I just joined the site; it looks like these posts have been here awhile, so I hope someone is still reading this thread. I've been looking for a site to network with other ambulatory care nurses. I'm a nurse manager in a clinic with 15 employees and 5 docs. It's a busy place, and boy can I identify with the original poster! When I started working there, the place was a snakepit. Just as you described- backstabbing, gossip, anything to keep morale and productivity down! I tried everything I could think of to make improvements; but it is truly difficult. As it happened, though, with time the "problem children" moved on, as they often tend to do, and at this time it's really a very pleasant place to work. Of course we still have our "nitpickers" and our few who just won't be happy no matter what, but no one is at each other's throats anymore and we're all basically friends, and best of all the gossip network has been broken. Well, people are always going to talk, I guess, but the mean-spirited stuff has stopped. One of the main things I kept reinforcing to people was "When you talk to someone about someone else, don't think it's not going to get back to the person you said it about. Even if you say 'don't tell anyone'-- the person you're confiding in IS going to tell someone, who will tell someone else, until it gets back to your victim. You think the person you're hiding in the corner whispering with is your pal- but they will repeat every word you said, and what's more, if someone else talks about you, they will get in on that too." Thank God that faction is gone and it's not necessary to be so heavy-handed with those who are left. Another thing I did was to talk with people and let them know that their "gossip" had circulated its way around to me- they'd usually ask "who told?" and I would not tell them. Ever. It seems to make them slightly afraid to spread malicious gossip, because they learn that they can't trust anyone. I do not ever like to foster an atmosphere of distrust, but when you have really malicious people around, you have to do something to bust up the secrecy.