Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Vickie Walker

Abstract

This descriptive study investigated the incidence of lateral verbal aggression among emergency department nurses. A sample of registered emergency department nurses currently working in western North Carolina with more than one year of full time work experience was surveyed (N=68). Roy's adaptation model was used as a theoretical framework for this qualitative study. A survey was utilized to collect the frequency, source, and incidences of reporting the lateral verbal aggression that occurred. Nurses also reported personal and professional ramifications to the lateral verbal aggression. Aggregate data was examined; no specific individual data was analyzed. The most common perpetrators of lateral verbal aggression were staff nurses followed by nursing managers. There was a very low incidence of reporting these events. The most common reasons for not reporting were that nurses believe there would be personal and professional repercussions if they reported it and they did not believe that anything would change. Feelings of anger, decreased job morale, increased stress, and negative effects on mental health were among the most common personal and professional reactions to lateral verbal aggression.

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