How To Spot a Workplace Bully, Part One - page 2

You go to the ED with chest pain. The medical team puts you on oxygen, draws blood for labs and gives you aspirin, Plavix and morphine. And then you get a battery of tests ranging from an EKG to a... Read More

  1. by   gonzo1
    I have been a nurse since 2003. During this time I have worked staff, per diem and travel nurse in over 30 hospitals. Granted a couple hospitals were a 1 time visit because the work environment was so bad I refused to take any more shifts there.
    I have seen nurses bully'd and been bullied once or twice myself. I have also worked in many supportive places with no bullies allowed.
    It is a gut wrenching experience to be in the cross hairs.
    My examples of being bullied include a charge nurse that said she knew a fellow nurse was being mean to me and she was sorry for it, but her friendship with said bully was to important to her to do anything about it. At least I admire her honesty and told her so. The "mean" nurse would put pts in my ER rooms and not tell me or give me report. I would find out an hour later that I had a pt and nothing had been done. This taught me to keep a very vigilant eye on my rooms so I would not get any surprises. She also would not put the pt on the board so it looked like I didn't have a pt. Also taught me to be very vigilant.
    She would hide my charts (paper charting) so I couldn't find them to keep up with charting. She would brag about putting foley caths in male pts without lubrication. Would brag about putting in 16 g IVs in pts just to hear them scream. She was allowed to go on like this for 3years and what finally got her fired was she accidently yelled out across the room that a pt had aids.
    Soon after the charge nurse was asked to resign because she and several others were at a party and were playing charades, quess which ER frequent flyer i am.
  2. by   rph3664
    Quote from ebear
    I was bullied by a nurse in an O.R. Many years ago and had been certified in that field for years (>25). When I went into the breakroom for lunch, everybody got up en masse and walked out. Then I was told by my supv that non of the surgeons wanted me in their room! I was only 3 weeks in that hospital and had never even worked with many of the docs. This nurse was Definitely the instigator. I went to the manager and she said "Ebear, she has run off SO MANY great nurses!" I said, "Well, if you KNOW that, why do you allow it?" She just shrugged her shoulders and looked away. I wish the bullying subject was in effect by Joint Commission at that time! I turned in my badge and walked out. I had never before (or since) been treated like that. It was a small community hospital and I still cringe when I have to drive by that place!
    It doesn't matter where you work, or what you're doing, pretty much every place has someone who is immune from disciplinary action.
  3. by   angi465
    This is so sad to see in this day and age of 'enlightenment'. I can't believe nothing was done! I'm also non-confrontational, but if you attack my child you're gonna get hurt! Your situation is a tough one and compounded by who and what his girlfriend is. Personally, I'd probably go somewhere else, but he and the administration would definitely get an earful on my way out! I believe everything happens for a reason and what doesn't kill us can only make us stronger. There just might be a better opportunity out there and in the end this jerk would be doing you a big favor! Hang in there! I'll be checking back to see how it's going for you.
  4. by   twinkletoes53
    Would it be possible for the RN that is being bullied by the male nurse to have a tape recorder, and audi--tape him the next time he confronts her? that way, she will have concrete proof of the bullying, and will have some ammunition when she reports him to HR and/or administration.
    I ask this because I was bullied by an RN that was precepting me on a new floor I was moved to, due to health reasons. Once she yelled at me so loudly that staff 10 feet away heard her. When the time came for my 12- week evaluation, nothing I said about her was given any credit. I was just told "Well, she's precepted other staff and been successful"
    BTW, I had 35 years nursing experience. I had worked with this nurse 15 years ago--she as a bully then, and remained one.
    Maybe I should not speak ill of her---she was diagnosed with cancer 6 months later, and died within 5 months. But she made my shifts with her on that unit a living hell.
  5. by   rn/writer
    Quote from twinkletoes53
    Would it be possible for the RN that is being bullied by the male nurse to have a tape recorder, and audi--tape him the next time he confronts her? that way, she will have concrete proof of the bullying, and will have some ammunition when she reports him to HR and/or administration.
    I ask this because I was bullied by an RN that was precepting me on a new floor I was moved to, due to health reasons. Once she yelled at me so loudly that staff 10 feet away heard her. When the time came for my 12- week evaluation, nothing I said about her was given any credit. I was just told "Well, she's precepted other staff and been successful"
    BTW, I had 35 years nursing experience. I had worked with this nurse 15 years ago--she as a bully then, and remained one.
    Maybe I should not speak ill of her---she was diagnosed with cancer 6 months later, and died within 5 months. But she made my shifts with her on that unit a living hell.
    I'm sorry you went through such a bad experience. Bullies are often unhappy people with great insecurity. While some appear to thrive, many ironically suffer ill effects from their own stress, rage and fear. It isn't fun to have to deal with them, but it also isn't fun to be them.

    As far as tape recording conversations, the laws vary from state to state. In some states recording someone without their knowledge is not legal. In other states, only one person (the target) needs to be aware, and this allows for the use of a voice-activated recorder hidden in a scrub pocket. But sometimes the laws relate only to what's admissible in court and don't necessarily prohibit the use of the recordings in an informal setting like a work review or a meeting with a manager or HR. I would encourage anyone who is considering taping a bully to investigate the laws in their state/municipality.

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