Lessons Learned From a Lateral Violence and Team-Building Intervention

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Abstract

Background

Lateral violence is likely to exist in settings characterized by poor leadership and lack of clearly articulated roles, expectations, and processes that guide behavior.

Objectives

The purposes of this process improvement project were to (1) identify and improve baseline levels of nurse satisfaction and group cohesion through planned unit-based interventions, (2) determine the effect of a team-building intervention on factors that impact cohesive team functioning, and (3) determine the effect of lateral violence training and communication style differences in improving team cohesion.

Methods

The sample consisted of registered nurses (RNs) from 4 diverse patient care areas, chosen on the basis of low scores on the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) RN-RN interaction subscale. A quasi-experimental pre–post intervention design without a control group was employed. The intervention focused on lateral violence and team building. A qualitative component focused on the impact of the intervention on overall group dynamics and processes.

Results

RN scores on the Group Cohesion Scale (P = .037) and the RN-RN interaction scores improved postintervention. Group sessions focused on building trust, identifying and clarifying roles, engaging staff in decision making, role-modeling positive interactions, and holding each other accountable.

Conclusions

Key to a cohesive environment is an effective nurse manager able to drive and sustain change.

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