Nurse bullying

  1. 0
    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 she/he may be picking on.
    This bullying can go on for months even years from the same bully toward the same target. We aren't victims since we rise up professionally from the perpetrator bully nurse; I may be a target but I am not a victim.
    Anyone else ever feel this way from the target nurse perspective?

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  2. 27 Comments...

  3. 1
    I too live in the Delaware Valley, but I haven't been bullied. Maybe I have, and just haven't realized it. I pretty much just brush it off anyway.
    Rachel512 likes this.
  4. 4
    In nursing school i was bullied terribly by my peers. Simply because i was different than them. I'll never understand what compels a bully to be they way they are, some obscure psychiatric disorder probably. I just ignored it. but it ate me up inside because i was treated like crap everyday. I suggest avoiding this person as much as possible, and if you can't- you must confront them and be assertive. let them know that you will not put up with this. Tell them something like "Do you really want to risk losing your job because of your behavior? if not then i would start acting more professional and civil to your peers." that should do it
    trixie333, nurse0520, Faeriewand, and 1 other like this.
  5. 0
    LPN wheezy would love to hear your nursing school story, perhaps if you started another thread? Be sure to message me if you do

    I have not been bullied but I've had the occasional disagreement with a co-worker. Assertive and calm is the best way to go, trying to stay above it. (I don't always succeed) LOL Well I"m human so live and learn
  6. 8
    op: i have been a target at my last job. i agree, we can decide to be a victim. in any case, i do not know if all bullies are jealous. my former bully had 8 years of experience to my 2. she also was considered a very competent nurse. however her home life was and is miserable. so she brings her terrors to work. her bullying was through vicious gossip.

    she gossiped about people she did not like and made the nurses (i was not the only target) she did not like appear to the doctors and the other staff members as dangerous and incompetent. she successfully ran off all of her targets except for me and one other nurse. the other nurse who has not left was protected by a clique of nurses who she could not influence. i was not protected by anyone. i remained employed there for well over a year and a half for the work experience. i fully intended when i started to leave once i finished my bsn and that is what i have done.

    in any case, to survive i became my biggest cheerleader. it was necessary because when someone stood up for me, she made them feel unwelcome and started to target them, so other nurses did not stand up for me to her face. in fact, she was so bad, most people tip-toed around her and most charge nurses gave in to her demands of patient assignments (sometimes she had no patients in her beds because she did not want any while the waiting room was full and the rest of the nurses were busy). in addition, she gave her opinion on where she thought i and other nurses should be assigned and i was assigned to beds that were way below my abilities, while the nurses she liked with less experience were given more complicated patients.

    the only reason i knew i was a good nurse was because of my patients who readily sang my praises to my mangers and nurses who were on their way out the door that had nothing to lose by pulling me aside and letting me know that he/she thought i am an outstanding nurse. i received the feedback without solicitation so i believe it 100%. not to mention the doctors. some were very impressed with me because of the gossip and informed me on several occasions that they thought i was a good nurse; again without solicitation.

    i agree with the others, you must rise above the bully. i have no idea what god has in store for that miserable nurse, but she will get hers!!! i do not need to be around to know that god is at work because i have received a blessing recently.

    after finishing my bsn i landed a job in an er within a level 2 trauma center. she was floored. she could not believe it. to her i am stupid. stupid nurses should not care for trauma patients. however, i am not the only one who left that er and was able to land another er job. so her opinion counts for nothing outside of the er i just left. she has yet to grasp that concept.

    so yes, i am not her victim. she does not get to decide what kind of er nurse i will be and how long i will work in the er environment. plus, she does not get to decide my patient assignments any more!
    Rachel512, Katie5, tikilpn2, and 5 others like this.
  7. 3
    Here are my observations...

    Have you ever wondered why some people are always victimized? I have observed that bullies always target certain individuals while leaving the other people on the unit alone. Unfortunately, it's all about perception. If you are perceived as a softy who will not stand up to the bully, you'll be targeted for further harassment. If you're perceived as someone who will put up resistance and not allow anyone to run over you, then the bully will quickly know to leave you alone because you're now viewed as too difficult of a target.

