Bullying and horizontal violence are workplace issues that manifest themselves among groups of people who work closely together.
While it can happen in any workplace, these issues have been studied extensively in human nursing. Horizontal violence can be defined as untoward, unkind, offensive interactions among people of the same hierarchy who aim to discredit and destroy the self-esteem and confidence of the other party.1 Consider the many relationships where horizontal violence may occur in our profession: newly credentialed technician vs tenured uncredentialed technician, treatment room staff vs receptionist, or intern vs experienced technician.
Bullying and horizontal violence are destructive to employee job satisfaction, yet these behaviors are often ignored by management. In addition to the negative effects they have on employee morale, patient care may be affected if those being bullied are unhappy in their jobs and redirect that unhappiness toward patients and/or clients. For all of these reasons, it is critical to address bullying and horizontal violence.