What's the worst thing the workplace bully did to you? has done to you? - page 5
I worked with a so-called nurse that took every monthly note out of the eight pts charts that I had to chart on and did God knows what with them. I couldn't prove it, but she was the only nurse at... Read More
Jul 17, '03I've found that if anyone even starts to pretend they might even try to bully someone or yourself ...you have to stand up to them from the get go and never back down....this works if done immediately and usually they will leave you alone...I tolerate none of that kind of behavior..not even from supervisors...
Jul 17, '03Originally posted by MaryG
I guess they're the people that got away with bullying in school and just never quite grew out of it. It's a shame that adults have to act that way.
Jul 17, '03What about that new federal study that just came out, claiming 17% of children in day care are aggressive and bullies?
Another question? We all KNOW that bullying is a BIG problem in nursing (it's endemic, a shameful part of the culture of nursing), so what do you do when you are a target, by one bully or by a pack of bullies? What's a good strategy? Any ideas? I really would like to know.
Jul 17, '03Vicky - here in Australia some of the bullying came from the turn of the century - it dates back to when nurses were little more than kitchen hands. I remember wne I started my training (many years ago) we were greeted by our immediate superiors ( nurses who had started thier training 2 moths previously) with the words "Oh good now you are here we are no longer the dirt on the floor merely the grime on the walls."
Some of is was a learnt and inappropriate managment strategy where a person does not "fit" because of altered - not neccessarily poor but altered work performance and because there were few other options to "sack" the person they were bullied into leaving. Thus the covert justification began.
Bad management practices that were learnt behaviour. One teaching the next - the "hidden curriculum" Saw it glaringingly at a recent workplace where people I knew would not be bullies elsewhere had fallen into the behaviour because that was the norm.
I am stiing here trying to formulate a simple answer to a difficult question. To really understand it you have to realise that there are three levels of bullying. Single bullying - where it is mostly just one person usually in a postion of power. Cohort bullying where there are two or three close friends who "back them up" and finally mobbing - where the culture supports "us" and "them".
Needless to say the fewer people involved the easier it is to adress the situation. Sometimes it does go back to the bullyig finding a better home life. Even in single person bullying there will be main tarets and those who are close and those who are neutral. The target often looks to the others for support as I did and it was a long slow learnig process that showed me that many of my "supporters would not and could not speak up for me as they were afraid of being targeted.
Cohort bullying will often dissipate if you can divide and conquer but dividing them is difficult - true "cliques" Possibly the worst form of bullying to deal with as your actions can and will be misreported. The cohort bullying I encountered was classical - my boss was actually rather a weak and ineffectual person who was not capable of doing her jog efefctively. She relied on two others to "shore" he up and it was these two who spent hours pourign venom in her ears. Without these two she was alright with them she bacme the worst bully I have ever encountered.
The last - mobbing is the most difficult it is endemic and cultural much like what I first described. Although it can have a "vindication" to "Get rid of " underachievers it soon becomes a tool to get rid of anyone who does not "fit". I think my last place of employment was classical for this. They would employ new graduates to ICU in large numbers - OK if you have enough older more expereinced staff as "leavening" but when you have ahigh turnover there is not enough expereince to pass from one group to another and so the "practice wisdom" becomes less. There is so much not written down in nursing or written in only a few places that we do rely on practice wisdom in the workplace. This lack of cummulative expereince led to a large number of nurses operating only at the "novice" end of Benner model and thier thinking as a group became very balck and white. Example every patient in the ICU whether they were vented and sedated or awake and aware whether the blink reflex was intact or not, had to have 2nd hourly eye drops!!! To not do this was to be classified as a "lazy nurse" regardless of what else you did. This mindset had an underlying insecurity and anyone who had expereince elsewhere did not last long in that unit because they were able to challenge the "by the numbers" nursign routines that had become sacrosanct.
I have rabbitted on a bit here but I think that we are near to findign a solution. On the board here I lookout for threads that rant about "lazy" or "stupid" coworkers and unless they are in jest I read them and see if there is a bully looking for justification in thier actions lurking behind the post - if there is I will gently try to show them a better way of resolving the problem than "telling that stupid witch what I thought and making her pay!!!" (note this is an example sentence and has not been copied from any post.)
