New breed of bullies!

  1. 0
    Hi everyone!
    I am looking for advice on how to handle a few co-workers I have the unfortunate honor of dealing with frequently. In the ER I work in, there is a "click" that consists of some nurses that are actually quite intelligent and perform their nursing duties in a manner that would make any instructor beam with pride. The problem is that they enjoy keeping some type of chaos going on with other staff members. They criticize others, spread idle gossip and keep interpersonal relations in the department torn apart.

    I have been in the department for over 2 years now. When I was the "new kid on the block", I was the target of their schemes and I considered transferring departments numerous times but because I enjoy ER nursing, I was determined not to let them make me leave. Eventually they became bored with me because I stayed to myself, did my work and wouldn't "fuel the fire" so to speak - so they moved on to others. I was labeled as "weird".

    The next logical step ofcourse would be to approach management, but unfortunately this group is smart enough to change their attitudes in the presence of the powers that be. The nurse manager as well as the Docs think they walk on water.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to handle co-workers such as these? Has anyone had similar experiences or am I the only one stuck dealing with other nurses that maintain a junior high school mentality?
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  4. 40 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Start sending anonymous (my hospital allows the anonymity) up the chain of command. If you're allowed to. It gets the problem addressed with out "someone" being labeled the tattletale.

    I did this with a few co-workers, i was the "lone ranger" to complain about a little group that was causing trouble, giving the "newbies" a rough way to go. Caught the administrator's attention so much that it was the first thing addressed at the monthly staff meeting and the problem was resolvesWith the anonymous letter i was able to complain, but no one ever knew who did it, and i never caught any backlash for it
  6. 0
    We don't allow annonimity at our hospital. I feel if a person has to complain they should have the guts to stand behind their claim. This is ofcourse just my opinion.

    Mike Laing
  7. 0
    We don't allow annonimity at our hospital. I feel if a person has to complain they should have the guts to stand behind their claim.
    While great in theory, it has been my experience that this can result in sudden death.
  8. 0
    Every bully gets their day in hell, if they aren't already there daily anyway.

    Continue to stay to yourself, smile, and be cordial - unless you want to be their best friends. Then you'll have to suck up to them and be like them and leave yourself behind.

    Why not bake them an ex-lax chocolate cake?
  9. 0
    Originally posted by Mito
    We don't allow annonimity at our hospital. I feel if a person has to complain they should have the guts to stand behind their claim. This is ofcourse just my opinion.

    Mike Laing
    Reason why the annonymity is offered is so that people will not be afraid of the "hell" they will catch for being a "rat".
  10. 0
    What is the difference between an ER nurse and a bulldog? Lip gloss.
  11. 0
    Bullies in the ER are unfortunately more common than not. Our ER has its share, particularly on the day shift. (I chose nights). Night shift folks tend to be more cohesive in nature. Maybe it's because we have to depend on each other more.

    Some bullies will respect a nurse who possesses a skill that they do not. After all, they may need you to start an IV on that neonate someday, so they'll leave you alone.

    I find that bullies often stir up trouble with ample doses of drama. This is so that they can waltz intio the situation and take control.

    It is, for them, all about control.

    People become nurses for two reasons: to give caring support or to gain control and power. Unfortunately, so much of it is related to power.

    It has been my experience that most bullies eventually say or do the wrong thing in front of a key person and end up hanging themselves. (We can only hope!)

    Your greatest solace may be in the knowledge that you are not one of them. Based on what you see of them at work, can you imagine their home lives? Augh-h-h-h!!!
  12. 0
    Originally posted by AngelGirl
    What is the difference between an ER nurse and a bulldog? Lip gloss.
    HEY! That's the difference between an ICU nurse and a pitbull terrior!!!

    1) approach your manager for an "off the record" talk - don't complain about the bullies - instead ask her if there are any mechanisms you can use to cope with behaviour that is making you feel uncomforable. BUT!!!

    2) make sure you have specific documented instances where they have bullied you.

    Where it is more than one bully - it is cohort bullying a group is mobbing.

    nurseadvocate.com has some wonderful resources to help you understand bullies. Do a search on bullying on this board - there are a lot of threads about bullying - keep us posted.
  13. 0
    I feel for you. I experience a "hell" year in an ED that had similar problems - except management knew, but did nothing. I was a 35 year old woman going home and sobbing on the bed after work.
    I agree with the above post that told you not to suck up - you are clearly better than that. But you have to be tough to be true to yourself. There have got to be folks there that you enjoy and have not gotten sucked into this viciousness. Align yourself with them and the hell with the others.
    I find it difficult to believe that management does not know what is going on. I bet they know, but turn a blind eye as they are competent and to change things would mean a great deal of work.

    If things get intolerable, leave - and during your exit interview be frank about why you are leaving. When they start to lose talent, things will change.


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