Bullying--The Other "B" Word - page 4

by rn/writer 13,034 Views | 56 Comments Guide

Not long ago if another nurse rolled her eyes when you gave report, cut you off while you were asking a question, or ignored you when said you needed help wasting a narcotic, she would have been called the b word that rhymes... Read More


  1. 1
    Please choose another word to portray nasty people. I personally am sick and tired of people utilizing my chosen religion as a bad word.I am a Witch, I practice Wicca. To the OP, please understand that when you say someone is a Witch, meaning ***** - it is insulting- It's the same as if you used the "N" word, or made a comment about someone being Jewish. I understand in our culture, with the whole "Wizard of OZ, Haloween thing", it's easy to miss the fact that it is an insult to a growing segment of the population. Wicca is recognized by our government as an organized religion- Our soldiers who practice the faith, and are killed while serving, now have the opportunity to be buried in Arlington with a pentacle on their stone. So pretty please, choose another word. Thank you very much,.....cause if ya don't, I WILL BE GETTING MY FLYING MONKEYS OUT!
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 9, '11 : Reason: changed to all **
    tralalaRN likes this.
  2. 3
    With all due respect to the author, I disagree. You are coming across, in my opinion, as a person's perception of a situation is somehow their fault. (Because of a misguided notion that it is due to some are used to positive affirmations?? REALLY???) The expectation I would think is that one goes into a profession (and one where we are caretakers at that) with the idea that professional workplaces require professional behavior. We are adults. Bullies participate in witchy behaviors. One's snarky behavior is not something anyone should need to deal with at work. Behaviors that are inappropriate and rude that affect another person and cause them to be embarrased, belittled or made to feel bad about their work--that is bullying. Children have no "power" over other children. And the witchy, rude behavior you describe is exactly what is bullying in children. The same with adults. I think if anyone needs some effective coping skills, it is by far the person who can't be professional. You have used a label, and described some of the behaviors. They are not interchangeable. I can't imagine what HR or a nurse manager's response would be if one would say "oh I was just having a bad day, I was cranky". NO one is asking for a "niceness" award. But if one wants to be a "witch" then do it on your own time.
    duckyluck111, Mulan, and tralalaRN like this.
  3. 4
    Quote from JDougRN
    Thank you very much,.....cause if ya don't, I WILL BE GETTING MY FLYING MONKEYS OUT!
    See, now who is perpetuating stereotypes? There is a difference (to me, anyway) between "Witch" (big "W") and "witch" (little "w"). Considering the author and the context, I'm sure no slight was intended.

    LunahRN, proud Pagan/Witch
    (Hey, I even have "Pagan" on my dog tags!)
    Irish_Mist, FranEMTnurse, sirI, and 1 other like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from LunahRN
    See, now who is perpetuating stereotypes? There is a difference (to me, anyway) between "Witch" (big "W") and "witch" (little "w"). Considering the author and the context, I'm sure no slight was intended.

    LunahRN, proud Pagan/Witch
    (Hey, I even have "Pagan" on my dog tags!)
    Ehh-I'm sure there was no slight intended, I was just trying to educate people.With the flying monkeys, I was trying to present my point in a "light" way. I figure, there isn't any sense in getting cranky about it- I also joke with my coworkers- We have classes that everyone has to take, on cultural sensativity. If you get accused of doing something "naughty", they make you go for a refresher. Whenever anybody who works with me uses the "W" word, I point, and loudly tell them "Off to cultural sensativity classes for YOU!" They laugh, and apologize- and they do try not to use it. This way they get gently reminded that it is a slurr,and shouldn't use it, but nobody gets cranky. It is funny, how most people don't realize how many of "us" are out and about. Last week I had 2 seperate patients in one night through my ED who were wearing Pentacles.....
  5. 0
    Back to the topic ... is this like the pain scale, where the patient's pain is what they say it is, even if they're calmly texting and eating Cheetos with their 10/10 pain? (Boy, we ER nurses sure give Cheetos a bad rap, haha.) If a person feels bullied, are they being bullied? Not sure where we draw the line between saying "you're being bullied" and "wow, that other person is a miserable human, thank goodness I'm not them."
  6. 2
    Quote from LunahRN
    Back to the topic ... is this like the pain scale, where the patient's pain is what they say it is, even if they're calmly texting and eating Cheetos with their 10/10 pain? (Boy, we ER nurses sure give Cheetos a bad rap, haha.) If a person feels bullied, are they being bullied? Not sure where we draw the line between saying "you're being bullied" and "wow, that other person is a miserable human, thank goodness I'm not them."
    Your question gives me the perfect opportunity to announce a follow-up article that should be posted tomorrow. "How Do You Spot a Workplace Bully?" gives a more detailed description of how to identify this destructive behavior, what kind of boss or co-worker might practice it, and what motivates them to act this way.

