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

  1. 5

    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.

    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
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  2. Visit  lululucy profile page

    About lululucy

    lululucy has '1' year(s) of experience. From 'NYC'; Joined Aug '11; Posts: 28; Likes: 12.

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    91 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  classicdame profile page
    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.
  4. Visit  treeye profile page
    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.
  5. Visit  netglow profile page
    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.
  6. Visit  anotherone profile page
    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.
  7. Visit  anotherone profile page
    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.
  8. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    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.
  9. Visit  mazy profile page
    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.
  10. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    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.
  11. Visit  CapeCodMermaid profile page
    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.
  12. Visit  sourpickle93 profile page
    6
    I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through!
    I may not be a nurse now ( I'm trying to get into nursing school) but I can give you some light and comfort on the issues that you are facing.

    1.) You worked so hard, just like everybody else to obtain your BSN you don't deserve to get treated like crap in your workplace not from ANYBODY. It just shows how pathetic, mean and bossy people can get and unfortunately it's everywhere

    2.) If the problem doesn't stop, report it the second time, if it still does not stop you could work in a different unit that you'd prefer and of course you can specialize later on!

    3.) Don't let them get to you, be strong inside and out, stand up for yourself, they have no right to treat you like that, put them in their place (ethically).


    It's people like "them" that makes everything a lot harder and miserable for people. They seem very immature to me and it seems like they have issues and are bringing it to their work.

    I'm surprised people like that can even become nurses, as they are not worthy, nor respectful. Heck, I wouldnt even want nurses like them to clean my crap up or wipe my butt!


    Be proud of what you've accomplished and how far you've come. You're a newbie at work it may seem hard because you're the new kid at the block but you will eventually adjust and find your place.


    Nursing isn't really like this. It's a great career and there are so many nice nurses! Unfortunately there are those few grouchy, moody ones that seem to have a problem with everything. The worst thing is to show that they are getting to you. They seem to like that, putting other people down.

    Just don't worry too much about it, stay calm, do your thing, and stand your ground. If they are doing something wrong you put them in their place, because you have your rights, you worked hard and DON'T deserve to be treated like that! No one does.




    And I don't think you should leave your job! You earned the privillege! Don't let others chase you out from your career. HOWEVER, if it's really that bad, feel free to look for another job.


    If it were me, I wouldn't let ANYONE treat me like that, who the h*ll are they? I'd tell them straight up how I feel and how unprofessional they really are. I'd put the spotlight on them to the point where they'd never say a word to me or any other nurses or ppl ever again. (btw I'm 19 lol this might help explain as to why I'm so furious)


    I truly am dissapointed at those nurses and how they are treating you. But remember don't stress and always think logically and how to deal with the situation so it will not and should not occur again.

    I'm sure they must've "obtained" their BSN from a thrift store.


    Oh and btw don't say hi or bye to them. Ignore them as much as you can unless you have to work with them other than that there is no business in associating with people like that in your workplace or outside. Onlyif it is to do with work.

    People always take advantage of the soft, gullible good hearted people. Always remember that.


    I hope this helps! Take Care and Cheers!
    Last edit by sourpickle93 on Mar 8, '12
    Ruby09, JetBlitz, Juniper248, and 3 others like this.
  13. Visit  sourpickle93 profile page
    6
    Quote from mazy
    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.





    You know what? Sometimes it isn't even that. A lot of times in the workplace people purposely give you hard time especially when you're new to a job. I think the proper way of teaching young or new workers nowadays would be to pull them aside or tell them right there, right what it is they are doing right or wrong. I find this to be much more ethical rather than not being so self-direct and snobby. If you can't stand a person or if there is something that is bothering you about that person, do something to fix it. Like what these nurses seem to be doing such as gossiping, giving snobby attitudes and such is not a way to handle new comers. Infact, it is very childish, almost like high school.

    By doing this, new workers won't learn the proper way of doing anything. And then you have other personal factors to consider of that to your behaviour that may influence a person to be or act a certain way; alot if times it isn't pleasant.
  14. Visit  Dragonfly777 profile page
    1
    if I was you I would switch maybe shifts but same floor. Anything to avoid person you were confronted against. Now, your preceptor will try to get back at you and try to find flaws or errors in which she could report you on. Idk, it's funny bc even though I've been very blessed by not having anyone bully me or think they are better than me directly anyway. I feel or sense that vibe just when they look at me. BEST WAY FOR YOU TO OVERCOME BULLIES IS TO BE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF ...SHOW THEM YOUR SMART. With time you can be their manager
    Last edit by Dragonfly777 on Mar 8, '12
    JetBlitz likes this.


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