Lateral violence. How did you handle it?

  1. Hello,
    I have encountered several situations as a newer NP. I went into this field naively when I assumed that I would have a decent amount of respect from fellow NPs and among staff/administrators/RNs/LPNs. I work in post acute care, which was a new environment for me to become accustomed to as I worked in the hospital setting as an RN. At first I attributed the behaviors/actions of others as their uncertainty of my competence. (I received high marks on my evaluation and praise from my collaborating MD.) Obviously, this is not the case after 1 1/2 years. After this last incident, I realized that I am experiencing lateral violence. I have addressed each incident with staff, management at the nursing home & with my clinical supervisors. Issues continue to persist. My question to you is: How did you address the bullying? How long did you stay at that job? What was your plan of action after you realized the culture was not going to change? I am currently job seeking btw.
    Thank you for your input. Please no negative comments; I am trying very hard to remain composed after this last incident. Thanks again
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   springchick1
    Quote from lvan0904
    I have addressed each incident with staff, management at the nursing home & with my clinical supervisors. Issues continue to persist. )
    Have you addressed it with the person you are having problems with?
  4. by   traumaRUs
    If this continues, and it sounds like this is not the first incident, I would be looking for a new job. For me, I had an incident in the beginning of my APRN career where I was led down a path that ultimately resulted in a lot of badness and stress for 7 years!
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Hello Ivan0904.

    Can you give some general examples of what you are experiencing? It helps folks give more specific advice.

    Thank you.
  6. by   mammac5
    Violence - whether domestic, on the job, or from a stranger in a parking lot warrants a call to the police.

    Bullying or poor treatment warrants a one-on-one conversation between you and the person you perceive as being the problem. If that's been tried and failed, knock it up to the next level which is you + the other party + the person's direct supervisor.
    If that does not fix the situation, I would advise going to HR and make someone aware that this person is a liability.
  7. by   caliotter3
    You mention that the workplace is a nursing home. I found various levels of toxicity at every LTC facility where I worked, generally tied in with the group clique and whether or not I assimilated into that clique. When you do not meet the basic criteria, you will never assimilate, although you may be 'tolerated' to some degree. If you wish to continue working at that employer, you have to stand your ground or the group will successfully run you off. I found it to be quite disconcerting to hear people bragging at the nurses' station how they ran off "so and so". I would keep up the job search and then move on to greener pastures, meanwhile showing them that they do not have the power to separate you from your paycheck.
  8. by   kitkats4breakfs
    Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. When a confrontational person realizes that you're willing to go further than he/she is, usually they back off before things get bad.

    No one can do that to me at work, nor have they tried. Probably because they know I'm willing to go the distance. And I am not too terrified about being canned from my position.

    I am in my mid 20s, most of my coworkers are 30+. I see that you have a lot of pride in your abilities to work well with the doctors. Is it possible you can be more of a team player with your fellow nurses and CNAs?
  9. by   lvan0904
    Hello Springchick 1.
    Yes. I've addressed it with them and the DON & administrator. I was reassured that they would address the situation on 2 separate occasions. It was implied that I was "too nice". I am firm, but not demeaning. I am always respectful of all staff. I've had multiple instances with multiple staff over the past 1 1/2 yrs. It's getting tiresome to deal with and I feel as though it is not an NP friendly environment.
  10. by   lvan0904
    Hello Spidey's mom,
    Some examples include: Confrontation on several occasions where staff raised their voices & verbalizing rude comments, refusing to follow through with my requests, gossiping, etc. I've discussed the events with the DON, the administrator, my collaborating MD, my clinical supervisor. Each time I'm reassured that the problem will be addressed. I don't feel as though I am respected and I don't feel as though management is invested in helping to create a positive work environment.
  11. by   Mavrick
    I'm so sorry you are feeling beat up. Nobody likes to feel disrespected but this is my take on your situation.

    Some people are particularly adept at spotting the weak. When you crouch down, cover your head and whimper "don't hit me" that behavior emboldens the stronger to do just that. Your post sends off vibes of that kind of crouching "Please, no negative comments, I might lose my composure". It makes those people want to pick on you.

    This does not sound like a place you want to stay. It may be too late to put on a tougher exterior, to set the boundaries that teach people how to treat you. Telling someone they are "too nice" is a kind way of saying "you're being a doormat"

    You're probably not being as firm as you think especially with the "multiple instances with multiple staff" and management cannot run to your aid to give you the respect you have not earned.

    Without being a butt yourself, you will have to learn to stand your ground. Be assertive, not aggressive. I don't know what your physical stature is but sometimes very small/petite people have to stand tall and speak up. A class in self defense or just plain working out with a punching bag can give you an inner power that comes across subtly and gives people pause.

    I believe there are no wasted experiences. At the very least I can learn what NOT to do!
  12. by   lvan0904
    Mavrick,
    I have addressed each instance in a firm and assertive manner. There have been multiple occasions. I have first addressed the instances with staff, then went to unit managers, then went to management, then went to my collaborating MD and my clinical supervisor. It becomes exhausting after a while, that is why I said "no negative comments please" because I am tired & on a personal note my father just had surgery so I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. (not for anyone to take pity on me, but I did want to vent a bit & get input however avoid negative comments/replies if possible). I may have a small stature but I do stand up for myself very well. I am far from being a doormat. Just because I show respect for people, does not mean that I accept nor tolerate negative behaviors. I was a former mental health counselor so I am well aware of how to establish boundaries and the difference between being passive/assertive/aggressive. This is the culture at my work place, and I doubt that I am going to have much of a change on it despite what I do. The staff brags about kicking out a former NP and other RNs that "we couldn't stand." And yes, this has been a great learning experience. I am also tired of people placing blame on me, when the staff needs to accept responsibility for their behaviors. But why should they when it is tolerated and management demonstrates the same behaviors themselves> Thanks for you input and have a blessed day.
  13. by   traumaRUs
    I agree with your assessment Ivan0904 - get out of the toxic environment. Best wishes.
  14. by   Mavrick
    Quote from lvan0904
    Mavrick,
    I have addressed each instance in a firm and assertive manner. There have been multiple occasions. I have first addressed the instances with staff, then went to unit managers, then went to management, then went to my collaborating MD and my clinical supervisor. It becomes exhausting after a while, that is why I said "no negative comments please" because I am tired & on a personal note my father just had surgery so I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. (not for anyone to take pity on me, but I did want to vent a bit & get input however avoid negative comments/replies if possible). I may have a small stature but I do stand up for myself very well. I am far from being a doormat. Just because I show respect for people, does not mean that I accept nor tolerate negative behaviors. I was a former mental health counselor so I am well aware of how to establish boundaries and the difference between being passive/assertive/aggressive. This is the culture at my work place, and I doubt that I am going to have much of a change on it despite what I do. The staff brags about kicking out a former NP and other RNs that "we couldn't stand." And yes, this has been a great learning experience. I am also tired of people placing blame on me, when the staff needs to accept responsibility for their behaviors. But why should they when it is tolerated and management demonstrates the same behaviors themselves> Thanks for you input and have a blessed day.
    Then you have learned something valuable. What you will NOT tolerate.

    I hope you find a much more suitable work environment and leave the wolves to gnaw on themselves.

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