A nurse is reporting for the third day of training on a new unit. The nurse overhears the other nurses discussing a medication error the new nurse made on the previous shift. A senior nurse comments that this new nurse "will last a week after training if she's lucky." What does this example illustrate?


•This is an example of lateral violence. The American Nurses Association defines lateral violence as overt or covert acts of verbal or non-verbal aggression that occur between colleagues. Gossiping about another nurse's errors is a covert act of verbal aggression. This creates an environment of mistrust which can lead to errors and even patient harm.

•Bullying is when this behavior is exhibited by a supervisor towards a subordinate.

•This behavior is never normal nor should it be considered an initiation to be tolerated. It is not "fair" criticism.

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