Confrontation with bullies at work place; need advice with next step

by lululucy 17,708 Views | 91 Comments

I'm a new grad, and have been working as a new nurse for early 5 months. I've heard a lot regarding "nurses eat their young" before I stepped a foot into this profession, however, I didn't quite comprehend the significant meaning behind it until I have personally experienced it at my work place.

  1. 5

    Confrontation with bullies at work place; need advice with next step

    Dear readers,

    I'm a new grad, and have been working as a new nurse for early 5 months. I've heard a lot regarding "nurses eat their young" before I stepped a foot into this profession, however, I didn't quite comprehend the significant meaning behind it until I have personally experienced it at my work place.

    She's one of my preceptors when I initially started working there. As a new grad, I anticipated a lot of support, a hand of guidance, and patience, however, after a period of time spending with her, sadly to say, she had successfully made my life miserable, and made me feel extremely unwelcome. At a point I even contemplated whether this is what nursing is about. I lost my eager passion for nursing. Initially, I would greet her with a hi and bye whenever I see, and her reaction to my greetings were very indifferent and sometimes she would just look at me and turned away. Ultimately, It made me feel very embarrassed in front of everyone, several times, I thought to myself, why am I so persistent with her? why am I so desperate to get her approval? Why am I let her put me down again, and again? For what?

    So yesterday was the climax of this bullying business, or perhaps, put an end to my misery. First, I walked in on her gossiping about me with another co-worker in the nursing station. At that moment, I just looked at them both in disbelief. Secondly, what really ignited my untold emotions was with a patient's IV antibiotic. Another co-worker, let's name her B, whom I gave report to, also a close friend to hers, and her (A) were discussing that she discovered that there's very fluid backed up, about 5ml, in a 3g Unasyn bottle which was attached to the 100ml 0.9% sodium Chloride. Be mindful, I gave all my reports already, had to stay to hang another bag because another co-worker (C) was complaining that I should have done that during my shift, of course, I willingly agreed to change the IV bag. It was close to 8am in the morning, I was preparing to head back to the locker room, when I heard my name, I looked up it was nurse A calling for me to go to nurse B. They knew exactly what to do with the bag, but had me call the Pharmacy and bring it down to the Pharmacy department to have them show me how.

    On my way down, I was so upset, tears were inevitably rolling down my cheeks. My nursing educator saw me. She told me that she heard a calling from God and saw me standing in a corner crying. I thank God that she saw me. After hearing what had happened, she furiously took me upstairs and called in each person for confrontation. My manager was there at the time of event. My former preceptor, nurse A, admitted that she was closed off to me, and it all started when she first precepted and perceived my attitude and action as not receptive to her teachings. I stood there shaking my head while listening to her complains. So my manager inquired when all of this was going on, how come as a senior nurse, especially a preceptor, she didn't express it to her when they had meetings together. In addition, she fabricated more lies about me not giving her full reports in the morning. I voiced myself and said it loud and clear in front of everyone that every time we sat down to give her reports, she's either not listening attentively and in the middle of giving reports, she would turn away to start conversing with another nurse, or snatching reports from my hand and telling me she knows the patient and need no more reports from me.

    I've been thinking a lot. I don't know if I can still work on that unit anymore. I don't know if I should transfer to another unit, or apply to another hospital. I know distinctively that these nasty people are everywhere, but especially, since the confrontation and mediation took place, I'm not anticipating my work life to be any more easier or comfortable on that unit. Words will spread like feathers throughout the whole unit. I don't know how people will view me after this incident. Perhaps, using higher authority to report the "bullies"?

    I feel lonelier than ever. It makes me dread going to work everyday. Please help!

    Sincerely,
    Your desperate fellow nurse
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 8, '12
    Juniper248, hope3456, Joe V, and 2 others like this.
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  3. About lululucy

    lululucy joined Aug '11 - from 'NYC'. lululucy has '1' year(s) of experience. Posts: 28 Likes: 12; Learn more about lululucy by visiting their allnursesPage

    91 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    talk to your manager, hopefully with the preceptor in the room. Just state the facts and how you feel and allow the other person to express themself as well. Some people are just hateful. The good news is that you only feel bad around them, but they are ALWAYS around themself!!
    ruthalittle and lindarn like this.
  5. 3
    sorry about what you are going through. As a new grad, I understand how you feel. You are lucky to find a job but unfortunately your preceptor is a Bxtch. I suggest you to start looking for a new job. Mean people are everywhere, but unit cultures differ. I started two months ago as a brand new nurse, fortunately my preceptor and most coworkers are very nice and supportive. You will grow professionally in a supportive environment, that's for sure. Don't lose heart. Don't see yourself any less.
    Gold_SJ, lindarn, and netglow like this.
  6. 15
    Now everybody knows, and cannot say that they don't. Go meet with your educator and your manager ALONE. There is no need to involve the bully. Say, "What can I do? I like this place, I wanted to work here and thought I'd like to stay for many years...." I feel that YOU (nurse manager/educator) are the only ones who I feel a professional relationship with, and can trust (could be a fib, but say it anyway).

