Help,...a passive-aggressive bully at work,... - page 3

Let me first say, I am an ICU nurse with 8 years of experience that returned to ICU nursing after several years of a break. I am learning a new hospital and new ways of treating diagnosis but the... Read More

  1. Visit  Natkat profile page
    4
    Tough situation. I'm so sorry.

    In my years of dealing with bullies and difficult people, talking to managment NEVER WORKS. It only makes things worse.

    If you are the type of person who jumps in and helps others, don't expect other people to do the same. It's great to live by your own code of ethics, but not everyone holds themselves to the same high standard. If people help you, fine. But don't expect it. I don't have a problem asking people to help if I need it. They may roll their eyes, sign and moan, but I don't care. If I feel that I'm drowing I won't wait and hope they notice and then come and help me. I'll ask. If the person keeps acting like a jerk I will flat-out ask "did I do something to offend you? Is there a problem?" to point out that I have noticed their behavior. Usually that's all it takes and they back off.

    You have to be assertive when dealing with bullies. As others have said, once they find out they can't push you around, they'll go looking for another victim.

    It sounds like you have made an enemy for life with her. She might get over and she might not. Ignore her if you can and learn from this experience. Next time you are in this situation, and trust me, you will be, try and be more assertive. Ignore the rude comments and eye rolling. Talk to her as if nothing has happened. If she thinks you're crazy she might leave you alone.
    canoehead, skittlebear, Scrubby, and 1 other like this.
  2. Visit  ONCRN84 profile page
    3
    We have one of these and management is very aware of her. They can't do a whole lot except hope she leaves. Whenever something comes up, she throws her union affiliations around and management is afraid to do anything.

    I've stood up to her more than once and she leaves me alone for the most part. I agree with many of the above poster. Put her in her place a couple times and she'll probably stop.
  3. Visit  Daytonite profile page
    6
    the only reason this person is thriving is because she has codependents helping her, many unknowingly and unwillingly. they are either other staff nurses who allow her to get away with these shenanigans by turning their heads and burying them in the sand because they are afraid to cross her, or else they are doing the same thing themselves (that didn't sound like the case). it sounds like the manager is probably willing to help since charge nurse duties were taken away from her. sometimes it only takes one strong person to get the ball rolling. once others see how it starts to work they will slowly start to step forward to.

    i see the fact that charge nurse responsibility was taken away as a big event. i've been around the icu crowd. that's like a big slap in the face and an embarrassment in front of all her coworkers. all the talk she's generating is an attempt to rally support for herself. i would advise people coming to me with gossip to stop her from talking about me by telling her they don't want to hear any more about it. that's the first step they need to take to be assertive in fighting back against this nurse. my guess is that others are secretly laughing and cheering behind her back in glee. the best thing the op can do is to stand her ground, continue to do as she has been as energy draining as it is, continue to report runs-ins to the manager (and document them, get names of witnesses) and please don't actively participate in the gossip and talk because that only brings you down to this baby's level and weakens your position of strength. this will take some stamina. i think you've got this baby on the run. make it uncomfortable for her and keep the pressure on her for a change so she'll move on and get out of dodge. she's a lot of bluster at this point, i think, and is using your new employee status to try to scare and threaten your position is all. but if she aggressively does something to sabotage you, or does something that puts a patient in danger, report it immediately and get it in writing so they can fire her. and, i would keep copies of everything and personally file a complaint against her with the state board of nursing at that point. remember the one thing this baby has going for her is that she has been there a long time and "thinks" she knows more, but she's not a manger and has no official authority or power at all. the only authority and power she has is imagined. hospital rules and policy will protect you. it's fresh on your mind because you are new. she's probably made up a few of her own--can't do that.
    rndriver, RNMLIS, canoehead, and 3 others like this.
  4. Visit  momthenRN profile page
    1
    Thanks all

    This whole thing started with her BECAUSE I reported her and her behavior as a charge nurse. I will cont to do what I do and you are right,...the less I talk about it, the more she will seal her own fate. If I don't play the victim, she will have to thrive somewhere or on someone else. It's quite sad really that we are still reliving high school and getting paid for it. I am encouraged by all of your responses,....thanks so much,....

    PS I have not been bullied since high school and those bullies ended up in a bad way,.......there is hope,....
    rndriver likes this.
  5. Visit  Batman24 profile page
    4
    Too bad all the nurses didn't just ignore all her gossip and turn the other way whenever she started up. Bullies thrive on attention and prey on the weak. By ignoring her and asserting yourselves she loses her power.

