Is this considered bullying?

  1. Hi all

    if I am wrong about this situation please let me know. I am a brand new nurse and I started my first job two weeks ago. My first week I noticed my preceptor was harsh on one of the nursing aides. She would gossip about her, and get frustrated with her over little stuff.

    So, on my third or fourth shift, a bed alarm went off and I went running to make sure the patient wasn't about to fall. The nursing aide according to my preceptor does not get up fast enough. Which, okay I can for sure understand that. My preceptor told me she intentionally tried to push the nursing aide out of the way to prove a point to get up faster. Instead of pushing a nursing aide out of the way to prove a point-wouldn't it have been better to discuss it in person?

    I like cristism, but I feel there is a certain way it should be said. She told me she will tell me "everything I'm doing wrong because that is what will make me a good nurse". I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but dealing with someone constantly putting me down I think would be a sign I should find a new job or maybe nursing isn't for me. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much.
  2. Visit Ilovenursing3 profile page

    About Ilovenursing3

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 38; Likes: 14

    67 Comments

  3. by   angeloublue22
    Her behavior is over the top with how she handled the nurse's aid for sure and if she is literally pushing the nurse's aid, then yes that is bullying and hostile behavior and should be addressed. That nurse's aid needs to go to management or HR. It's hard for you to address it because you're new but you can do things to make her realize her behavior in inappropriate. This may require some round about teaching for her. Like making comments about her behavior as you witness it. For instance, "That's interesting way to help someone improve. Does that work for you?" or "If you're dissatisfied with her slow reaction time, have you discussed this with her? What are some ways we can help her improve?" This way you can make it look like a learning opportunity for you but it's really one for her.
    This should not affect how you feel as a nurse. You can't let other people determine your future because you're going to run into a few people like her in your career and those people do not get to have power over your feelings unless you give them that power. Always be the positive and professional force on the unit and other people will join you. You also will have the professional high ground. I want to hear when I do things wrong because that's how we learn but yes, we all need positive feedback. Unfortunately, you cannot depend on the positive feedback of others but instead give yourself some mental high fives. I will literally cheer and dance for my damn self (I'm a weirdo). But guess what, I got everyone else on the unit to start cheering for themselves and each other.

    I train and teach new nurses all the time and counsel them through it because I know it's hard to be a new nurse. I was only nurse with experience. We actually make our supervisor only hire new nurses so they can experience good training and they can turn into great nurses for our facility. Now we have a wonderful team. This came about because of the terrible training I had and I wanted to change that. Think of this as a lesson on how not to be and work to change it if you can. Hang in there.
  4. by   JKL33
    Quote from Ilovenursing3
    Hi all

    if I am wrong about this situation please let me know. I am a brand new nurse and I started my first job two weeks ago. My first week I noticed my preceptor was harsh on one of the nursing aides. She would gossip about her, and get frustrated with her over little stuff.

    So, on my third or fourth shift, a bed alarm went off and I went running to make sure the patient wasn't about to fall. The nursing aide according to my preceptor does not get up fast enough. Which, okay I can for sure understand that. My preceptor told me she intentionally tried to push the nursing aide out of the way to prove a point to get up faster. Instead of pushing a nursing aide out of the way to prove a point-wouldn't it have been better to discuss it in person?

    I like cristism, but I feel there is a certain way it should be said. She told me she will tell me "everything I'm doing wrong because that is what will make me a good nurse". I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but dealing with someone constantly putting me down I think would be a sign I should find a new job or maybe nursing isn't for me. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much.
    You're not on a good track, I'll just tell you that right up front.

    1. The situation you describe between the NA and your preceptor is one of (likely) laziness and/or incompetence that is being handled in a very unprofessional and childish manner, and no I certainly would not handle it as your preceptor is. I would try to develop a rapport with the NA and see if we could get a little teamwork going. If that fails there isn't much else to do besides plan on doing one's own work and not relying on that NA for anything. In just a few short weeks or months you can talk with that NA and help her learn how to move faster.

    2. Your last paragraph is the most concerning. Did your preceptor tell you she is going to put you down? You've chosen to get hurt by words she used to tell you how she is going to help you. You would feel better if she had chosen her words slightly more carefully and said, "You'll do great and I'll let you know what you need to know and where to improve." You know what - pretend that's what she said, because I'm about 99% sure that's what she meant. You are working with someone who at least has a mind toward helping you become a good nurse. She didn't say she plans to rip you up for entertainment and make you hate life itself.

    Since when is hearing what one did wrong the same as "constantly putting me down?"

    [Serenity now!!!]
  5. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Ilovenursing3
    Hi all




    She told me she will tell me "everything I'm doing wrong because that is what will make me a good nurse". I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but dealing with someone constantly putting me down I think would be a sign I should find a new job or maybe nursing isn't for me. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much.

    If you are doing things wrong, you should want to know about it. You can't change what you don't know is a mistake. Framing this truthful criticism as "putting me down" is the wrong way to look at it. It's not about YOU-it's about your actions.

    Sure, there are 100 different ways to give constructive criticism, and some people just don't have the tactful gene. Don't view it as a personal assault when she calls you out on your mistakes. Learn from them and let the other stuff go.