    Why do people attempt to keep bullies in the loop? The bully is dirt and needs to be treated as such by YOU AND YOUR MANAGMENT.

    @Nurse managers: if you want not to be made the fool, you would take out any nurse who behaves this way. You won't get respect from me till you grow a pair.
  7. 7
    Quote from lululucy
    Dear readers,

    I'm a new grad, and have been working as a new nurse for early 5 months. I've heard a lot regarding "nurses eat their young" before I stepped a foot into this profession, however, I didn't quite comprehend the significant meaning behind it until I have personally experienced it at my work place.

    She's one of my preceptors when I initially started working there. As a new grad, I anticipated a lot of support, a hand of guidance, and patience, however, after a period of time spending with her, sadly to say, she had successfully made my life miserable, and made me feel extremely unwelcome. At a point I even contemplated whether this is what nursing is about. I lost my eager passion for nursing. Initially, I would greet her with a hi and bye whenever I see, and her reaction to my greetings were very indifferent and sometimes she would just look at me and turned away. Ultimately, It made me feel very embarrassed in front of everyone, several times, I thought to myself, why am I so persistent with her? why am I so desperate to get her approval? Why am I let her put me down again, and again? For what?

    So yesterday was the climax of this bullying business, or perhaps, put an end to my misery. First, I walked in on her gossiping about me with another co-worker in the nursing station. At that moment, I just looked at them both in disbelief. Secondly, what really ignited my untold emotions was with a patient's IV antibiotic. Another co-worker, let's name her B, whom I gave report to, also a close friend to hers, and her (A) were discussing that she discovered that there's very fluid backed up, about 5ml, in a 3g Unasyn bottle which was attached to the 100ml 0.9% sodium Chloride. Be mindful, I gave all my reports already, had to stay to hang another bag because another co-worker (C) was complaining that I should have done that during my shift, of course, I willingly agreed to change the IV bag. It was close to 8am in the morning, I was preparing to head back to the locker room, when I heard my name, I looked up it was nurse A calling for me to go to nurse B. They knew exactly what to do with the bag, but had me call the Pharmacy and bring it down to the Pharmacy department to have them show me how.

    On my way down, I was so upset, tears were inevitably rolling down my cheeks. My nursing educator saw me. She told me that she heard a calling from God and saw me standing in a corner crying. I thank God that she saw me. After hearing what had happened, she furiously took me upstairs and called in each person for confrontation. My manager was there at the time of event. My former preceptor, nurse A, admitted that she was closed off to me, and it all started when she first precepted and perceived my attitude and action as not receptive to her teachings. I stood there shaking my head while listening to her complains. So my manager inquired when all of this was going on, how come as a senior nurse, especially a preceptor, she didn't express it to her when they had meetings together. In addition, she fabricated more lies about me not giving her full reports in the morning. I voiced myself and said it loud and clear in front of everyone that every time we sat down to give her reports, she's either not listening attentively and in the middle of giving reports, she would turn away to start conversing with another nurse, or snatching reports from my hand and telling me she knows the patient and need no more reports from me.

    I've been thinking a lot. I don't know if I can still work on that unit anymore. I don't know if I should transfer to another unit, or apply to another hospital. I know distinctively that these nasty people are everywhere, but especially, since the confrontation and mediation took place, I'm not anticipating my work life to be any more easier or comfortable on that unit. Words will spread like feathers throughout the whole unit. I don't know how people will view me after this incident. Perhaps, using higher authority to report the "bullies"?

    I feel lonelier than ever. It makes me dread going to work everyday. Please help!

    Sincerely,
    Your desperate fellow nurse
    I think you area a bit too sensitive. so what she doesn't reply to your hi's or bye's . I never even bother with that unless the person is my friend , if they say it first I will almost always reply. Gossiping about you? GET USED TO IT. the way to avoid this is to do everything correct/per policy and be confident in your practics, which will hopefully come in time. This happens in EVERY work place. Whether it is in nursing, retail, night clubs, offices. I have seen it in all of them and even about the best of the best employees get talked about. Unless you are high up in the social ladder it will happen. Making you go down to the pharamcy so you can see how something is dealt with, not sure I understood that, but it can't hurt to learn soemthing I suppose. Sometimes the way to deal with this is to confront it like you did by telling the educator that this nurse is not attentive during report etc.
    redhead_NURSE98!, RNHURT, RNSC, and 4 others like this.
  8. 3
    OP. I do not know if you should jump ship now. it will be very hard to find another job, unless you are in a the very small parts of the country that hire nurses left and right. You might end up in a different unit. If it is a within hospital transfer you will be labeled, most likely. Once you have some experience these events are easier to deal with because they will occur less and you will learn which coworkers you can ask questions of without feeling like an idiot or having them run around telling everyone you did not know something.
    Dee9061, kids, and lindarn like this.
  9. 6
    You need to grow a thick skin.If you are going to analyze things such as saying hi and bye you are going to be very unhappy.You can't take everything personally.Gossip? get used to it.There is always some.Just do your job and ignore the rest.Nurse managers are not teachers on the play ground and you can't run to them whining that the other kids aren't playing nice.
    kids, lululucy, Meriwhen, and 3 others like this.
  10. 7
    Quote from lululucy
    Dear readers,

    I'm a new grad, and have been working as a new nurse for early 5 months. I've heard a lot regarding "nurses eat their young" before I stepped a foot into this profession, however, I didn't quite comprehend the significant meaning behind it until I have personally experienced it at my work place.

