Best advice for bullying

  1. So, I am a newer RN. I have been alone for 3 weeks now. This morning during report, I had a patient going for a procedure. We do bedside report. My coworker proceeded to yell at me, in front of the patient how her fluids weren't hung and consent was not signed (she refused to sign until her daughter arrived..who I did call). I was unaware of this doctors fluid prep, and not told in report. I apologized because I honestly didn't know. She then continued yelling and told me I needed to ask, because no one is going to just tell me these things. All of this was completely degrading, and in front of the patient... When we did clinicals, all fluids were hung in preop. I obviously was wrong for not knowing the preprocedure process..but I still found myself crying the entire way home because now my patient is going to view me as completely incompetent. Reporting this nurse is not feasible because she is good friends with the DON. I normally have tough skin (been yelled at by doctors as an LPN and brushed it off). I am just feeling so small and down about how this unfolded. This nurse has a reputation for running off new nurses and tearing apart everyone during their report. Any advice is appreciated. And for reference, I did not see fluids ordered.
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   AJJKRN
    Next time just try and be calm and not show her emotion in the patients room, then when you both leave the patient's room, pull her to the side and say "Look, those behaviors presented at the bedside make us both look stupid" and go on about your business...and then go cry in your car!

    Point being, stand your ground and her behaviors will stop, at least with you anyways.

    I also may have said to her at the bedside "well since you are more knowledgeable about this prep you are more than welcome to start it then" and either continue with the report or if you're finished with bedside report, thank the patient for being part of their care and leave the room.

    My first year was spent with many of the challenges.

    Time and turnover girlfriend! ;-)
  4. by   Apples&Oranges
    I have written about inappropriate behaviour in report before. Yes, you should have hung fluids quite a few hours before a contrast procedure was started - but how in the world were you supposed to know this? As a new nurse, you are going to miss SOOO many procedures and protocols that you just literally didn't know about.

    The only way to learn these things is to get an amazing, comprehensive orientation (haha!!) or to learn by trial and error. You missed something. It happens. This pt will not die or have an AKI because you didn't flush the kidneys. They rolled their eyes in preop, and did what they needed to do.

    Next time you have a preop pt overnight, you will know to ask the covering doc if they want gentle fluids run for the next X hrs.Actually, this should have been addressed in bedside report, so that either the daylight nurse or you called at 7pm. Lesson learned. Of all of the mistakes that you will make over the next 1.5 years, this is a truly minor one. It happened to almost ALL of us. And shame on that previous nurse for not realizing that. Ugh.

    Wait till you make your first big med error. Again, it has happened to Every. Single. One. OF. Us.

    Take a deep breath, talk to yourself about what you need to do to keep it from happening again, and move on. And the next time that nurse gives you a hard time, well, maybe she is being b**chy, or maybe she has something to teach you. I've been on both sides of that coin.
  5. by   JKL33
    Rules for this situation:

    1. Stay calm

    2. Stay calm

    3. Show no particular emotion.

    4. Rather than "deer in headlights," practice a "look of interest" +/- slowly nodding 'yes', as if to say, "Aha." or "Oh. I see."

    5. After the patient is gone, "explain" to coworker: "I am learning and I am trying. I appreciate the information you shared, but you need to do it respectfully. Please don't speak to me like that again."

    6-9. Stay calm.

    10. Learn what you should from the situation and let the rest go.

    Refuse to be emotionally troubled by individuals like this. It's one thing to be straight-forward. It's another thing to attempt to elevate oneself by humiliating someone else. This gal is in the latter category and her secret feelings of inadequacy are not your problem.

    Best wishes ~
    Last edit by JKL33 on Oct 19
  6. by   nurseinamerica11
    I had this exact same thing happen to me, except thenurse continued to yell and humiliate me while I gave bedside report to her on the next 5 patients...all over 1 simple mistake. I ended up quitting and wish I had not. This was extremely unprofessional of this nurse and I wish that I had just simply recognized that at the time and told this nurse that I was sorry and I was gonna give her a minute to calm down and would finish report once she was. That or tell her where she could stick it! Lol just do not let it get you down. Its not you, this is a problem with this other nurse and she must have some real issues to feel the need to treat other nurses like this.
  7. by   Susie2310
    Quote from krissyycupcake
    So, I am a newer RN. I have been alone for 3 weeks now. This morning during report, I had a patient going for a procedure. We do bedside report. My coworker proceeded to yell at me, in front of the patient how her fluids weren't hung and consent was not signed (she refused to sign until her daughter arrived..who I did call). I was unaware of this doctors fluid prep, and not told in report. I apologized because I honestly didn't know. She then continued yelling and told me I needed to ask, because no one is going to just tell me these things. All of this was completely degrading, and in front of the patient... When we did clinical, all fluids were hung in preop. I obviously was wrong for not knowing the preprocedure process..but I still found myself crying the entire way home because now my patient is going to view me as completely incompetent. Reporting this nurse is not feasible because she is good friends with the DON. I normally have tough skin (been yelled at by doctors as an LPN and brushed it off). I am just feeling so small and down about how this unfolded. This nurse has a reputation for running off new nurses and tearing apart everyone during their report. Any advice is appreciated. And for reference, I did not see fluids ordered.
    I think that you have learned how important it is to check the physician's orders and to clarify any orders that are unclear to you. IV fluid prep is very important for patients who have kidney problems. That may have been part of why the nurse reacted so strongly when she found this hadn't been done. If the patient was going to the cath lab, where they would be receiving contrast materials, and had kidney problems, IV hydration if ordered prior to the procedure would have been very important in trying to prevent acute renal failure. Another scenario where IV hydration could be ordered is along with a bowel prep for a colonoscopy if the patient had kidney problems, with the aim of preventing acute renal failure from the bowel prep which would result in large fluid losses from the frequent BM's. Is it possible that your colleague, who though not behaving appropriately, is an experienced nurse who understands what the consequences of missing the IV hydration can be for the patient, and in shouting at you (inappropriately) was expressing her frustration that the patient hadn't received the ordered IV fluids?