    Management taking away her charge position was a positive step. They believed your complaint and started action against her. It could be they are setting the stage for her dismissal when more complaints are made. Sometimes they do it in stages to try and prevent a lawsuit by showing they tried to work things out with the employee. Lame but it could be the case here.
    SilentfadesRPA, rndriver, canoehead, and 1 other like this.
  6. Visit  Daytonite profile page
    2
    Quote from batman24
    too bad all the nurses didn't just ignore all her gossip and turn the other way whenever she started up. bullies thrive on attention and prey on the weak. by ignoring her and asserting yourselves she loses her power.

    management taking away her charge position was a positive step. they believed your complaint and started action against her. it could be they are setting the stage for her dismissal when more complaints are made. sometimes they do it in stages to try and prevent a lawsuit by showing they tried to work things out with the employee. lame but it could be the case here.
    yes, that is true. they like to get documentation from more than one person. the human resource people advise this because if a fired employee files a grievance and/or goes to the labor board after being fired or quitting, this is one of the "fairness" issues that the labor board looks at. the discipline process looks much fairer if the terminated employee was reported by more than the same person all the time, the facility disciplinary policy was followed and the employee was given a chance to rehabilitate but clearly didn't.

    [font='times new roman']i saw this happen so much with cnas in nursing homes i can't even begin to count them on my fingers. the dumb ones just stay around and end up getting fired which involves a lot of headaches putting up with their horse crap and having to document it. you just have to stand your ground and wait it out. the smart ones eventually get tired of all the constant turmoil in their work life and see the handwriting on the wall. they are acting out, spoiled children who never grew up. they are dysfunctional which is why they don't give up. they are not oblivious to the fact that they are at the center of negative issues and getting written up. what is happening to them weighs on their conscience even if they don't show it. they are smart enough to know these write-ups are going into their personnel file. hopefully they will ride off into the sunset or, in a large facility, will get a transfer to another unit in order to not get fired or have a bad evaluation in their personnel file. what she may not know is that what goes into the personnel file is only seen by people within the facility. write-ups about bad behavior are not good when someone is looking for a transfer to another unit. i always looked at what was in someone's personnel file in human resources when they were asking for a transfer to my unit. the last thing i wanted was to inherit another nurse manager's nightmare of a staff nurse.

    [font='times new roman']i worked in one hospital where two lpns, you could call them bullies, were running rns off a unit left and right with their nasty ways. the new manager, in frustration, asked the facility psychologist for help. what a joke that turned into. these two lpns had the psychologist pull a whole bunch of the staff rns into what i heard turned into a 3-hour session where everyone was bawling except the two bullies who were going around later sneering and bad mouthing the manager, the psychologist and all the rns. at that point, the don got wind of what had happened from the psychologist, called the two lpns into the nursing office and flat out told them they were being transferred immediately to two different units. one refused and quit on the spot. the other went grudgingly and the gossip was she got written up for something within a very short time and quit as well. problem solved, peace restored.
    rndriver and skittlebear like this.
  7. Visit  MagnoliaRN profile page
    0
    Sorry to hear about your problem. I ,too, have recently had a run in with the staff bully. She is very passive-aggressive. I have been warned for several months that my time with her was coming. I have seen her bully atleast 5-6 nurses in front of me, she also goes after the ER nurses when they are calling report. I don't know if it is just an ICU thing or if this problem is in every unit. I have only been a nurse for 6 months, but I am older than the others that just started. The younger ones seem to just take it from her and go on.
    This nurse, who was not even charge nurse that night, waited for me to be alone and pounced on me. I was shocked. She accused me of snapping at her, which I wasn't. Then she accused me of not doing anything for my patient and not charting on my patient properly. I told her that I didn't realize she was charge nurse. I said that I had been taking care of my patient and had kept the charge nurse informed of everything that was going on. Then she threatened me with going to the unit manager, which I told to go right ahead and do so. Then she badgered me a while longer about things that were none of her business. Then she again threatened me with going to the unit manager (by the way they are friends), and then going to the manager above her. Which, I again replied to go right ahead. All this while my patient was very critical. So besides bullying me, she is taking my focus away from my patient. She had been looking through my patient's medical record and the charting I had done on my patient. I held my ground and then asked her about her patients, which were clear on the other side of the unit. I told her she needed to go check on them and turned away to work. I didn't see her the rest of the night.
    I know of one other person that reported her to the unit manager, but it appears that she swept it under the rug because no one above her has heard of any complaints about this nurse. I hand wrote a note after my shift and put copies under the unit manager, unit director, and the critical care director's door. I had to make sure it didn't get swept under the rug this time.

