to-day living should not be underestimated. It is assumed that it could have severely harmful psychological consequences in the long term and that it can affect the psychiatric nurses’ self-esteem, social status and happiness. The importance of nursing staff’s roles and attitudes in the interaction with the psychiatric environment should ultimately strive to create a therapeutic milieu. This implied that the psychiatric nurse’s interpersonal skills play an extremely important role in the creation of such an ideal milieu in the work environment. There was evidence that the work pertaining to nursing was often stressful and that stress had been identified as one of the reasons for nurses failing to function at an optimum level of effectiveness. Stress and work environment conflict had a significant effect on the nurses. As a result, nurses might experience physiological, psychological and social challenges that could affect the individual nurse’s self-esteem and self- confidence and which could lead to burnout, said the researchers. In general, hospital settings, aggression was commonly assumed to be most prevalent in emergency departments, where dealing with aggression is a significant concern.
environment, namely verbal and non-verbal aggression. Verbal aggression was visible in the forms of gossiping, backbiting, snide remarks made to each other, the abuse of language barriers and cultural differences. The nurses denied direct or physical aggression in their work environment. However, they reported that in selective cases they had had the urge to react at a physical level. All the psychiatric nurses emphasised the experience of non-verbal aggression in the work environment. Non-verbal aggression manifested in the psychiatric nurses’ reports of feeling ignored and judged by their colleagues. Prof Marie Poggenpoel and her co- authors observed that education and socialisation at different levels exhibited different values and perceptions of professional identity. This had been observed to create conflict among nurses when they entered the workforce. In multicultural teams, increased levels of relationship conflict were found. The diversity was related to both process and delegation conflict and affected the communication outcomes, said the researchers. The importance and effect of violence and aggression in day-
But the incident reports indicated that events were numerically more common on medical, geriatric and psychiatric wards. “It is clear that attention should be given to create opportunities for psychiatric nurses to master the management of experienced aggression from colleagues,” said Poggenpoel. Prof Marie Poggenpoel has been a tenured professor in Psychiatric Nursing Science at the University of Johannesburg since 1989 and is an expert regarding qualitative as well as quantitative research methodologies. She has published more than 185 articles in international and national journals. She was the supervisor/co-supervisor of more
than 142 doctorates and 182 master’s candidates.
In South Africa, she is rated as an established researcher by the National Research Foundation (NRF). She has received several awards for excellence in research, the most recent awards being the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame awarded by Sigma Theta Tau International in July 2013 in Prague and the Women in Science Award in May 2014 in South Africa.
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