Bullying in the work place

  1. How far is too far? I was bullied in the work place and now at this time have left and gone on to a new position in the hospital, but she is still bullying the staff. They are afraid to turn her in because of how and what she does, I feel I need to turn her in, to help the staff out. She makes it a hostel environment and very toxic for staff and patients and the patients family members. And in the last 6 months that unit has gone through 32 nurses old and new. I feel I need to be their voice and speak up for them because I no longer work for her and I'm not afraid of her. Please help what should I do?
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    About haney13

    Joined: Dec '15; Posts: 2; Likes: 1

    14 Comments

  3. by   EGspirit
    Quote from haney13
    How far is too far? I was bullied in the work place and now at this time have left and gone on to a new position in the hospital, but she is still bullying the staff. They are afraid to turn her in because of how and what she does, I feel I need to turn her in, to help the staff out. She makes it a hostel environment and very toxic for staff and patients and the patients family members. And in the last 6 months that unit has gone through 32 nurses old and new. I feel I need to be their voice and speak up for them because I no longer work for her and I'm not afraid of her. Please help what should I do?
    Walk away from it and forget about it. If the facility had a problem with her acting that way they would have done something about it a long time ago. If you like where you are working now, then consider it all part of the Divine plan to get you there. But if you try to "fix" her or this situation, it will backfire on you badly.

    You don't work with or for her anymore, so it's not your problem. Because I'll tell you something: For every bit of sympathy there is for those who are "bullied," there is a very equal belief that the victim simply isn't strong enough to take it; it's like an anti-sympathy. Were you sexually harassed? Were you physically hurt? Was money or possessions taken from you? No? But you want to use the term "bullied?" I wouldn't do that if I were you.

    Just working for an arrogant curmudgeon (which is a staple in the medical field), is not being "bullied."

    Don't get me wrong: I totally sympathize with what you are feeling and totally get why you feel the way you do. What I am telling you is for your own protection. You will never "fix" that situation, but you will fall on your sword trying, and it's not worth it. Just walk away and chalk it up to an experience you'll tell new nurses about some day. And I wish you the very best, my friend.
    Last edit by EGspirit on Dec 9, '17 : Reason: grammar
  4. by   rkitty198
    I would step away after I encourage others to contact the compliance hotline/or ethics hotline. We have one through Human Resources. It's ran by a third party and it can be anonymous as when you put the complaint in there is no name required.
    However, if the complaints are not documented such as days, times, what was exactly said and the circumstance then nothing can be done. It's hard when the "bully" does it in a covert way. Such as one of our doctors. It's not what he says, but how he says it. His tone, how he stands and looks at you.
    I called a rapid response on one of his patients and he asked me if I thought that the patient should be transferred, then he transferred them, stating "this nurse doesn't think she can take care of my patient properly." Which was true, on our floor, but not in the way he said it. Then I told him that I just got back from bereavement leave from the death of my dad and his tone was not needed. He said "well if you are feeling too sensitive maybe you came back too soon."
    I finally had enough of his crap and started documenting as did other nurses. He is finally a little nicer now.
    But I still work there, you don't. So there isn't really anything you can do even if you wanted to, other than give your old co-workers advice.
    The only thing you could even do is call said manager and tell her how you feel, but let me caution you, the world is a small place! These people seem to pop up in different positions during your career. My old manager who was a "good riddance" manager popped back up as a manager on another unit in a hospital I started working for.
  5. by   sevensonnets
    Since you no longer work with this person, it's not your issue anymore. There's no need to 'help the staff out.' That is being vindictive and could cause you to lose your present position. I say let it go.
  6. by   pixierose
    Be like Elsa, OP. There's nothing to gain and much to lose so move on and let it go.
  7. by   EGspirit
    Quote from rkitty198
    I would step away after I encourage others to contact the compliance hotline/or ethics hotline.
    Okay. Sometimes, I guess even if it's the better course to take, there are things you just can't walk away from. I've been there, too.

    It's hard when the "bully" does it in a covert way. Such as one of our doctors. It's not what he says, but how he says it. His tone, how he stands and looks at you.
    rkitty, That's not bullying. It may feel that way, but it's not bullying. Doctors act that way. It's part of the medical profession. Being able to deal with that IS part of being a nurse. You see, if you call that bullying, no one will take you seriously. And then how will you ever be an effective advocate?

    I called a rapid response on one of his patients and he asked me if I thought that the patient should be transferred, then he transferred them, stating "this nurse doesn't think she can take care of my patient properly." Which was true, on our floor, but not in the way he said it. Then I told him that I just got back from bereavement leave from the death of my dad and his tone was not needed. He said "well if you are feeling too sensitive maybe you came back too soon."
    That's not bullying, rkelly. It just feels like it is. If you were suing him, let's say, a lawyer would tell you that you had no business whatsoever saying that to him. It had nothing to do with the job or the patient, and was only a form of manipulation. I know that sounds cold, but you can't bring your problems from home to work--and them use them in the course of your work. You could have said, "That's right, Doctor: I can't care for your patient with what we have available on this floor." And that's it. Every nurse in earshot would be on your side--they all know he's a dick. They already know it.

