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Attention nurse bullies... and victims!!

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by Xtina, BSN, RN Xtina, BSN, RN (Member)

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You are reading page 3 of Attention nurse bullies... and victims!!. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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I worked in a clinic in which a group of 20 something nurses would wear pink scrubs on Wednesday, because of the movie "Mean Girls". I am here in my 40's thinking "Really???". I didn't really care until one day I gave a neulasta shot to a patient that did not get his chemo that week. Totally my fault. He was completely A&O, zero SE and never had a tx held. I had been working at another site all that week and did not know this. He never should have come in at all and should have been told that the day he has tx held, but I still own my part.

I felt terrible, promptly notified the MD, made an incident report and all was fine, until a month later when I received a letter stating that a co-worker made a complaint against my license for negligence. After several weeks of anxiety, tears and gastric upset I was cleared of any wrong doing, case was closed as an honest mistake.

Those girls knew I took responsibility and owned up, but they wanted me out because I didn't fit in with the younger group. Now, I just avoid that site and all is well now that I am working with grownups.

There is a group of nurses/aides I loathe to work with who are 10-20 years younger than I due to that same cliquish mentality. My good friends and peers agree with me that behavior borders on sophomoric and we are happily doing our job without goofing off.

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1 Article; 104 Posts; 1,740 Profile Views

THANK YOU, AllOfMyWat, for your reply! I know you answered as the "bully", but it certainly sounds like you were the one being bullied! I hope there was a happy ending to your story. Again, thanks!

Keep in mind, if she posted here, she would be telling you she feared for my well-being, attempted to help me, and my response was to literally commit an act of physical aggression.

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la_chica_suerte85 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

1,260 Posts; 10,807 Profile Views

Is anyone aware of a "BULLY TASK FORCE" or some sort of a committee that addresses this issue at their facilities? I read an article in a fairly recent issue of AJN about this and was curious to read different perspectives regarding task forces/committees.

I haven't been bullied (yet) or been accused of being a bully (yet) but at my hospital, there are subtle (no, not really subtle) classes we take that are mandatory that are clearly intended to reduce lateral violence and promote a culture that is supportive and helps to bring the best out of everyone. The take home message of some of these classes is to basically not be a jerk. I think this has contributed a lot to the welcoming and positive atmosphere (for the most part) at the hospital. Everyone seems pretty content to be there. There are some people who are just going through the motions for one reason or another but so many more people are committed to making work not suck for themselves or for others. It's basic stuff but it's surprising how people really don't give a damn about trying to contribute positively to the work environment.

Also, like others have mentioned, Special Snowflake Syndrome is upon us and the littlest things are blown up into major personal assaults. It's a weird time.

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Whispera is a MSN, RN and specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

3,458 Posts; 27,971 Profile Views

Do a search for C. Clark, incivility in nursing. She has done oodles of work on the topic.

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473 Posts; 11,286 Profile Views

I am a new graduate nurse who was bullied on the job by my preceptor. I was told I needed to be more independent and was having a lovely day managing my time when suddenly my preceptor ORDERED me to do a PICC line dressing change. Keep in mind that I was waiting for a new admission from CVICU (I worked on a CV Progressive unit). I told her I was waiting for the new admit report and she TOLD me that that could wait. I needed to do the PICC line dressing change NOW. I knew this wasn't true, but as a new graduate, you believe, rightly or wrongly that you need to do whatever your preceptor tells you to do. Since this would be the first dressing change I do on my own, I asked my preceptor if she could remain in the room and watch me do it. All I wanted was moral support. She yelled at me in FRONT of the patient: "Figure it out yourself" and left the room. So I am now left with a patient who is looking up at me and wondering if I know what the hell I am doing. My preceptor also took the phone with her leaving me no way to communicate with her except for the patient call light button. This episode didn't end well. How could it? In the meantime, the CVICU was apparently trying to call me to give report on the new admit. So now the charge nurse is wondering why I am ignoring their phone call. To make a long story short, I resigned my position shortly afterward. I did report the incident to my patient care manager. I also reported the text message my preceptor sent me detailing the anti-anxiety medication I should have my PCP prescribe for me. Keep in mind, I never experienced work anxiety until this nursing job! Who knows if anything was said or done about it. There are so many nursing jobs out there - why put up with a toxic work environment? I start a new nursing job next week.

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nursejoy1 has 22 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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I don't have a story of a nurse bully, but a CNA. I was Unit manager of an LTC. We had a female CNA who had been there a couple of years. Not the best CNA, slow, kind of lazy and whiny. Always complaining someone was being mean to her. Then there was a young male CNA hired, who did a great job, cared fro the residents and never complained. She immediately hated him. One example of her bullying- The male CNA bought a resident a card for his cell phone, then the resident lost his charger. The CNA came to myself and another supervisor and asked if he could run to his truck to get a charger for the resident. We of course said yes. Within seconds, the female CNA was in the office asking very hatefully where he was going. The other supervisor told her it was none of her business. They were not even partners, she just watched him like a hawk. Another example- We had a lady who had difficulty eating. Her tongue would thrust the food back out of her mouth and the spoon had to be held in a certain position for her to retrieve the food. It took a looooong time to feed her. She liked this young man and would eat for him, but not for the rest of us. So when he was there, he was always assigned to feed her. It usually took approximately 45 mins to an hour, but she ate 100%, when her usual intake was

Oh and she also started a rumor that a much older supervisor that became pregnant did so by this young man AT work. What she did not know is that he had had a vasectomy. So that was an impossibility.

