Need advice: Work bully

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    Hi nurse managers. I'm in need of some advice here. I'm new to the floor I'm working on and I find that I'm being called to the NM office for strange things like "You left your coffee cup in the breakroom when you went home."

    It turns out that one particular nurse is reporting things that never seem to be involved with any patient care or safety issues. I feel like I am being singled out for things that everyone occasionally does.

    I don't argue with my NM since, for example, I did forget my coffee cup. I am under the impression that anything I say will be viewed as making excuses. i just apologize and try not to do anything that will end up with me in her office again.

    The result is that I am completely anxiety ridden and paranoid about even the tiniest things. Any advice on how to approach this?
    Last edit by NurseOnAMotorcycle on Aug 17, '11
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    I'm not a nurse manager, but I have 25 years' experience.

    1. Do you have a union? If you do, get them involved right away, and never appear before management without them.

    2. Document, document, document!! Write everything down each time you are disciplined, It's sounds like you are being harassed, and sufficient documentation will prove it. Also, you have a right to see your employee file; ask to see how they have been documenting these issues in your file, and demand to put clarifications in if needed.

    3. Talk to a lawyer if the harassment doesn't stop. Are you possibly being harassed for racial, ethnic, or other reasons?

    4. Let your manager know that you are aware of what is happening and that you hold management responsible if the harassment doesn't stop; put it in writing, but state only the facts.

    5. If you have any friends in the workplace, ask them if they see your situation the same way you do. Are you over-reacting?

    Good Luck!

    PS: They might just be testing you if you're new.
    Last edit by ddunnrn on Aug 17, '11 : Reason: clarification
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    Thanks.
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    The coffee cup thing is a bit much. She may be new and trying to "nip everything in the bud." I did that when i first started too, majored on minor things (though never a coffee cup, lol). Now when someone comes to me with complaints I ask them if they dealt with that person first; if they haven't I ask they do that. If they have, and it's a minor thing (like a coffee cup), I just let folks vent and say, "Sometimes you just need to vent" (I don't indicate I'm going to f/u if I'm not) and that usually helps. If it's a more major thing (like safety, documentation, etc) I will schedule a sit down with the employee and/or the plaintiff (if they've attempted to resolve on their own with the employee). I agree with the other poster who said to document. Talk to your HR rep if it becomes excessive.

    Quote from NurseOnAMotorcycle
    Hi nurse managers. I'm in need of some advice here. I'm new to the floor I'm working on and I find that I'm being called to the NM office for strange things like "You left your coffee cup in the breakroom when you went home."

    It turns out that one particular nurse is reporting things that never seem to be involved with any patient care or safety issues. I feel like I am being singled out for things that everyone occasionally does.

    I don't argue with my NM since, for example, I did forget my coffee cup. I am under the impression that anything I say will be viewed as making excuses. i just apologize and try not to do anything that will end up with me in her office again.

    The result is that I am completely anxiety ridden and paranoid about even the tiniest things. Any advice on how to approach this?


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