X" and you are not (like nursing skills was coming by fetal circulation, lol) I am superior by my network my family my relations, my money..... ... whatever you will try to tell me I AM SUPERIOR TO YOU because you are not like US!

Why to not give to ALL of US a chance, may be we are like you!

School give just basic skills, attitude is INHERITED...you could not change it! Is the personality style... was grow-up in family with friends... but in class just after and in a little measure.


One of my LPNs collegues told me that an RN turn around the nose after asked her two times "you are RN or LPN"...HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLOOOOOOO.... LPNs dosen't stinks! Don't hurt her fellings! THE ATITTUDES STINKS!

From here...to lateral violence in at work place is just a step....WE are the persons who build our Monsters, no anyone else. We was TEACHED to hate instead to love! We was teach to teassing instead to listean....we know how to posses instead to cuddle....

IS A SHORTAGE! Are a lot of areas where NO ONE wants to go! If tomorrow I will choose one of the worst, bad areas to go to work there in half of hour 10.000 others will tell.... I DESERVE IT , before you, because I am BETTER THAN YOU, even if till then NO ONES wanted to go there.

I am a soft one, a foreign one, a non native english speaker, a hard worker in places where no ones either than immigrants and natives wanted to go and after a while...THEY came and wanted high positions, high money, short hours, free life, easy life and control acces to others, laughing of all just because THEY DESERVE IT, because they make a FAVOR to be there. Is lateral violence in nursing.... because people don't know their own image and limits, because people was teached to be bad instead of good.

Hope that helps!

I belive in magic in angels in fairies in miracles in God in my all colors shapes and forms nurses ...good ones.... stay good...

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