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Attention nurse bullies... and victims!!

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

1,241 Visitors; 16 Posts

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You are reading page 4 of Attention nurse bullies... and victims!!. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

1 Article; 1,737 Visitors; 104 Posts

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

It's not racist. She's pointing out they were racist and stating facts.

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3 Articles; 34,990 Visitors; 2,107 Posts

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

I thought it sounded racist, too.

littlepammy, I am sorry you experienced discrimination. It is very hurtful.

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Marisette has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

13,560 Visitors; 353 Posts

I left a job after working for a company for 27 years for multiple reasons, but one of the reasons was that I felt I was being bullied.

I was asked to go from my primary work location to another, however, I had not yet completed my work in the first location and had a lobby full of patient's waiting. I explained this to the manager in the second location, and said I could not go. There was a large driving distance between the two locations, and I could not make it at a reasonable time in rush hour. The second location's clinic had only one patient on the therapy or treatment that I provided and that patient had a minor problem that could wait to the next day.

Next day, I went to the second location to work and was confronted by a physician who I just met and he accused me of working without orders. Why was I informing his patient of transplants centers wihout his approval. I was shocked beyond belief, but apologized and informed the physician I would be more careful to consult with him regarding anything related to his one and only patient.

My gut feeling was that the physcian was responding to gossip provided by the Clinic manger of this second location. I saw the clinic manager and physician talking and laughing like best buddies in an office that happened to have all windows surrounding.

Shortly after, I was called by upper management, an Area Manager, MBA, who wanted to speak to me about "the situation". This area manager was an MBA, with no RN to his title. The Clinic Manager was present also. After the accusations, I provided 3 pages of orders from the patient's chart ( no electronic medical records at the time), and produced them as evidence that I had MD orders.

The clinic manager said, "sometimes the doctors just sign things, but they don't look and stated I failed to communicate with the MD about the patient. I was not present when the MD signed the orders. No doubt the clinical manager had him sign orders I left for him to sign because this was not my usual location. Orders were called in for supplies etc... and a neat typed page would be created so physicians could sign with company algorithms. But I was NOT working without orders. The MBA summed it all to a misunderstanding. I asked to be removed from working that clinic and after more discussions and grief was granted my wish.

A few years later, the MBA was promoted once or twice and eventually FIRED. Now the Clinic Manager from this second lacation has moved to the top and taken the MBA's position. She is now managing numerous clinics.

I worked in various areas within company, but stayed in one place the longest and I was a staff RN. My peers, coworkers and friends had moved on. Even the managers who knew and supported me were gone.

I found myself ovewhelmed by the quantities of work assigned to me. I went to the Clinic manager who is now a big time Area manager and asked for her assistance respectfully. I appealed to her for patient safety, and for the sake of meeting the company's quality goals to hire an RN to assist me in My clinic and region. I never received the help. The quantity of patient's I case managed was higher than the other newer RN's. They knew I had a weakness for long distance travel, and would exploit that weakness anytime they could.

I was given help once in a great while, but the nurse that was sopposed to assist me did more undermining that assisting. She was a close personal friend of the now Area Manager. I would go to one of my MD's and make suggestions to obtain quality goals. The MD would agree, but then the nurse would speak to him the following day and he would change his mind. I felt the same scenario was happening to me again. I could not get vacation or day's off coverage from the 3 nurses in the nearby clinic . There were sopposedly good reasons why they had 3 nurses with less patient's than I covering one clinic.

The Area Manager that was once a Clinic Manager was taking revenge at my failure to run from one clinic to another perhaps 6 years prior to her promotion. I never had arguments or confrontations with my coworkers, but they were refusing to cover me. Once I refused to cover the Area Manager's buddy RN who was my (seldom) or PRN help because she left on vacation for one month, and shortly later was taking another vacation for another month without pay. No emergency to my knowledge, just because her husband had to leave town for personal business and she had to tag along. I think my coworkers were just following the Area Manager's suggestions. The goal was to overwhelm me so I would leave the company.

I went to my local manager for help, and she refused to speak for me, because she feared the area manager. She said she agreed with me, but would not get involved. I was on my own, working 7 days a week to meet the companies requirements for patient recruitment and quality goals. My "pager" kept ringing as I slowly burned out. The local manager that would not support me begged me to stay, then turned on me as I exited the door.

Was I bullied? I think so. One thing I can tell you is that bullies don't work alone. They engage others in the bullying behavior. Yes, it effects patient care, but for bullies, that is not a priority. Yes, I confronted my bully and got away for awhile. But Bullies are strong assertive people, and many fine their way to management positions. My bully came back to get me. No, I did not go to human resources. As far as I know, they don't acknowledge that bullying exist in the work place. Sometimes, I wished that I had been stronger and found a way to make it work. I lost my seniority, great benefits, great pay and a job that I enjoyed. They hired more than one RN to perform my job after my departure.

Good luck with your research paper and do chime in on anything that you learn. I would love to hear about it.

Edited by Marisette
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1 Follower; 11,281 Visitors; 473 Posts

Catsmeow1972 is so right! I am not somebody who is afraid to speak up for myself. But nursing is a team effort. There will be times when you must rely on your co-workers and they must rely on you. My preceptor had told me that other nurses had asked her how I was doing on orientation. So believe me, when you are new, the more experienced nurses ARE sizing you up. When I was moved to another preceptor, I told my manager that I was concerned about the established nurses perception of me. She asked why I would be concerned about that? I said:" Really? Because nurses must work together as a team." I left because I realized this wasn't the environment where I wanted to practice. And I attempted to speak to my preceptor about her behavior towards me. After interrupting me numerous times, she walked away and refused to speak with me.

