Nurse bullying - page 3

by racastellanos

6,138 Views | 27 Comments

I live in the Delaware Valley (PA, NJ, Delaware). Has anyone in this area ever been a target of this behaviour? I think a nurse bully picks on a competant nurse because the bully is intimidated by the resilience of the nurse... Read More


  1. 4
    Quote from ItsTheDude
    i think the bullying, aka lateral violence, that goes on in nursing is because nursing is so female dominated. some women can be mean as heck to other women.
    This, 100%.

    I received my LPN license a few days ago and I'm still working at a retail store while I look for a nursing job. The employees where I work are 95% female. I NEVER hear the men talking crap about each other, but the women are SO gossipy and back-stabbing. I'll overhear them bash a particular co-worker, and as soon as that person comes in to the room they pretend like nothing's wrong and like they're best buds. I can only imagine what's been said about me behind my back; unfortunately, I don't care, lol.

    I'm pretty introverted and generally a nice person (I try to be, at least) and I think sometimes people mistake that for weakness. I don't like conflict and I try to avoid it, especially in the workplace, but I can snap and my nasty, Dragon-like temper can come out in seconds when someone really makes me angry. I've made a few people go before because they weren't expecting me to snap back at them. I used to be too scared to stand up for myself, but I've noticed as I've gotten older, my testicular fortitude has grown quite a bit. Watch out for the quiet ones!
    Smartone86, JRP1120, RN, LPNnowRN, and 1 other like this.
  2. 2
    Mar 16, 2011, 07:38 PM

    I had someone try to bully me in the ER

    I pulled her into the office at the FIRST incident and told her in a professional way how I was offended by her behavior, how she do not know me on a personal level to even speak to me in the way that she had done, and how I was taking this matter to the director and also the CNO.

    I also told her I will be writing up this incident because I don't come to work to be harrassed. The next day, I wrote up a 3 page incident report and gave it to my manager and the director. I also had a copy for the CNO.

    The bully was talked to, and she apologized to me. She tries to speak to me in terms of trying to "be nice" and I am cordial and professional with her. I don't speak to her unless it's work related.

    She found out very quickly I am NOT the one. She has a reputuation of doing this to others and they let her get away with it. And I told the director if nothing is done, I'm going to the CNO and the CEO for lateral work violence. And I meant it.




    Thank you for posting this. it gives me plan of action should bullying ever happen again to me. As a Nursing Refresher Student I should have listened to my gut and had my patients write letters to support me, i still may pursue something once I am re-licensed. I cannot believe how mean and derogatory some Nurses are to each other, yet claim to be "caring to patients" . If you bully laterally then you likely bully your less powerful, the patients/clients.
    JRP1120, RN and trixie333 like this.
  3. 0
    I don't think the bullying/nasty behavior is because the perpetrators are female so much as it is that they are powerless/frustrated/angry.

    Nurses have huge levels of responsibility and accountability yet so little control over anything.

    All the rage goes somewhere: some express it by bullying, some get ulcers, some eat and eat, some leave the profession, some self-medicate with alcohol or drugs,some are on prescription meds...

    Most of the people in my department are on anti-depressants at the very least.
  4. 1
    Still, as intelligent people we advocate for our clients and so we should do the same for ourselves. Really if we cannot address the cause of these bullies, then by doing nothing we condone them. We allow them to make "underlings" those of lesser value take on their frustrations and that is not fair. If I have a terrible family life, it does not mean I can go into work and take it out on others. they should be advised of what they do, go through the chain of command and then seek help. OR get out of nursing. They stay on and instead drive many of us away from a career and leaves us with some insecurity problems. GO to another floor or just shut up. Honestly with the nursing shortage they should be embracing us as we can then be there for their vacation time, sick leave etc. I think many of them hate newbies and students bc it shows up how actually bad their nursing skills are.
    JRP1120, RN likes this.
  5. 2
    If nurses are bullying or attempting to bully other nurses you can bet a dollar to a donut these same nurses are bullying patients. Bullies look for weakest and try to take them out. Patients are the perfect victims, for the most part they are weak and vulnerable. Bullies will not limit the number of victims they bully at any given time. If they see 10 ripe targets they will attempt to bully all 10 in a given day. May not be the same place, could be someone at work, a patient or two, someone at the grocery story, someone at the mall, in the parking lot. Bullies are like drug addicts or alcoholics, they take what they can find anywhere they can get it. God help the patients of these nurses that bully, especially the elderly and those not able to defend themselves.
    JRP1120, RN and trixie333 like this.
  6. 0
    So how can we deflect them with humour? Send along ideas.
  7. 0
    I applause you for this! I wish I read this article sooner before I left my job.

    In my first experience I have confronted and took a nurse aside for calling me a degrading name. Since then we get along.

    The second incident was a nurse who bullied me continuously that even the EKG technician noticed that she picked on me. I was going through a lot of stress emotionally and physically. Finally spoke to my supervisor and she addressed the issue. I feel I am a softy because I value kindness and compassion and exert this positive attitude to my patients. Unfortunately she finds this a weakness. Little did she know that I was so close in writing her up, but she was soo lucky I didn't. Never again do I want to quit my job because of a bully. She was not worth my 4 years of hard work in Nursing education. I learned through this ordeal and I thank you for your response and courage.
  8. 0
    It seems like the bullies are the ones that stay (after running others off) and retire after 30 or 40 years.

    They don't care, they get their paycheck every two weeks.


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