Title: Workplace bullying and job satisfaction among nurses in Hong Kong
Introduction: Workplace bullying is defined as persistent exposure to interpersonal aggression and mistreatment from colleagues, superiors or subordinates. The term “bullying” implies a power gradient between perpetrators and victims and is usually associated with ongoing conflict that takes place for a period of more than 6 months. Health care professionals are more vulnerable and higher risk in suffering from workplace bullying, particularly among nurses. Nurses are a traditionally oppressed group who have been rendered powerless by the medical establishment, they often feel powerless to effect decisions affecting working conditions, creating frustration which can lead to conflict within the discipline. Nurses who expose to workplace bullying are under high level of stress which may lead to serious consequences including chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, low-self-esteem and initiate nonattendance. Workplace bullying victim nurses may commit more errors during providing patient care. Nurses who exposed to workplace bullying are more likely to use the avoidance strategies and leave the organization which may the cause manpower shortage. Manpower shortage in nursing profession would affect the quality of patient care and health care services. Job satisfaction and positive workplace relationships greatly affect turnover rate of nurses. It is necessary to understand the situation of workplace bullying and job satisfaction among nurses in Hong Kong. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between workplace bullying and job satisfaction among nurses in Hong Kong.
Methods: This is a cross- sectional study. A total of 388 nurses in Hong Kong were recruited. Each participant completed a set of self-reported questionnaires with three sections, including socio-demographic data, the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R) to measure the exposure of bullying in the workplace and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) to measure the job satisfaction. Descriptive data were used to analysis the socio-demographic data. T-test and ANONA test were used to compare means. Pearson’s correlation was used to analyze the relationship between exposure to workplace bullying and job satisfaction. P value less than 0.05 was considered as statistically significant and confidence interval within a 95% range.
Result: There were 65.2% (n=253) of female and 34.8% (n=135) were male. For the education level, 68.6% (n=266) were degree holders, 18.3% (n=71) were higher diploma holders and 13.1% (n=51) were master’s degree holders. Majority were registered nurses which accounted for 82.2% (n=319), enrolled nurses were 14.2% (n=55) and nursing officers/advanced practice nurses (APN) were 3.6% (n=14). According to the NAQ-R, 21.6% (n=84) of participants did not exposure to workplace bullying (sum <33); 50.8% (n=197) of them were being occasionally bullied (45>sum≥33); 27.6% (n=107) of them were classified as victims (sum≥45). For the job satisfaction, 46.6% (n=181) of participants were satisfied with their job (15<sum>35). The result showed that there was a strong negative correlation between NAQ-R and MSQ (p=0.00<0.05, r=-0.859).
Conclusion: Nurses with more exposure to workplace bullying are more likely to have lower job satisfaction. Promoting harmonious in working environment is vital to reduce the incidence of workplace bullying among nurses in order to maintain job satisfaction and retain the workforce for better patient outcomes.
Audience Take Away:
- The issue of workplace bullying among nurses should be addressed in order to provide quality of care to patient.
- Workplace bullying among nurses may increase the manpower shortage.
- More support should be provided by the organization to promote harmonious working environment in the health care setting.
Future study may consider to investigate the working environment and social culture that may induce workplace bullying.