Work place bullying . . . I am a victim now, and I am afraid to do any thing about it - page 3

This all started out not too long ago. I used to feel liked by almost anyone I worked with, but now, I feel, some one has daggers for me. It all started one day when I was doing a day shift, which... Read More

  1. by   whipping girl in 07
    Mandi, I've definitely been in your place. When I was in nursing school, I worked at a hospital that had a program in place for nursing students to work as CNAs until their last semester of school, when they could intern in the area of their choosing (hopefully leading to employment after graduation). Well, I just couldn't hold out that long, after working with the "old" CNAs there and trying to handle the impossible patient load. Some of them were truly mean to me, and when they'd make the patient assignments (yes, that's right, the CNAs coming on would pick which patients they wanted), they'd give me all the total care patients and then I'd get b*tched out at the end of the 8 hour shift for not having bathed all twelve patients (8 or 9 of whom were total care) by myself with no turn help unless the patient weighed more than 200#. I remember the whole time I worked there, one CNA being nice to me. The rest were either awful or just ignored me. The nurses were in no way helpful either, and after that summer, I decided I'd work as a housekeeper for any other hospital in town rather than work as a nurse there.

    Back then I didn't stand up for myself either. I just took it. These days, thankfully, I don't have that many situations where I'm getting screwed and I have to stand up for myself. Most of the time I get treated fairly and it really makes a difference in my attitude. But I see a couple of the other nurses who are getting screwed, and I think maybe I don't get treated that way because I am assertive-acting enough that people don't try it, because they assume I won't put up with it.

    You have to learn to be tough and draw the line in the sand NOW, Mandi. I took an assertiveness training class in college, and even though I took it for an easy A, it really did help me. I practiced being assertive in areas where I had little to lose (for instance, in a restaurant when the waiter gets your order wrong, be assertive and ask to have them make it right) and gradually worked my way up to being assertive in all situations.

    And this sounds smug, but in 5 years, you'll be a RN, and she'll still be a CNA.
  2. by   Q.
    No one will ever stick up for you 100% except for yourself, so you have to learn to do it.
    Exactly.


    Mandi, what I've learned is no one else can fight my battles but me. Even if you complain to someone, a higher up, a manager, whatever, they will not EVER stick up for your interests 100%. Your best advocate is yourself.
  3. by   CMERN
    I agree with Heather and others...Try and look at it in a differnt way...Even if you have to FAKE it...STOP WHINNING...the whine is a waste of energy that you can utilize to maintain yourself in the emotional attack strategies that coworkers maybe using toward you...(hint they may like hearing you whine,so thay just keep on doing things to get the reaction)..it may be their little side game...SOOOO take the ball and go Home..do not give any one the pleasure of thinking thay have gotten your goat....With open eyes evaluate YOURSELF, take action and DO the best job you can to satisfy yourself and ignore the horseshit.!..actions speak louder than words. GO Girl
  4. by   Youda
    On the whining: I must agree with the others. Mandi, when you are doing the whining, you are really saying, "Oh, woe is me, I am so weak and I'm getting picked on . . . please stop." Which is the equivalent of wearing a big sign on your back that says "kick me! because I won't fight back." When you're dealing with someone who is viscious and doesn't care about your feelings or respecting you in the first place, this is just an open invitation for more of the same.

    The longer you allow this to continue, the more damage it does to your self-esteem, self-respect, your reputation, your working relationships, and your ability to be effective on the job.

    Toughen up, girl! Stop being afraid of everyone and everything! The things you fear that will happen are not as bad as the consequences of NOT defending yourself!

    Listen to, and put into action, the things people are saying to you here! The sooner the better. This can become a lifelong pattern that will plague you until you learn to stick up for yourself. These are some "words of wisdom" from someone who has been there, done that, and finally learned better!
  5. by   tattooednursie
    I do want to stand up to her, but I just don't know what I can say without geting busted myself . . . I don't want to say hurtful things, but I want to make her leave me alone I just don't know how to go about it.
  6. by   kristi915
    Tell her how YOU feel. How she is making YOU feel. You don't have to be hurtful to her.
  7. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by Youda
    On the whining: I must agree with the others. Mandi, when you are doing the whining, you are really saying, "Oh, woe is me, I am so weak and I'm getting picked on . . . please stop." Which is the equivalent of wearing a big sign on your back that says "kick me! because I won't fight back." When you're dealing with someone who is viscious and doesn't care about your feelings or respecting you in the first place, this is just an open invitation for more of the same.