    BTW, the direct answer to your questions is no, if a person feels bullied, that doesn't necessarily mean that's happening. I wrote this first article to explain that not every unpleasant workplace exchange amounts to bullying. Anti-bullying campaigns have been in the news lately, so, people are sometimes a little too quick to jump on that bandwagon. It's understandable. They sometimes feel picked on and they want help. But bullying is a specialized form of harassment that differs from poor management or bad manners.

    If a person says they're being bullied, their complaints definitely need to be examined to see if they fit the criteria. Bullying has a very different set of strategies and remedies than the measures one might take against rudeness or other workplace friction. On the flip side, things that might work well with personality conflicts or rudeness can be dangerous if used with a bully.

    Stay tuned for the next article.

    Time to go have some Chee-tos!
    Last edit by rn/writer on Oct 8, '11
    FranEMTnurse and wooh like this.
  7. 1
    Looking forward to it! You've inspired me to get crackin' on a new Army Nursing blog entry.
    rn/writer likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from rn/writer
    ...BTW, the direct answer to your questions is no, if a person feels bullied, that doesn't necessarily mean that's happening...

    Ah, but in opinion it IS happening. This is akin to the notion of "my husband verbally abuses me" vs, "no, your husband is just an *******" or "my parents are so abusive" vs. "they are very strict" . Even sexual harrassment in the workplace. One's hysterically funny joke makes someone else uncomfortable, and one can be brought up on sexual harrassment charges. Inappropriate behaviors have no place in the workplace. Bullies seem to be informed and cunning perpertrators. They know how to push the envelope JUST so far. And I truly believe that perpetuating the myth that one has to put up with someone else's bad behaviors when directed at them in the workplace (where often one doesn't have a choice of leaving or not) is not correct.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 9, '11 : Reason: changed to all **
    duckyluck111 likes this.
  9. 0
    Re: Bullying--The Other "B" Word
    Originally Posted by rn/writer
    ...BTW, the direct answer to your questions is no, if a person feels bullied, that doesn't necessarily mean that's happening...

    Ah, but in opinion it IS happening. This is akin to the notion of "my husband verbally abuses me" vs, "no, your husband is just an *******" or "my parents are so abusive" vs. "they are very strict" . Even sexual harrassment in the workplace. One's hysterically funny joke makes someone else uncomfortable, and one can be brought up on sexual harrassment charges. Inappropriate behaviors have no place in the workplace. Bullies seem to be informed and cunning perpertrators. They know how to push the envelope JUST so far. And I truly believe that perpetuating the myth that one has to put up with someone else's bad behaviors when directed at them in the workplace (where often one doesn't have a choice of leaving or not) is not correct.
    Of course, if someone is feeling attacked or oppressed at work, something needs to be done. Bad behavior needs to be addressed. But different problems require different solutions.

    Bullying is a very specific type of abuse that has to be handled correctly or it can actually endanger the target. Not every form of inappropriate behavior is bullying. I will be posting an article that explains the difference between what people label bullying and what it actually is. It might seem like petty semantic squabbling, but believe me, the distinction is important. Treating every complaint like it's bullying is overkill. Treating bullying like it's a personality conflict can put the target in harm's way.

    Asking for bullying to be properly identified, labeled, understood and dealt with does not in any way diminish the need to resolve other kinds of conflicts with appropriate measures.
  10. 4
    Well written and you do raise an interesting point of comparison. I, however, have had personal experiences in nursing that just aren't as cut and dry. For instance a fellow nurse in PACU of a Magnet hospital. Yes she was a witch, as, I believe, most if not all those classified as bully are. She was a peer, there was no imbalance of power, she did not make any real or implied threats toward me, yet she was relentless in questioning my nursing judgement. For everything. Hourly. Every shift I worked. This was a women let go by this same institution 8 years prior, unapologetically lazy, and mean to patients. I was her target because I started in the department 6 months after she had.
    I know witchy nurses after 14 years on the job. I can ignore that, but this one was another story altogether.
    My point is this: I believe there are degrees of witchery and bullying, extreme bullying being harassment. Think of it as a continuum - witch to bully to harasser. All of it ugly and unnecessary.
    Just my 2 cents. By the way I quit that job because of this nurse. Have never given it a second thought but was delighted to learn she was fired two weeks after I left (verbally abusive to a patient). I stand firm in my assessment - BULLY!
    Hotfornursing, jadelpn, pedicurn, and 1 other like this.


Top