    Bullying is a crime of opportunity. Bullies prey on the most opportune targets: people who are less likely to respond in a defensive manner to the bullying. Also, if nothing is done during the first instance of bullying, the bully will continue the rampage, because he/she knows that he/she can get away with it.
    not.done.yet, WindyhillBSN, and Scrubby like this.
  8. 12
    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.
    mochifudge, tokidoki7, JRP1120, RN, and 9 others like this.
  9. 1
    I'm a Sister and if I get any slight intimation bullying is going on on my ward I come down on the perps hard. The fact is some folks will always get along better with some than others, nothing to be done about that, but folks ganging up on one person is absolutely unprofessional and unacceptable.

    To be fair I have only ever once or twice seen it on my present ward but it went on unchecked at the St Elsewhere I once worked at.
    LPNnowRN likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Faeriewand
    LPN wheezy would love to hear your nursing school story, perhaps if you started another thread? Be sure to message me if you do

    I have not been bullied but I've had the occasional disagreement with a co-worker. Assertive and calm is the best way to go, trying to stay above it. (I don't always succeed) LOL Well I"m human so live and learn

    Well, In my first year of LPN school, our class was going to go on an optional run for the cure. I live in FL and it gets REALLY hot here. since it was optional, i decided not to go. And i felt horrible anyway so i needed to rest. i sent a text message to the team leader of the race (a fellow nursing student) i simply said that i could not make it. She replied with how what i was doing is F'ed up, how no one in the class likes me and how i am a slacker. (I got national honor society for nurses and she did not, i was also the first one to pass the nclex out of my entire class, i am not a slacker). i told her that she was being rude, and that this is no way for a future nurse to treat someone who is ill. Then another class mate texted me saying "have fun spooning with your boyfriend instead of supporting the team" Anyway- i ended up going to the hospital because i went into anaphylactic shock, turns out i was allergic to beef, milk, and soy. and the beef is what did it (i hadn't eaten beef in over a year) I told her what happened, expecting an apology, but she just laughed and told me i was a liar

    2nd year was the worst. I was sexually harassed and pretty much verbally raped and physically molested by a male nursing student. He would say things about sex, masturbation, rape, sex toys, me and my fiance, it was horrible. and of course i told him to stop, and i told him that he was disgusting. One day he groped my bottom and said "i could rape you". So then i told my teacher. and he got kicked out. After he got kicked out, he slandered me and told the class that i am a liar and to beware. He was EXTREMELY manipulative. So after that, everyday, i would hear people talking about me, snickers, dirty looks, scoffs, etc. when it came time for my class picture no one wanted to sit near me, people talked in groups about me, it was horrible. I told the nursing program director what was going on and she literally told me she did not care and that i was being immature. ME being immature? i was hurt. no one did anything.

    i am so sick to my stomach thinking these people will be nurses one day

    The incident left me with PTSD, and i am afraid to be alone with men who i don't know (in an office, in elevators, etc) I also have serious trust issues with people because of this. i am slowly recovering. Its hard to put into words how horrible my nursing school experience was... but that is how it went. ....
    trixie333 likes this.
  11. 1
    LPNweezy, I am so sorry! I can't imagine adults acting that way, but I guess anything is possible these days.

    I've been a bullying victim twice. The first time, a nurse was making all the nurses of other color than she miserable in the facility; she would not take care of her patients and would dump her work on others. I tried to be the adult, talking directly to her failed, so I used a "mediated management" meeting with HR. This lady got in there and told the HR that she had been "told by Jesus" that I was posessed by the devil. I'm just sitting there with my mouth on the floor and then, worse, HR smiled this sickeningly sweet smile and told her that she was being a good Christian. I quit without notice after that meeting was done. Aeeiiiieeya ya! What can you do??? The job stunk so it wasn't much of a loss (and this back when economy was much better)

    Second time, a nurse was making things miserable for the entire floor. She did the scheduling, and if she wanted extra money, she would simply take your hours away and add to hers...even for permanent employees. She also would force herself in on upper management meetings in place of the charge-level-2 nurses, who were also getting livid because she was usurping their power and authority. My coworkers and I tried to take it to the immediate manager, who didn't care. We then took it higher up the chain but the top dog really didn't care. It ended with 5 of us quitting within 3 months, some of whom had been there for 13 YEARS. I probably should have stayed until she stole my hours to zero, or got me fired, as times are so bad now, but I was just seeing red. I hear that this person is still there...and probably will be until someone cares enough to fire her like her many previous jobs did. Not to mention, with all the hours she stole and making others miserable, she there the whole time on the computer or phone just about while "working."
    LPNweezy likes this.

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