    I really hate having to be the one to stand up to her. I am new and she has been there a long time. But, I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I now have a meeting with the two managers in the morning. I dread it, but will do my best to keep my emotions out of it and just state the facts. I have a couple of nurses around me that said they would verify the work I did that night. I don't understand why these nurses are put up with for so long.
  8. Visit  Scrubby profile page
    0
    Quote from Jolie

    The next time you experience bullying, use a calm, level tone to insist on an immediate meeting in a private place. Insist that another nurse watch your patients for 5 minutes while you "address an urgent situation". Once there, let the bully know, in no uncertain terms that you know what she is attempting to do, and you will not tolerate it. Dominate the conversation; don't let her get a word in. Tell her to bleep off, then turn and leave with your head held high, and without looking back. Make sure no one can overhear your conversation (reverse threat) so it can't be used against you. (And be sure to use that phrase, or another equally offensive one. You need the shock value.)

    I am quite certain this will be effective. I've had to do this twice in my nursing career. One time the bully stood stunned, apologized, and offered to be of help to me. The other time, there was no acknowledgement of inappropriate behavior, but at least the bullying stopped.
    I have had to do this as well with a certain person who would not stop harrassing me even after talking with management. This particular nurse is well known for screaming at people who say 'hello' to her and when your working in her theatre (she is 2IC not the CN) she makes it known that she is in charge. Anyway I got sick of management not doing anything about her behaviour so one day I screamed in her face to f*** off and leave me alone right in front of other people and because of her bad behaviour everyone clapped, not one person backed her up when she tried reporting me.

    And you know she never did it to me again.
  9. Visit  Not_A_Hat_Person profile page
    2
    Quote from MS._Jen_RN
    I took an assertive communication class in undergrad because I "had" to. I actually learned a few very important things. One of these being a kind of generic sentence structure for confrontation. It is "When you _________, I feel_______ and _______. " For example, "When you try to find fault in me I feel angry and I don't appreciate it."
    The problem with that approach is that you assume the other person cares how you feel. That's assuming a lot.
    rn/writer and skittlebear like this.
  10. Visit  morte profile page
    1
    Quote from ckaylor
    Sorry to hear about your problem. I ,too, have recently had a run in with the staff bully. She is very passive-aggressive. I have been warned for several months that my time with her was coming. I have seen her bully atleast 5-6 nurses in front of me, she also goes after the ER nurses when they are calling report. I don't know if it is just an ICU thing or if this problem is in every unit. I have only been a nurse for 6 months, but I am older than the others that just started. The younger ones seem to just take it from her and go on.
    This nurse, who was not even charge nurse that night, waited for me to be alone and pounced on me. I was shocked. She accused me of snapping at her, which I wasn't. Then she accused me of not doing anything for my patient and not charting on my patient properly. I told her that I didn't realize she was charge nurse. I said that I had been taking care of my patient and had kept the charge nurse informed of everything that was going on. Then she threatened me with going to the unit manager, which I told to go right ahead and do so. Then she badgered me a while longer about things that were none of her business. Then she again threatened me with going to the unit manager (by the way they are friends), and then going to the manager above her. Which, I again replied to go right ahead. All this while my patient was very critical. So besides bullying me, she is taking my focus away from my patient. She had been looking through my patient's medical record and the charting I had done on my patient. I held my ground and then asked her about her patients, which were clear on the other side of the unit. I told her she needed to go check on them and turned away to work. I didn't see her the rest of the night.
    I know of one other person that reported her to the unit manager, but it appears that she swept it under the rug because no one above her has heard of any complaints about this nurse. I hand wrote a note after my shift and put copies under the unit manager, unit director, and the critical care director's door. I had to make sure it didn't get swept under the rug this time.

    I really hate having to be the one to stand up to her. I am new and she has been there a long time. But, I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I now have a meeting with the two managers in the morning. I dread it, but will do my best to keep my emotions out of it and just state the facts. I have a couple of nurses around me that said they would verify the work I did that night. I don't understand why these nurses are put up with for so long.
    HIPAA, HIPAA, HIPAA!!!
    kht124 likes this.
  11. Visit  MagnoliaRN profile page
    0
    Well, my meeting didn't go over too well. I tried pointing out the HIPPA violations mulitiple times. They completely disregarded me. If it happens again, I will make sure to file a more formal complaint. The manager this nurse is friends with appeared completely ticked off and spent the meeting defending her. The other manager was hard to read, but thanked me for bringing it to her attention and remained neutral.
    I have already been hearing the rumors this nurse is spreading about the situation. She is of course, playing the innocent bystander who was trying to help.
    Why are nurses so mean to each other? Hopefully, I will have helped pave the way for the next nurse she does this too. Maybe then they will listen. She picks one of us out every shift to criticize and demean. Surely I can't be the only one having a problem with this.


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