    The longer you allow this to continue, the more damage it does to your self-esteem, self-respect, your reputation, your working relationships, and your ability to be effective on the job.

    Toughen up, girl! Stop being afraid of everyone and everything! The things you fear that will happen are not as bad as the consequences of NOT defending yourself!

    Listen to, and put into action, the things people are saying to you here! The sooner the better. This can become a lifelong pattern that will plague you until you learn to stick up for yourself. These are some "words of wisdom" from someone who has been there, done that, and finally learned better!
    I agree with Youda-I know you are just 17 and I get the impression that you don't get much support(I mean emotionally) from your family-I feel that maybe your parents have not enabled you to find the tools you need to become and adult.I apologize if I am way off base and I don't mean to be disrespectful.My mom was a very strong person-after my dad died at 50 she had to keep the roof over our heads and clothes on our backs--she never had much time for my teenage angst...I can't hold it against her-she had bigger concerns-but I wish we had talked about it before she died.You have to learn to take responsibility for yourself....Counseling is available for little or no cost -get some help-start at school and also talk to your family doctor for guidance....
  8. by   flowerchild
    Originally posted by FutureRN_Mandi
    I do want to stand up to her, but I just don't know what I can say without geting busted myself . . . I don't want to say hurtful things, but I want to make her leave me alone I just don't know how to go about it.
    Oh to be so young again..........Wouldn't be 17 again for all the tea in China. Since you are not able to handle this situation yourself, you must involve the management. Confronting the bully, even if it is through the boss, will usually stop the bully behavior. No need to lower yourself to her level to get her to stop, so don't even try to verbally confront her yourself, since you worry about getting in trouble for doing this.
    Your self esteem seems low to me and I'd suggest r/o depression. Many teens have depression, so don't think this couldn't be your problem. Go see your Doc and tell Doc what happened and how you reacted.
    Lastly, learning to handle these situations gets easier with age. After this happens a few times, you'll learn how to stop the bullying towards you. Take assertiveness training. Watch your posture, do you walk strait and tall? Do you hold your head up high? Do you look people in the eye when they talk to you? General posture can relay a message that this person has a confident attitude which will decrease the likelyhood of someone picking you to bully.
    OK, one more thing I'll add. If someone started talking to me like that, I'd tell them, I may have missed making the daybeds b/c nobody told me about them, I'm new, and have never worked this shift, but I'm no moron and do not expect or accept being treated like one. I appreciate your help but if you continue to speak to me in a condencending manner, I'd rather do the work by myself. If you have a problem with that we can take it to the boss right now. DON'T LET ANYONE PUSH YOU AROUND AND NEVER AGAIN PUT YOURSELF DOWN TO ANYONE.
  9. by   PsychoRN
    You need to work on your assertiveness and self-esteem. I would suggest counseling to help you work on these issues. This is just the beggining of the crap you will have to endure from co-workers, physicians, patient's, patient family members, supervisors, etc. in your nursing career.
  10. by   HarryPotter
    Quote from FutureRN_Mandi
    This all started out not too long ago. I used to feel liked by almost anyone I worked with, but now, I feel, some one has daggers for me.

    It all started one day when I was doing a day shift, which I do not normally do, it was only the 2nd time ever. I did not realising a very mean tone of voice. , , i said " I'm trying I really am, and I have ben doing alot of stuff" and she gets in my face and starts laughing, and she's all like "what have you been doing? I don't see a thing done on your hall and its almost lunchtime!" and I'm all like " I havn't even sat down once today." and she said "well I havnt either because I have been answering your lights!"

    I was so upset and angry about this I cried throught half the shift. later I came to her and said "sorry about earlier" (yes I am a pushover)

    another time I was showering a resident and I heard one of the bed monotors go off, ya know the ones where you clip the string on the ones who are a fall risks if they get out of bed. Anywho, at my facility a resident is NOT to be left alone in the shower under any circmstances, so I just sped things up since it didnt sound like no one was going to answer the alarm. I get done with my shower, and quickly got my resindent situated. and i was wlaking quicky down the hall and the same CNA that had been giving me trouble was sitting at the nurses station, and didnt move untill I walked by then she started running down the hall, and my residnent was half nude wandering down the hall. That CNA was all like "What the hell is going on! Why arent you watching her . . . ." and she was up in my face about that! " I just looked down at my shoes and I said "I suck. I know I suck"

    I talked to a few trusted co-workers about this, and I guess I'm not the only one. I am crushed that some one wants to treat me that way. Ever time that woman walks by I get so nervous, and it maes me very angry I let her push me around, and now that she knows she made me cry it probably makes her feel "powerful" and I think she takes pride in being mean to me!!!

