Nurse Bullying - page 13

5 thoughts and statistics on nurse bullying Written by Kelly Gooch | February 24, 2016 Sixty percent of new nurses quit their first job within the first six months due to the behavior... Read More

  1. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from AspiringNurseMW
    Im just a student and I HATE the term NETY.

    Why? Because bullies will be bullies regardless of what profession they are in. So either that person is miserable or you are working in a setting where management allows bullying to fester or both.

    I worked in retail and retail management for 5 years. There are nasty mean people in management and staff. How come there is no handy term for retail employees who "eat their young". Because it's stupid.

    I think that by claiming NETY we perpetuate the myth and also absolve ourselves of any fault in the situation, whether partially or wholly.

    I'm in my 2nd semester, all my instructors have been great. We have one clinical instructor who is a bona fide bully. Even staff from a clinical sites reported her once. And yet she's still here (see a management problem). She's miserable. I think she truly believes that it's her job to toughen up us nursing students and uses that as an excuse for her behavior.

    A nurse is less than excited to have a student assigned to her patient? I do my best to make myself less of a burden rather than complain that "my nurse doesn't like me". Because she's not my nurse. I'm not her responsibility. She doesn't get paid to teach me. She's busy. And I have yet to have a bad interaction with any of my coassigned nurses. And part of it I think it's because I don't believe in NETY. Just sad, mean people.
    If only there were more like you. It seems many of the students/new grads today expect staff nurses to be the milk of human compassion, rather than people who have bad days/family problems just like anyone else. If new grads don't like being held to unreasonable standards, then neither should they do the same to their colleagues.

    Thank you for your reasonable and refreshing post. Good luck with the rest of your education!
  2. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from OCNRN63
    If only there were more like you. It seems many of the students/new grads today expect staff nurses to be the milk of human compassion, rather than people who have bad days/family problems just like anyone else. If new grads don't like being held to unreasonable standards, then neither should they do the same to their colleagues.

    Thank you for your reasonable and refreshing post. Good luck with the rest of your education!
    This is true wisdom: If new grads don't like being held to unreasonable standards, then neither should they do the same to their colleagues.
  3. by   Parakeet
    believeallispossible,

    I don't think the examples you brought up from nursing school are valid examples of bullying. Guess what, I think it is called life. Anyone who has gone through nursing school can tell you that it is worlds different from high school. Getting good grades in high school does not guarantee you an easy ride through nursing school.

    I was a 3.8 in college prereqs, when I started nursing courses, I was in the C's. My instructors seemed like fearsome, terrifying people who knew everything to be had about nursing. Now, I see their support and kindness in actually letting us students learn for ourselves. I see nothing wrong in evaluating a student's learning ability. I had to come to grips with the fact that I am slower than others and may take longer - but not to box myself in. How many times I have been told I'm slow, that I can only work in certain areas, that I might not be in the right field, has just been impetus to help me overcome any limitations. The best quality for a student is to be able to take constructive criticism and to use it to build a foundation off of which to grow.

    And lastly, though this may be personal to me, don't hold bullying against people. That just creates bitterness and resentment and can ruin you and stunt your opportunity to excel and build rapport with your coworkers.
  4. by   Soliloquy
    Relational aggression within nursing absolutely DOES happen. I don't think it's old nurses to young nurses solely. When I worked as a med-surg nurse, I had a preceptor who had only been a nurse for 2 years, in her late 20s, and she was MEAN. Everyone came up to me and encouraged me not to let her speak to me that way. She was also kind of biased. She once remarked that she wanted to work on another floor because it was quieter and had less black people and was less ghetto (i'm black by the way. She was not). She'd ask me a question and before I even answered she'd start yelling at me about not knowing the answer. I thought, "Give me a second to think about it before you use it to leverage your own power over me." She'd tell me go speak to a doctor about x,y,z and then when I approached the doc she'd come up, roll her eyes, cut me off, and use that as leverage to speak to the doctor. It does happen and I'm sorry people are so sick of hearing about it.

    Right now, I have a preceptor in a new specialty who happens to be older and I'm getting the same thing as I did from my younger preceptor when I first started. Eye rolling, cutting me off, walking away from me when I ask questions, disappearing for an hour to talk on the phone to friends and family etc. It's aggressive!

    Quite frankly, I don't care if someone isn't my friend or if I hang out with my preceptor after work or whatever people are suggesting. We don't all have to be friends and I don't always have to get my way. But let's face it, some people really are unnecessarily aggressive. Some behaviors ARE unacceptable and ARE out of control. It's not just to be dismissive simply because you're sick of hearing about it. Maybe some nurses are jealous, maybe some don't remember what it was like being new, maybe some already have their biases about new nurses today. It doesn't matter. Quite frankly women have WAY more options today with what they can do with their lives. So why stay? I'm glad the bullying has gone down in the last 20-30 years but the amount of options available have increased, I'm not going to put up with it if I don't have to.