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1,241 Visitors; 16 Posts

THANK YOU ALL for your insight! It's been so incrediblly interesting learning about different perspectives regarding this topic and I appreciate everyone for sharing their personal stories. Much love and respect to you all!!

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

1 Article; 6,228 Visitors; 213 Posts

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.

I am not saying that she was the sole reason for his emotional state, but she certainly was a big part. And I do agree with you about weak leadership. I had gone to the DON and administrator more than once, but she simply got a slap on the wrist and a "Don't do that". Those of us lower on the ladder tried to run interference, but it wasn't always successful. But I will say that his very poor experience there, and especially with her was a major factor in his deciding to leave healthcare.

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Hygiene Queen specializes in ......

1 Follower; 34,518 Visitors; 2,232 Posts

A long time ago, I started my first ever job as a CNA. This nursing home was a hell hole. I sucked it up for about two weeks before I quit.

Anyway, the aides were a bunch of older men and women who were absolute losers. They were, maybe, late 20's to early 40's. I was 17. You'd think they'd show some maturity, but nooo. The crap started to fly when a resident complimented me and this was overheard by the aides. Oh my god, you'd think being complimented would be a fantastic thing... not to these yahoos. I was immediately taunted, "Ooooh... you're sooooo nice... isn't she just sooooo perfect!" Blah blah blah.

Then as I was walking down the hallway, there they all were, waiting for me to pass. They were actually lined up on each side and blew straw wrappers in my face when I walked through! I couldn't believe it! Another time, they all gathered about to watch Tim the Lead Aide offer me a piece of chocolate cake that he had brought from the soiled utility room!!! Yes, I'm confident to this day that there was poop in that cake. When I told him I wasn't stupid, you better believe I was mocked some more.

I also had my purse stolen the first day was there-- but that wasn't bullying. That was just a thief.

I have never, in any job anywhere, ever experienced anything like that before or since. I believe it's truly rare. Thank the Lord.

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LPN9200 has 3 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics.

878 Visitors; 24 Posts

I believe I've been on both ends. The most recent place I was employed was the single definition of a toxic workplace. I began fresh out of nursing school. I like to believe that I am genuinely a nice person, but a fault of mine has been that sometimes I am unaware of how my words come across or my tone. Particularly when I'm upset. My being "bullied." Occurred from the beginning of my employment during a "meeting" with my risk manager and an agency nurse who was orienting me and it turned into a group of several nurses including one I considered a good friend at one point. Apparently there was a misunderstanding and this particular agency nurse flat out lied about a few things which caused me to become worked up (I truly take responsibility for MY reactions in that.) my risk manager never allowed me to forget it. I was singled out for suspension during an abuse allegation against an outside party for "possibly not protecting against further abuse" My supervisor was aware and refused to act. I was framed for a "missing narcotic." I asked said nurse to witness a whole waste of a pill and was later accused of crushing a pill and tossing it in the garbage. I was continuously gossipped about and the center of flat out lies. I had a nurse scream in my face that I was nothing but a POS and to kill myself in front of a resident. I spent many, many days crying and having panic attacks over working at that place before I left.

But all of that leads me into my own bullying behavior while I was employed at that facility. I am not at a WONDERFUL facility where I truly adore my coworkers and get along with them all. But while there, I went out of my way to "get back" at the "mean girls clique." I gossipped with the best of em. I refused to be any form of helpful. I said my share of mean and hurtful things and justified it because they had done it to me. At the time, I can't say I acknowledged it as bullying or if I ever even cared AT THE TIME. I didn't see or care how it affected them. But two wrongs certainly don't make a right.

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BadwomanM has 27 years experience and specializes in Case manager, UR.

1,469 Visitors; 40 Posts

I haven't had too much bullying, other than a little when I was a GN many years ago. But I did have students at a small hospital some years ago that had a couple of nurses actually try to sabotage them. One of my students had a patient who had to transfer emergently to the bigger hospital for cardiac cath and the nurse responsible for the patient didn't call the wife to tell her. Then she complained to me that the student didn't call the wife... I asked her if she had told the student to do it, and she said no, but she had forgotten to call the wife herself and now wanted the student to call her. I refused to put that on my student. That was only one of several incidents in a relatively short time. I had a horrific clinical experience at that hospital.. and I was by no means the only instructor who had students get bullied and were often bullied themselves. I told the head of the program that I would resign before I went to that hospital again as an instructor.

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BadwomanM has 27 years experience and specializes in Case manager, UR.

1,469 Visitors; 40 Posts

I hear you..I sometimes think of how I behaved years ago when I was a couple of years into being an ICU nurse.. when I had no business ever putting myself as better than anyone... and I just cringe at my arrogance and attitude. I'm sure many if not all of us are guilty of being less than stellar at times.

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vanessaem has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

3,914 Visitors; 147 Posts

As far as bullying goes, nursing and in life in general, people only do to you what you let them do. Bullies pick on those whom they perceive to be weak. Nip things in the bud from the start and you should be fine.

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Farming RN has 19 years experience and specializes in ER.

132 Visitors; 1 Post

I supervise a group of nursing staff of varying generations, ages, backgrounds and experience and the amount of lateral violence and bullying can be awful! I have organized customer service trainings, mediation, changed schedules, and sent out emails identifying general acts of hostility observed by the staff. Many of the ones that do the bullying do not think it is anything to do with them- It seems that sometimes people spend so much time looking for faults in others that they do not take the time to look inward and look for ways to improve/change themselves. Some of the bullies are great nurses who expect other nurses to perform as well as they do- but we all have different nursing styles, and the combination of styles, personalities, & experience are what makes good teams.

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