Jul 18, '03There are so many 'problems' in healthcare today, so many issues to resolve. As an employee, if we find problems with 'their' system, it reflects badly on the management team. It's also seen as more complicated to address interdepartmental issues. The system seems to ENCOURAGE a bullying, punitive atmosphere, IMO, as it's easier to target an individual vs a whole complex system.
We also hear a lot of 'lip service' regarding healthy workplaces, fair treatment, goals and visions of the facility blah blah...but one must look carefully at the ACTIONS of an individual and an institution. I've been disappointed in what I've 'seen' over the years; I go into nursing employment eyes wide open.
Too many facilities I have worked with seem to have a big ol' cohort and mobbing system soundly in place and functioning well.
Woe to the nurse who enters one of these toxic places and unwittingly becomes the next scapegoat. I've seen it, and I know what it feels like too. One who is outgoing, conscientious, and honest about what she sees going on can make a big target in these places...if she fails to adopt the party mentality. This is how they make or break new managers in too many sad cases I've seen.
Sorry to sound cynical. I'm sure it gets to me because I'm immersed in it, and have higher personal standards. But..like Mama said, we can't always fix what don't wanta be fixed.
Jul 18, '03Too true and when it gets to the level you describe Mattsmom it becomes self perpetuating. Why should they listen to anyone wlse whent they are comfortable with the status quo. I does no good to say "This is not in the patients best interest because if you continue to do xyz then abc cmplications may occur" You then run into "Well I'VE never seen that happen!!"
Jul 20, '03I had to deal with two nurse bullies. We work in a rural ER, three nurses per shift. These two made sure I got the heaviest load..and they took the easy ones, and worked together. I had to do everything for my patient alone, and they would sit on their butts and watch. At lunch time, they would tool off together, and I'd eat alone...no biggy, because I really disliked them. Finally, one day I had a patient who delivered a baby, and I had to take care of both mommy and baby, and clean up after the ordeal. They left at 7:00, and I was still there at 10:30. I confronted them both the next day, and told them they were sorry excuses for nurses, and terrible team players. I then went to my boss and told her "either they go, or I go." Well, I'm still there, and they are driving at least one hour each way to work...so, I guess the best nurse won, after all.
Jul 20, '03I remember one bully who the "managment" decided to give the position of charge nurse reasoning she would do better if she felt more in control!!! Can of worms there! Where are the good managers anyway?
Jul 20, '03Originally posted by vablueyes
I had to deal with two nurse bullies. We work in a rural ER, three nurses per shift. These two made sure I got the heaviest load..and they took the easy ones, and worked together. I had to do everything for my patient alone, and they would sit on their butts and watch. At lunch time, they would tool off together, and I'd eat alone...no biggy, because I really disliked them. Finally, one day I had a patient who delivered a baby, and I had to take care of both mommy and baby, and clean up after the ordeal. They left at 7:00, and I was still there at 10:30. I confronted them both the next day, and told them they were sorry excuses for nurses, and terrible team players. I then went to my boss and told her "either they go, or I go." Well, I'm still there, and they are driving at least one hour each way to work...so, I guess the best nurse won, after all.
Jul 21, '03Heres one for you I have lots of them but this is the most eveil I think.
I was a new grad LPN and was in an IV cert class needing to get 10 documented sticks. So one of the nurses says "would you like to start an IV on me"? "thank you that would be great" I said so she says well if I let you start an IV on me you have to give me some fluid becuse I have a hang over". I turned her down becuse I dident think that was approprate. Anyway therw out the day she keeps asking me. heres where the evil part comes in. She asks me at the nurses station if front of the other nurses, who all say I am just being silly and giveing here a littel fluid is no big deal. Well I was new and so I wanted to fit in and felt that mabey I was just being too carful.