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

3,251 Posts; 33,668 Profile Views

I don't have a story of a nurse bully, but a CNA. I was Unit manager of an LTC. We had a female CNA who had been there a couple of years. Not the best CNA, slow, kind of lazy and whiny. Always complaining someone was being mean to her. Then there was a young male CNA hired, who did a great job, cared fro the residents and never complained. She immediately hated him. One example of her bullying- The male CNA bought a resident a card for his cell phone, then the resident lost his charger. The CNA came to myself and another supervisor and asked if he could run to his truck to get a charger for the resident. We of course said yes. Within seconds, the female CNA was in the office asking very hatefully where he was going. The other supervisor told her it was none of her business. They were not even partners, she just watched him like a hawk. Another example- We had a lady who had difficulty eating. Her tongue would thrust the food back out of her mouth and the spoon had to be held in a certain position for her to retrieve the food. It took a looooong time to feed her. She liked this young man and would eat for him, but not for the rest of us. So when he was there, he was always assigned to feed her. It usually took approximately 45 mins to an hour, but she ate 100%, when her usual intake was

Oh and she also started a rumor that a much older supervisor that became pregnant did so by this young man AT work. What she did not know is that he had had a vasectomy. So that was an impossibility.

It is very unlikely this young man was suicidal because of one bad coworker. Also an unlikely reason for him getting out the the CNA business altogether. If she was causing such a problem for him and management knew it, why wasn't it addressed more definitively?

When bad employees have the power to run off the good ones, that is a function of weak leadership.

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3 Posts; 222 Profile Views

When I was a brand new LPN in Columbus, Georgia, I was bullied so much it contributed to the PTSD I have now. I was given total care for 8 patients and was told by the black nurse techs that they "were prejudiced and didn't have to help me". I was called into the black nurse manager's office on a daily basis to be "counseled" and humiliated. I remember all their names and the events as if it were yesterday although it was 1982. Flash forward to 1995, again in Columbus, Georgia, in a nursing home after I had gotten my RN; the company had gotten rid of the time card and was making staff sign in each shift. The RN supervisor also black, said she didn't see me come in and refused to sign my card. I was told by a CNA that this supervisor was a black Muslim and said that they think white people are devils. When I went to the administration, they "threw me under the bus" by taking no action. I transferred to another area of the same company.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,946 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

When I was a brand new LPN in Columbus, Georgia, I was bullied so much it contributed to the PTSD I have now. I was given total care for 8 patients and was told by the black nurse techs that they "were prejudiced and didn't have to help me". I was called into the black nurse manager's office on a daily basis to be "counseled" and humiliated. I remember all their names and the events as if it were yesterday although it was 1982. Flash forward to 1995, again in Columbus, Georgia, in a nursing home after I had gotten my RN; the company had gotten rid of the time card and was making staff sign in each shift. The RN supervisor also black, said she didn't see me come in and refused to sign my card. I was told by a CNA that this supervisor was a black Muslim and said that they think white people are devils. When I went to the administration, they "threw me under the bus" by taking no action. I transferred to another area of the same company.

Your post sounds racist. There is no need to mention the race of the colleagues that you claim to have bullied you.

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871 Posts; 6,011 Profile Views

I strongly believe that most bullies are aware they are being nasty and just don't care. The bullied are afraid of something so they continue to be bullied to avoid dealing with the reason they are allowing it. I won't be bullied and let people know right away. It is far more painful to be bullied then to just say hey not dealing with this. If I am not employee of the month so be it.

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Ruby Vee--I conveyed exactly what happened to me and it was a case of reverse discrimination. That's the entire point I was trying to make. I thought long and hard before posting my experience but decided to be brave and not give in to what some people are afraid to say. I do not care what race you are but if that is a factor in you treating another human being like a piece of @#%$ then it IS applicable to mention race. It's time people stopped ***** footing around and start telling it like it is in this country. I am not afraid to speak up for myself. If you have a problem with that, then you should perhaps look inward. It is not up to you to try to label another person.

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catsmeow1972 has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in OR.

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I am inclined to agree that these bullies are aware of their behavior and don't care, simply because there are nasty people in this world. You would not think that such ugly people would have gone in to a "caring" profession, but yes folks, they do.

So far as "being afraid of something and letting it continue so they don't have to deal with something?" I am just going to plain disagree. We who have been on the receiving end of this unacceptable behavior are many things. We are new nurses who are afraid of not being able to make it, we are nurses that have been ill and are just venturing back in to the work world, we are nurses that have families and children to support and desperately need our jobs.

There are myriad reasons why people act and react the way they do and to box all that up into a nice little package called "something, " I see as a disregard for what makes us all human, and yes that includes the "bullies."

Speaking for myself, I am afraid of being unemployed and unable to pay my bills. When the "bully" is your supervisor (especially this ), your preceptor, or any of your colleagues and you are the new kid on the block, you do what you have to do to fit in.

And as a last point: "Nursing eats its young" is not an old cliche. I believe that it is pertinent now more than ever.

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