Nursing & Health Sciences Research Journal


Introduction: Workplace incivility and bullying are concerning issues in healthcare with detrimental consequences for healthcare workers (HCW) and healthcare organizations. Organizational leaders’ recognition of incivility/bullying within healthcare organizations, and their sources, is imperative to prevent and/or address issues by creating “zero tolerance” work environments. The purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to explore HCWs’ experiences with incivility and bullying at a South Florida community hospital.

Methods: A convenience sample of HCWs at a South Florida community hospital were recruited to voluntarily complete the Nursing Incivility Scale.

Results: A sample of 325 HCWs responded to the survey. The results showed general incivility as the highest source across all HCWs, with certified nursing assistants having the highest level of incivility across all sources (general, nurse, supervisor, physician, and patients). Correlative analysis showed statistically significant relationships between several sources of incivility (general, supervisor, physician, and patient; r = .250 to .390) for those reporting past experiences with incivility/bullying, and healthcare role and physician incivility (r = -.224). Independent t tests and one-way ANOVA showed statistically significant differences. Of note, compared to other HCW roles, registered nurses reported physicians as their highest source of incivility.

Discussion: Workplace incivility/bullying is a serious issue in healthcare across all disciplines and roles, requiring healthcare organization leaders’ awareness and subsequent interventions to prevent and address its occurrence. The results of this study provide necessary insight for hospital organization leaders as they endeavor to create and nurture “zero tolerance” work environments.

Keywords: workplace incivility, workplace bullying, workplace violence, zero tolerance

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