The Spiritual Impact of Workplace Sexual Harassment and Bullying on Nurses

By Stacey Lamar and Deborah Viola.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Registered nurses constitute the largest proportion of the healthcare workforce in the United States. According to the department of labor, registered nurses hold more than 2.6 million jobs. 92.1% of them are female. Studies indicate that approximately 17 of every 20 nurses have experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined by the federal government as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. A hostile work environment involves unwelcome sexual conduct, threatening or humiliating behavior that may interfere with work performance. Bullying involves repeatedly poor treatment of a person that can include abuse of power and degradation. This paper describes findings from a focus group of nurses that experienced sexual harassment and/or bullying. Several issues were explored, including childhood and dating experiences, marital status, and ability to communicate with spouse/partners, as well as the spiritual impact the participants described. Spirituality is recognized as the deeply personal values, beliefs, and perceptions that guide behavior. Spirituality is influenced early in childhood and is linked to physical and mental health status. A better understanding of the influence of sexual harassment and/or bullying on an individual’s spiritual orientation could influence personnel policies, sexual harassment training, and counseling programs.

Keywords: Spirituality, Workplace Sexual Harassment, Bullying, Registered Nurses

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 341.331KB).

Stacey Lamar

CNM, LM, MA, DrPH(c), Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA

Stacey Lamar, CNM, LM, MA, DrPH(c) is a holistic women’s health provider and consultant, as well as Clinical Professor at the College of New Rochelle, School of Nursing. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, Ms. Lamar has extensive clinical expertise in women’s health issues and owns and operates a holistic private practice, The Willow’s Source, in the Hudson Valley, NY. Ms. Lamar is a DrPH(c) in the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College. Her research interest involves the study of the impact of spirituality as it affects health and well-being within the social sciences. Ms. Lamar’s doctoral work focuses on the complex connection of spirit as it pertains to health and illness. This chapter is part of a larger dissertation research.

Dr. Deborah Viola

Associate Director, Doctoral Program, Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Health Sciences and Practice, Center for Long Term Care Research & Policy, SHSP, Valhalla, New York, USA

Deborah Viola, PhD, is Associate Professor and Associate Director, Doctoral Program, in the Department of Health Policy & Management at the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College, where she also serves as a research scholar at the Center for Long Term Care Research & Policy. Dr. Viola is an economist whose current research includes the effects of home-delivered meals programs among frail, isolated NYC residents; a study of the relationship between income support programs and health among children and communities; the development of medical residency training that emphasizes the non-medical determinants of health; and the long term care needs of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Viola sits on many community boards, including the Bergen County Board of Social Services, where she is the Secretary and Treasurer. She earned a PhD in economics from the Graduate School at the City University of New York as a Robert E. Gilleece fellow.