    I'm sorry this happened to you. Your colleague shouldn't have yelled at you, and especially not in front of the patient. On the subject of bullying though; I don't see evidence that she was bullying you. Bullying is behavior that is intended to undermine, weaken, humiliate, or abuse another person, and is often repeated behavior. You mentioned that this nurse has a reputation for running off new nurses and tearing everyone apart during their report, and while her behavior was certainly maladaptive, just from the information you have provided I couldn't come to the conclusion that she was bullying you. It would be wise though to find a strategy for dealing with her behavior, and I think JKL offered good advice.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Oct 25
  8. by   JBudd
    Quote from Susie2310
    On the subject of bullying though; I don't see evidence that she was bullying you. Bullying is behavior that is intended to undermine, weaken, humiliate, or abuse another person, and is often repeated behavior.
    Maladaptive? Inappropriate? This nurse undermined and abused the OP in front of the patient. Your definition makes her a bully. Frustration or not, this does not belong at the bedside. Which is one reason I dislike only doing report at the bedside (I get a quick rundown on folks so I can make notes, then when in the room I'm paying attention to the pt, not my notepad).

    OP: if the consent wasn't signed, you didn't have permission to proceed with the prep anyway. No fluids ordered? then you can't give them. If it was a standard prep, it still should have been in the orders, even if it only said prep you would have known to ask. I seriously doubt the patient will think of you as incompetent, but will always remember the other nurse being.... rude.
  9. by   Susie2310
    Quote from JBudd
    Maladaptive? Inappropriate? This nurse undermined and abused the OP in front of the patient. Your definition makes her a bully. Frustration or not, this does not belong at the bedside.
    The nurse yelled at the OP and continued to yell at the OP in front of the patient. I still see this as maladaptive behavior, not undermining, not abuse, and not bullying, and I disagree with your perception that this is bullying. Do you consider that every time someone yells at you that you are being bullied? You don't just think their behavior is maladaptive or inappropriate?

    The OP only told us of this single instance of this nurse behaving in this way towards her; she didn't say that this nurse regularly behaves towards her in this way. I think that is reason enough to consider it a single incidence of poor behavior towards her, and poor behavior is not synonymous with bullying although some people seem to confuse the two.

    I didn't downplay the fact that the nurse's behavior was very unpleasant for the OP to experience, and I suggested that she find a strategy for dealing with this nurse's behavior if other situations arise in future - in fact I stated that I thought JKL33 had offered good suggestions.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Oct 29
  10. by   JBudd
    We'll have to agree to disagree then, because bullying can be a one time thing, in my humble opinion. Having bullied a person in the past, recognized what I was doing and apologized, is where I am coming from.

    OP also said this nurse had a reputation for running off new nurses, to my mind, that establishes a pattern as well, even though we only have one side of the story.

    I also agree with JKL
  11. by   Susie2310
    Quote from JBudd
    We'll have to agree to disagree then, because bullying can be a one time thing, in my humble opinion. Having bullied a person in the past, recognized what I was doing and apologized, is where I am coming from.

    OP also said this nurse had a reputation for running off new nurses, to my mind, that establishes a pattern as well, even though we only have one side of the story.

    I also agree with JKL
    I agree with you that bullying can be a one time thing, but I didn't see the instance of yelling the OP described as bullying. I didn't read into the yelling as being intentionally designed to injure or undermine the OP just from the OP's description of the situation.

    It would be interesting to know what the nurse who yelled at the OP's honest explanation for her behavior towards the OP would be, and whether she would say, for example, that she was just very upset that the patient didn't receive the fluid prep as she knew they had chronic renal failure and it was very important for them to receive the fluids prior to the procedure, or whether she would admit that she had just deliberately chosen to yell at the new nurse for her mistake with the main intention of undermining her. Since none of us were there and don't know what the situation really was, all we can do is apply our own experience/insight to our understanding of the OP's situation.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Oct 29
  12. by   Wuzzie
    I kind of wonder if there was actually "yelling" involved or were there really only harsh words that felt like yelling. If any of you are parents you know what I mean.

close