Workplace aggression: beginning a dialogue

Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2006 Aug;10(4):455-6. doi: 10.1188/06.CJON.455-456.


The June 2005 Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing editorial titled "Communication: Whose Problem Is It?" (Griffin-Sobel, 2005) was written to begin a dialogue about a phenomenon frequently experienced yet rarely discussed: workplace aggression, also known as disruptive behavior. Prompted by a groundbreaking study published in the American Journal of Nursing by Rosenstein and O'Daniel (2005), the editorial challenged oncology nurses to begin to fix problems of communication. After reflecting on both of the articles and considering my own experience as a nurse manager, clinician, and scholar, I decided to explore the topic as it relates to nurse-to-nurse workplace aggression. The following is a summary of interviews with nurse managers, nurse practitioners, and nurse scientists about root causes and effective strategies to manage these sometimes complicated situations. This article is meant to continue the dialogue about the very sensitive issue. Confidentiality has been maintained, and I welcome your comments.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Agonistic Behavior
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Communication
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Oncology Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Personality
  • Social Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace* / organization & administration
  • Workplace* / psychology