    I've been a nurse for going on 3 years and because of all that I've experienced, I know that this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life because I don't experience this in my personal life, nor do I want to or think I have to. So, I'm already considering other avenues for myself.
    Last edit by Soliloquy on Apr 3, '16
  5. by   summerly
    Well just to add my two cents ... the "old nurses," as you put it, which I would describe as the much wiser nurses, are the ones I learned everything from when I was a new grad 10 years ago. They took me and the other new grads under their wings and taught us everything they knew. Sure, some people didn't like others and vice versa, but that's life. The real bullies and b***hes? Were the young girls my age on night shift with nothing better to do than gossip at 3am about everyone else. Nothing like sitting at your computer and wondering what they say about you when you're not on shift that night. Don't generalize and expect it in any job, in any career. Some people suck. It's life.
  6. by   rachel100639
    Quote from KatieMI
    Dr. Renee Thompson pretends to naively ignore the fact that no naming of anything and no documentation will help because workpkace bullying, except for cases of bodily harm perpetrated then and there, is not illegal per se. It is not possible to prove that harm done then and there but diagnosed (like in my case) 6 months later, was directly caused by bullying. There were no precedents, and we are living in society where judicial system is built upon precedents.

    Nursing (and workplace overall) bullying will continue till there will be a half a dozen or so rich, determined victims who bring perpetrators to the court and send them to jails for at least a decade each without parole, among big public noise. Then and only then things get start moving in the head of every potential bully, because these one are afraid of only one thing: power greater than their own.
    I don't think your email makes any sense. What do you mean, "no naming of anything and no documentation?" She says to name the behavior and document it. She doesn't say NOT to do those two things. The only time bullying is illegal is if the bullied individual can prove a discrimination case. Otherwise, it IS legal. It is NOT "illegal, per se." It is simply not illegal.
    No, the way to stop workplace bullying is to pass the Healthy Workplace Bill in every State. What you're saying about a rich person suing is silly.
  7. by   ANnot4me
    My apologies for resorting to stereotypes and denigrating people with the use of the word "hillbilly". I was angry and if you look at my previous posts, you will see I do not usually use this tactic in my posts.
  8. by   whitepawn
    I worked my ass off to get where I am, after a series of delays and personal losses. CNA. Huge delays on getting into prerequisites, then I finally made it at age 32, getting into 3 programs the first year I applied, all after about 15yrs as a CNA. Graduation. Boards. Then, no job interviews, in spite of having golden references. Then opportunity after 4 years of resume bombing. I had awesome nurses who gave me a shot and we all won. We still talk weekly. They didn't care about the employment gap, they went on who I was as a person and how I did as a nurse. We actually functioned as a 'work family' if that makes sense. Temporary assignment ended, and I went on to on-staff positions.

    Of note. When you're unemployed, many other RNs tend to look at you like you're guilty. Considering that I've searched every scrap of paper in my employment hx and only found raises and good reviews, I'm still not privvy to what I'm guilty of, apart from having my resume ignored by HR. Some nurses don't care, they go on the assessment data in front of their eyes. Others, not so much.

    I've had two types of things happen over the years of work following the post-graduation employment gap.
    1. I'm older. So I should "know it" already. There's this sense of the 42yo should know already, so I'm not going to help her, or I'll make derisive remarks that she "doesn't know this either yet", but when the 24yo asks a similar question, there's a brightening of expression and a "Here, let me help you with that." or "Let me show you." No avoidance, no derisive remarks. It's a ****** gap between reactions, but it exists. I'm too damn old to play pretend here, more importantly, I'm not going to play pretend because it's not about me, it's about the patient. I just want to do my job, but given the vast variety of things that can occur in a day of nursing, I may have to ask questions sometimes.

    2. The refusal. 20-something on the unit day 1 off orientation for me, upon finding out (from someone who wasn't me) I had to hang blood on a patient. "I'm not here to help her, she had time to ask her questions on orientation, I'm not doing it, nope, I'm not, it's not my problem. I'M NOT DOING IT." News flash. We're all busy. But if hanging blood never actually occurs during orientation and the nurse has never done it before in her life, she's going to need a stand-by, and since you have to co-sign anyway, what's the problem? Idk if this one's about age, but it's not ok. Makes for a ****** "team" atmosphere in a profession that really does rely on good teamwork. I don't withhold when asked to help someone who doesn't know, so I can only shake my head at this sort of thing.

    Brand new to nursing, not privvy to the array of ****** human behavior that you will invariably encounter over the span of a decade or two, I could see even these knocking a newbie down. The blood, for example, would a true newbie have the wherewithal to ask for assist the 2-3 times it took to make it happen in the face of the refusal?