    I am to much of a chicken to tell the DON. I'm still on my probation for being new ya know, and I don't want to be a tattle tale . . . but I don't want to be afraid of a co-worker either!

    Dear Mandy:

    Here is my advise:

    Go to your DON and ask her advise. You do not have to name names.
    Tell her exactly what happened in the incidents: what you were doing, (what happened), what the CNA said, what you said, how you felt. Tell her that you need her advise.

    Tell your DON that you want to do the job right, and how does she think you should handle this persons method of correction of you. Tell her that you want to be a good and competent Nurse and that you want to learn how to do things the right way.

    Ask her advise as you are a student and are there to learn how to be a RN. Ask her how she thinks you should handle a situation like the one your in. Let her give you advise on how to handle situations like this.

    Your supervisor may then ask for the name of the CNA, and if she does you need to tell her. Supervisors do really care, and yours will be grateful to find out what the situation is as she is ultimately responsible for the well being of her staff, as well as to patients and to the Hospital. She will also think of you as a up and coming professional.

    I don't know that you need counceling. Seems to me that your young and inexperienced, sensitive and caring.
    You deserve dignity and respect. Don't ever forget that! Learning to be assertive is a skill (not necessarily a psychological problem).

    I also want to add that the book "Bullys at Work" is wonderful. There are also lots of web sites on the subject. Go to your search engine and type in workplace bullys, or harrassment and you'll find lots of resources.

    And, by the way, I have begun a poll about workplace bullying. I would love you (all of you) to participate in it as I am gathering statistical evidence on workplace bullying in order to eliminate it.

    Best regards,
    Lynne RN
  11. by   HarryPotter
    Quote from Pony Nurse
    Odds are pretty good that if this chick is treating you this badly she is doing it to others. I bet if you complain to the DON, it will not be the first time she has heard it. I have found that problem people don't just have a problem with one person.

    If you chose not to go that route, you need to toughen up and build up your self esteem. We nurses tend to eat our young and you will not survive the profession if you go around with your heart on your sleeve. I know, because I was just like you once.

    I have found bullies only go after people who will take it. If you politely, but firmly, inform her that you will not take her verbal abuse, I guarantee she will back down. If she still persists tell her she is creating a hostile work environment and you will go to the DON.

    Take care, hon, and let us know how it is going.

    Hey Pony Nurse:

    Great reply. Sounds like you've been there. Please visit my poll on bullying. would love your input. Lynne
  12. by   HarryPotter
    Quote from Gator,SN
    futureRNMandi,

    You don't need "balls"!! perish the thought! You have everything that you need, right now, inside you. You are a young woman who has a great future ahead of you in a profession that will, at times, require you to speak up and advocate for yourself and your patients. Try really hard to start finding that voice, NOW, while you are young. Otherwise it is going to be a hard road.

    NO ONE has the right to mistreat you, but the truth is, they can only do so, IF YOU LET THEM!!! Ya know, some people are mean, for no reason, that is the way it is sometimes. You will not change them, but you can change yourself and how you deal with the situation.
    I do want to tell you that if someone confronts you, (and at times this happens) NEVER, EVER, say things like, "i suck" because you give them the opening to make an azz out of you. REPECT yourself!! When you have respect for yourself, it will shine through and others will think twice before giving you crap. It has to start with you though. Never make excuses for your behavior. You are a young adult working in a nursing facility where you are partially in charge of taking care of others. That is huge and it is going to require you to set an example and be accountable and it requires you to be able to take care of yourself so that you can care for others.
    I don't know if you were serious about the whole "whining" thing (I really hope that was you being sarcastic) but if you were serious, then knock it off! It shows immaturity and self centered childishness. You cannot have it both ways....taking care of others and acting like a baby.
    No one here can tell you how to stand up for yourself, you just have to do it.
    you don't need to get balls, you need a backbone.

    Good luck with the situation!
    Gator



    Hi Gator
    Lynne here.
    Fabulouos reply. Really, really great.
    I have a bully poll going, will you participate?
    Lynne
  13. by   avahsmiles
    Wow! This thread is VERY old. I wonder if mandi is still around??!

close