So I started the IV on the nurse in a patient room hang some NS she sighns off my littel sheet and I go about my job. Then the charge nurse comes after me looking very angry she calls me in the break room and rips me up one side and down the other and sent me home early. I have never been so scared or felt so low in my life. not only did I fell that I had done something wrong and abused my postion as a nurse but I thought I would lose my license. I actualy got in my car drove to an empty parking lot and balled. The next day I came in early and and talked to the director. She wasent mad at me although she told me not to do that again but she also told me to watch my back becuse the one of the nurses who told me it was no big deal was the one who had told the charge nurse and she had presented it in a way that made it sound as if I was praticing medicine.
Had to pull the dagger out of my back it was only a prelude of things to come after that I got a reputaion as recklas and practicing out of my scope within a few months rumors begain to be made up and I heard stories of that I had done all sorts of things ranging from d/cing patients without doctors orders to preformning minor surgerie
Jul 22, '03im a agency rn work in icu and er, im a 275lb weightlifter type and was army for 8 years so i havent got much bullying from anyone but a few mds tried . i NEVER let anyone from a cna to the hospital director talk to me in a way that i wouldnt use myself. you must stand your ground immed!!let them know STRONGLY that you will not tolerate that kind of abusive behavior. bullies are like sharks, they smell weakness like blood in the water. if you dont let them get started in on you it only takes making one example and word will get arond that you are to be left alone. ive been very fortunate over my years as a rn to only have one real confrontation at work .be nice but DONT TAKE ANY ABUSE. it makes it worse for the next rn let alon yourself
Jul 22, '03Recently I was complaining that it would be nice to hear that I was doing a good job like the doctors used to tell me. It is then when it hit me: They had told her differently. they had complained to her. More or less I was told that they never meant that I was doing a good job. I was made the office manager because they worked with me. And they went to administration and fought for me to get a larger salary and raises then the hospital allows. They said I wouldn't take a cut in pay when they hired their Mom (who needed a job) as the new office manager. They nominated me for special employee recognition award. It made me so mad. I know that it isn't true but to have that told to me made me so furious. And for some reason I like her but man does she make my job hard. She said other things that were equally hurtful but I won't go into details. No can't go to anyone, she is the doctor's Mom. I just have to know in my heart that I am doing a good job and that the doctors believe that to by their actions.
Nov 13, '04This is a great topic.
I know of businesses that have folded because of harassment and bullys.
I know of a toxic work environment full of gossip, people talking about people behind their backs, people being isolated, people being given the silent treatment, people being scapegoats.
The people that were scapegoats became depressed, had low self-esteem, were thinking of quiting, were generally afraid to approach anyone about what was going on (thinking that there was something wrong with them). They walked around with their heads hanging low, tried to pretty much keep to themselves and lost their desire to contribute to the workplace.
I am happy to say that the Manager of this workplace was open and grateful for this problem to be addressed in a educational staff meeting. After this meeting, people that had been the scapegoats slowly began to regain their personal power.
Another situation involved my own children who were gossiping about my Honey with each other. One of my Daughters and her kids were visiting from Florida and my Daughter actually refused to come visit me in our home because of her judgements about my mate. I, of course, found out what all was going on and confronted them both about how mean they were being. I pleaded with them to talk to my Honey, but neither of them would. And, still haven't. During my Daughters visit, I had to drive 50 miles round trip to see my Grand-kids from Florida. Looking back, I never should have...it was a exhausting and tension filled visit.
My Daughters and I continue to talk, and this subject has come up from tiime to time. But, what I haven't yet said is that unless they "clean it up" with my Honey, they are not welcome to visit us in our home. The thoughts of actually saying that makes me so sad, and also afraid that I will loose my relationship with them. On the other hand, being treated with love and respect and kindness is a basis in relationships. (I should probably talk with Dr. Laura).
And then, of course, there is what happened under the reign of Saddam in Iraq. He was more than a bully. He was evil.
"Business enterprises-and public institutions as well-are organs
of society. They do not exist for their own sake, but to fulfill a
specific social purpose and to satisfy a specific need of a society,
a community, or individuals. They are not ends in themselves,
Peter F. Drucker.
from "The Essential Drucker"