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Mobbing: Special reference to the nursing profession

Author(s): Milutinović Dragana | Prokeš Bela | Gavrilov-Jerković Vesna | Filipović Danka

Journal: Medicinski Pregled
ISSN 0025-8105

Volume: 62;
Issue: 11-12;
Start page: 529;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Stress | Psychological | Social Behavior | Interprofessional Relations | Workplace + psychology | Nurses | Occupational Exposure

Introduction. Heinz Leymann defined this phenomenon as a hostile and unethical communication. In his definition Leymann points out that the distinction between 'conflict' and 'mobbing' does not focus on what is done or how it is done, but rather on the frequency and duration of whatever is done. The exposure to the strain of mobbing begins to result in psychiatrically or psychosomatically pathological conditions due to the accumulation of negative emotions. Leyman emphasizes four main factors which cause harassment in the workplace: lack of clarity of goals in work, inadequate management, victim's social status and low moral standards in the work environment. Epidemiological Findings. The epidemiological data in the European Union, indicate great national differences relative to the percentage of those subjected to mobbing, with increasing exposure rates in all professions, the highest being found in education (14%) and health services. Mobbing in Nursing Profession. Nurses are considered a professional group at a rather high risk for trauma caused by harassment in the workplace. 'Horizontal violence' is a widely used term regarding mobbing actions in nursing profession even though vertical violence is present both in this profession and all other health services. Horizontal violence is implied due to the traditional assumption that nurses have a subordinate role compared to doctors, which often brings them into conflict with their peers. Conclusion. Mobbing may be prevented by systematic primary prevention, information, education, and training in communication skills. As a result, we could expect to get a higher quality of nursing care and healthier nurses.

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