    And don't get me wrong. I feel you. I feel your anger. I know where you're coming from. But you have to understand that everywhere in every country and state, doctors pretty much act the same way. A nurse must learn how to deal with that or they simply will not be an effective nurse. And if you're a good nurse and you burn out or get pushed out because of how doctors treat you, then what about all the patients you could have helped? You see, part of being a patient advocate is hanging on that cross called "The Medical Working Environment."

    Good luck to you my friend.
  8. by   JKL33
    Quote from haney13
    And in the last 6 months that unit has gone through 32 nurses old and new.
    Bottom line: Then you are not going to help them. That is a ridiculous amount of turnover.

    Quote from haney13
    I feel I need to be their voice and speak up for them because I no longer work for her and I'm not afraid of her. Please help what should I do?
    Not faulting you, I promise. But the truth probably includes a little of the fact that since their standard operating procedure (including blowing through nurses) is rather outrageous, you probably want a little justice for what you and others have been through. Vengeance is not going to take you forward though.

    Three more things:

    1. Life teaches you eventually that it's really tough to fix problems on others' behalf. Unless you have power or resources that can literally effect the change without anyone else's cooperation, it's pretty much a lost cause.

    2. People do need to learn how to advocate on their own behalf. They either need to decide not to put up with this any more (by leaving) or else organize a critical mass of those willing to put their feet down.

    3. This individual is not their only problem, I can promise you. In fact, her continued presence there is simply a sign of a far larger problem.
  9. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    You need to be your voice and yours alone. One reason I feel that bullying exists is that nurses who are bullied take on a victim role and wait for somebody "to do something about it". However, we are all professionals and adults and don't have the luxury of that cop-out. You did something about an unacceptable work environment by leaving it. The impetus is on the nurses still being bullied to do something about it. They should talk to their manager and if that doesn't work move on as their lives are their responsibility. Nurses accept the unacceptable in many facets of their lives and then expect people to feel sorry for them. I don't especially when they are willing to do nothing about the situation but whine like 3rd graders. Bullied once shame on the Bully. Bullied twice shame on the recipient.
  10. by   wondern
    Some great points, SpankedinPittsburgh, if only it was that cut and dry. Some people love their job and want to keep it and make the unethical bully leave. If you have no power to make change there, yes, you are probably smart to just leave to save your own sanity.

    However to call out people who are exposing bullies and hostile work environments whining like 3rd graders is not right. I can see if your whining about patients and patient care but exposing bullies and their unethical antics! Give me a break. Part of healing is talking about it. Some people, who aren't such hateful game players don't even recognize what's going on at first.

    No shame on anybody!!!

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  11. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from JKL33
    Bottom line: Then you are not going to help them. That is a ridiculous amount of turnover.



    Not faulting you, I promise. But the truth probably includes a little of the fact that since their standard operating procedure (including blowing through nurses) is rather outrageous, you probably want a little justice for what you and others have been through. Vengeance is not going to take you forward though.

    Three more things:

    1. Life teaches you eventually that it's really tough to fix problems on others' behalf. Unless you have power or resources that can literally effect the change without anyone else's cooperation, it's pretty much a lost cause.

    2. People do need to learn how to advocate on their own behalf. They either need to decide not to put up with this any more (by leaving) or else organize a critical mass of those willing to put their feet down.

    3. This individual is not their only problem, I can promise you. In fact, her continued presence there is simply a sign of a far larger problem.
    I can't "like" this enough. I have learned the hard way that you can't solve problems for others without their cooperation. I've been active in my unions and tried to go to bat for people who were being poorly treated. I've been vocal about needed policy changes. But no one stood up with me. They were happy to leave me out on a limb while they either got out of Dodge or enjoyed their victimhood.

    Save yourself.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from haney13
    How far is too far? I was bullied in the work place and now at this time have left and gone on to a new position in the hospital, but she is still bullying the staff. They are afraid to turn her in because of how and what she does, I feel I need to turn her in, to help the staff out. She makes it a hostel environment and very toxic for staff and patients and the patients family members. And in the last 6 months that unit has gone through 32 nurses old and new. I feel I need to be their voice and speak up for them because I no longer work for her and I'm not afraid of her. Please help what should I do?
    You cannot fix someone else's problems for them. You chose to fix your own problems by moving on -- good for you! But the other staff who are being "bullied" need to fix their own problems, either by moving on or by working with management or HR to de-fang the "bully." Or by stepping up and standing up for themselves to the bully.

    If this person has been making things toxic for patients and family members, she'll be gone soon, especially in this era of customer service. You cannot know -- nor should you -- where this person is on the disciplinary continuum.

    You're out of her orbit now; leave it alone. The time to have "turned her in" was before you left. Doing it now reeks of vengeance, not justice.
  13. by   Workitinurfava
    You are gone and they are still there so let them deal with it and who will believe you as you have left. It would be more believable if you were still there.
  14. by   Irish_Mist
    It's not your problem. Let them deal with it. Assuming all of these people are adults, they can handle it themselves. Don't let this be the hill you die on.

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