    Patients, families, uncaring managers being awful can't be helped, but we the nurses directly control the culture of how we the floor team works. Or doesn't.
  9. by   sevensonnets
    It is interesting to learn that bullying can be a result of 'jealously.' Who knew?
  10. by   Proverbs16:24
    human superiority is addicting and as we continue to have a pedestal of privilege class and underprivileged class we will forever have a gap in the system. We need more focus on how we can bring active awareness and solutions.
    Last edit by Proverbs16:24 on Dec 11, '16
  11. by   TaxRN
    I wrote an application essay was about incivility in nursing. I didn't realize that I would be at the receiving end so quickly at my first job. I am not aggressive by nature and I chose nursing for compassion and patient care. I am older, with family, and on my second career. Perhaps that was seen as a big bulls eye on my back? I graduated with honors and was thrilled to land a job in critical care nursing. However, from day one, I didn't feel supported but left to fail. I know that it is unusual for new grads to start in critical care and I felt incredibly lucky to be given a chance. My preceptor could not believe that I was hired with no nursing experience and was a new grad with limited clinical skills. When I tried to jot down notes on brain sheets, she said critical care nurses do not have time to write things down and I have to learn to remember everything about my patient at moment's notice. On my first day, I was given the RF phone and became the primary nurse for the patients and my preceptor was not in the room while I was assessing or caring for the patient. For the first two weeks, I was not given the same patients but rotated so I could get all types of patient exposure. I felt overwhelmed and was concerned that I would err with patient care and even cause harm. I was given conflicting and overwhelming demands about getting the skills down, but don't focus on the tasks, or using notes or charting but learn the critical thinking in my head. At the end of the shift, I was criticitized loudly in front of the sitter, patient, other nurses for all the tasks not done on time and that I should know what to do since I passed the NCLEX and I cannot handle the patient assignments. On many occasions, I asked her to stop yelling and do not talk down to me like I am stupid and please give me support, she apologized but not in reality as she did it again every day. Someone else mentioned that she is "superconfident" by nature and everyone in the unit can hear her loud voice. But what eventually pushed me over is when the preceptor cornered me and badgered me with her "whys", Why I can't get the skills down and why are you in this unit? I asked for a new preceptor and I realize that it made the situation worse as the next preceptor turned out to be good friends and allies with the last preceptor. No matter what I did, there was nothing I did right in my preceptor's eyes and that is difficult as I am used to being a high achiever with eye for details. I struggled with not getting all my tasks done and charting done. My self confidence took a nose dive. I did not have a great experience and yesterday I gave my notice. When I spoke to the director at the end, I said I didn't feel prepared for critical care nursing and that I felt incredibly intimidated by experienced nurses. I think in hindsight, I should have shadowed at the unit and got a better feel for the unit before accepting. I also think that I chose the job for the challenge, excitement and prestige but not necessarily for my personality, lifestage or goals. I also see from posts here and doing google search for "nurses eat their young" that I am not the only one who had a challenging experience with preceptors. I learned a great deal by being thrown to the wolves but also learned that critical care nursing is not what I want. I am interviewing for a job in a smaller setting and feel positive about the next opportunity.
  12. by   parolang
    Perspective of a CNA for 3.5 years and now a Dialysis PCT for 2.5 years. I've worked with a lot of nurses. Bullying is very real. I've both been subjected to a lot of it, and have seen it happen to others. I'm male, married with child, not that this would change anything, but it's a point of view.

    At some point, I think you need to have a big picture view of things. Probably the number 1 cause of bullying is probably the nursing shortage. This creates problems in a lot of ways, some of which aren't obvious:

    1. Facilities try to get by on fewer nurses. This creates overload on the staff. Administration even begins to "normalize" being short-staffed, and this creates it's own set of problems. For instance, rather than doing a proper job, nurses resort to short-cuts to get by, and those short-cuts become normalized. Nurses coming in, who are really high performers, try to do a rigorous and due-diligence job, find they are considered slow by other members of the staff.

    2. Couple this with the reluctance to discipline and terminate low-performers, or even investigate serious claims like medication stealing, etc. They are reluctant because it is hard to find new nurses, let alone good ones. Standards are constantly being pushed lower, and it's hard to raise them because doing so will result in losing a significant portion of your staff.

    3. A nursing shortage, especially a shortage of RN's results in an increase in salaries. ASN's make more than most people with associate degrees, etc. You would think this would be good, but this is a result of a direct zero-sum competition for nurses. In other fields, you pay more for talent that improves the bottom line of the company, but healthcare doesn't usually work like that. So the higher pay for RN's has to come from somewhere, and thus it comes from the salaries of others (although there is a similar shortage in CNA's, PCT, etc who work in healthcare), in kitchen staff, adminstrators, and even in basic supplies. But most of all, paying more for RN's results in fewer RN's overall being on the floor, and RN's being pushed to take on other roles that shouldn't even be in their job description.

    But I think the big one is #2. If you find it hard to replace nurses, then you are going to end up keeping a lot more nurses than you should. This is why a lot of facilities "feel" like high schools or even prisons, because you are forced to go there each day, but can't get away from the bad behavior. You are forced to work with unprofessional behavior and people who don't know how to do their jobs, or take shortcuts, or just have low standards.

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