    She's one of my preceptors when I initially started working there. As a new grad, I anticipated a lot of support, a hand of guidance, and patience, however, after a period of time spending with her, sadly to say, she had successfully made my life miserable, and made me feel extremely unwelcome. At a point I even contemplated whether this is what nursing is about. I lost my eager passion for nursing. Initially, I would greet her with a hi and bye whenever I see, and her reaction to my greetings were very indifferent and sometimes she would just look at me and turned away. Ultimately, It made me feel very embarrassed in front of everyone, several times, I thought to myself, why am I so persistent with her? why am I so desperate to get her approval? Why am I let her put me down again, and again? For what?

    So yesterday was the climax of this bullying business, or perhaps, put an end to my misery. First, I walked in on her gossiping about me with another co-worker in the nursing station. At that moment, I just looked at them both in disbelief. Secondly, what really ignited my untold emotions was with a patient's IV antibiotic. Another co-worker, let's name her B, whom I gave report to, also a close friend to hers, and her (A) were discussing that she discovered that there's very fluid backed up, about 5ml, in a 3g Unasyn bottle which was attached to the 100ml 0.9% sodium Chloride. Be mindful, I gave all my reports already, had to stay to hang another bag because another co-worker (C) was complaining that I should have done that during my shift, of course, I willingly agreed to change the IV bag. It was close to 8am in the morning, I was preparing to head back to the locker room, when I heard my name, I looked up it was nurse A calling for me to go to nurse B. They knew exactly what to do with the bag, but had me call the Pharmacy and bring it down to the Pharmacy department to have them show me how.

    On my way down, I was so upset, tears were inevitably rolling down my cheeks. My nursing educator saw me. She told me that she heard a calling from God and saw me standing in a corner crying. I thank God that she saw me. After hearing what had happened, she furiously took me upstairs and called in each person for confrontation. My manager was there at the time of event. My former preceptor, nurse A, admitted that she was closed off to me, and it all started when she first precepted and perceived my attitude and action as not receptive to her teachings. I stood there shaking my head while listening to her complains. So my manager inquired when all of this was going on, how come as a senior nurse, especially a preceptor, she didn't express it to her when they had meetings together. In addition, she fabricated more lies about me not giving her full reports in the morning. I voiced myself and said it loud and clear in front of everyone that every time we sat down to give her reports, she's either not listening attentively and in the middle of giving reports, she would turn away to start conversing with another nurse, or snatching reports from my hand and telling me she knows the patient and need no more reports from me.

    I've been thinking a lot. I don't know if I can still work on that unit anymore. I don't know if I should transfer to another unit, or apply to another hospital. I know distinctively that these nasty people are everywhere, but especially, since the confrontation and mediation took place, I'm not anticipating my work life to be any more easier or comfortable on that unit. Words will spread like feathers throughout the whole unit. I don't know how people will view me after this incident. Perhaps, using higher authority to report the "bullies"?

    I feel lonelier than ever. It makes me dread going to work everyday. Please help!

    Sincerely,
    Your desperate fellow nurse
    I think that you went into this with the wrong expectations. It's not the job of the preceptor to offer you a lot of support, guidance and patience when it comes to you working with patients.

    The preceptor's job is to help you learn, but the patient always takes priority over your needs.

    Your job is to learn how to do patient care without demanding extra attention from your preceptor that will pull her away from her patient responsibilities.

    Having you follow up on the IV issue with pharmacy was a good example of them trying to take advantage of a "teachable moment" and I think they did great in taking the time to do that.

    It was something you needed to learn that will serve you well in the future; I can't imagine why you would be upset about that.

    A lot of people might have just rolled their eyes at your ineptness, done it themselves, and given up on you.

    If the nurse isn't paying attention to your reports, perhaps she is frustrated with the way you are giving report.

    I can understand crying in frustration but the fact that tattled on them for being mean to you is astounding. And now you want to go even further up the chain of command?

    This is not an example of "nurses eating their young," whatever that means.

    You need to adjust your expectations or you will continue to be frustrated in you job.
    kids, Meriwhen, wooh, and 4 others like this.
  11. 6
    You may find yourself without the means to support yourself if you leave this job just because of some friction and I can assure you that you could just as easily find something worse at the next job. You are going to have to develop a thicker hide if you intend to make it in the work world. It is a sad commentary on nursing, but that is the way it is. Harsh reality, no matter how old, or experienced the new nurse.
    lululucy, not.done.yet, SHGR, and 3 others like this.
  12. 4
    Where I work the biggest bully is the person who runs the show. There is nothing to be done except stand together with the other staff and try not to let her get to us.
    obprof, hope3456, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 1 other like this.


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