    And as far as quitting goes, what makes you think the grass will be greener on the other side of the fence? The first year of nursing is typically seen as a very tough road. It's not going to be pleasant no matter how the criticism is framed. It's something you just have to get through. And it will make you a better nurse if you can listen to the criticism without taking it as an assault on your character.
  6. by   klone
    Not effective mentorship or leadership. But no, not bullying.
  7. by   Ilovenursing3
    I want to be told what I am doing wrong, however patient safety is my main concern and I want to be able to ask questions without catching an attitude. If I can't go to my preceptor to ask a question, then she is not someone who I should have training me. She doesn't check her meds twice and I do, therefore my time management skills aren't on par with hers. I understand time management skills, but considering I've had three other employees tell me to ignore her(and I hardly know them) attitude, then I learn from her knowledge, but nothing else.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  8. by   Ilovenursing3
    My communication skills could be better. Do you have an article to recommend that describes what good training vs. ineffective training looks like? I think that's awesome people want to lift each other up, as the patients are happier in that environment as well. I want to make sure the patients I take care of remain safe and cared for.
  9. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from Ilovenursing3
    She doesn't check her meds twice and I do, therefore my time management skills aren't on par with hers.
    You honestly don't know how many times she checks her meds. Maybe she doesn't check them enough, but she could be doing it and you just can't tell. You're also supposed to go over meds three times, not just two. I'm sure when I've had student nurses with me it might look like I don't review and check my meds enough, but once you get experience it becomes habit and not something someone else may pick up on.

    I look over my meds due in my MAR, review them as I pull them out of the Pyxis, review them as I scan them at the bedside (and tell the patient was each med is, the dose, and what it's for), and review them as I open them after I scan all my meds. Most of this all happens so fast it probably looks like I'm not checking them, but I am.
  10. by   Ilovenursing3
    You are correct, she could have been going through them in her head and not explaining how she does her med checks. But, I am not in anyway saying she doesn't know what she's doing by any means, I personally feel more safe opening the meds at the bedside and making sure the patient knows every med they are getting. I feel more comfortable doing it as you explained, but she doesn't think there is enough time for all that. She said she has trained many people before, but she's only been a nurse for 3 years. I look up to any and all nurses, but I thought someone needed to be an RN longer than that to train.
  11. by   JKL33
    ilovenursing3,

    Looking at your previous posts I can see now that it's very possible this particular preceptor is not someone you want to emulate. Maybe she isn't that great. Maybe she's awful. But I still think it would be best if you re-focus. You don't need to read an article about good vs. ineffective training - you can worry about that when you need to prepare to train someone.

    You are in the thick of the process of realizing the differences between what you were taught and what can reasonably be accomplished. Over time you will be able to reconcile these two things according to your own sense of what's right and wrong, and then you will feel more comfortable.

    Unfortunately, part of what is making you feel extra-pressured right now is the fact that you have a short orientation on a unit where you will be the sole RN on your shifts. It's really imperative that you re-focus. You aren't going to have to worry about her (and you aren't going to have anyone to check your insulin, etc.) when you are the only RN on shift.

    You could ask your preceptor if the two of you could make out a basic routine that might be helpful in prioritizing your tasks. Continue interacting and asking appropriate questions even though you don't care for her manner and methods. For your own sake, be pleasant with her in attempt to cover the basics during the remainder of your orientation.

    Good wishes ~
  12. by   Triddin
    On med surg, I find after a year of experience, you ar fair game for precepting and charge duties; althouugh something's it happens sooner
  13. by   Ilovenursing3
    Thank you for your response. I feel bad I mentioned in my above post I thought someone would need more than three years expierience to train. I didn't mean it in a manner she doesn't know what she's doing. I could have elaborated on what is actually going on and maybe in my mind is was becoming beyond stressful. I think as a preceptor she should let me know when something changes with a patient and also to help when a patient's bed alarm goes off. A prime example of what I perceived as being team players-I was in the med room looking at which meds were due next. My preceptor was sitting at the nurses station with the nurses aide "who will run circles around me" (her words) A patient's bed alarm went off and I didn't see her or the aide(-not the one she pushed) run, so I ran. The keys to the med room were left on the med cart in the med room. Yup, it's my fault for leaving the keys in there and I take responsibility for that. But, I would have appreciated some type of thank you for caring about the patient vs. "you left the keys in the med room". (The aides always have an extra set) I do things all day long and I love it, but during report she will give say she did everything. Basically it looks like I did nothing all day. She withholds information about patient's that are important for me to know. I'm not sure if she does this intentionally, but it's getting old. I hope this doesn't come across as childish, as when she's giving off report and claiming she did everything all day, I just let it go. I always make sure if I'm not doing anything I ask anyone if they need help. Another prime example is since we are both taking care of the same patients together, if she does something for a patient I told her I don't want to take credit for someone else's work so she should document it. She will do something, not document it and it makes me look like it wasn't done. She will say "well this is late". It's so bizarre to me and maybe it's not even possible someone could be that manipulative.

    I'm sure it sounds petty, but I was sooo excited to go to work and work with patients and I still am. I noticed this was getting the best of me.

    So, yes you are very correct and I do need to re-focus. Your feedback was exactly what I needed to hear. I'm sure I am the most frustrating person to train as I am new and I ask a ton of questions. I am a what if type of person. I finally give insulin with confidence. I give it, then check on the patient to make sure they are okay. I look back to a week and half ago thinking I was being ridiculous worrying about insulin.
    Last edit by Ilovenursing3 on Jun 18 : Reason: Grammar
  14. by   Ilovenursing3
    I agree with you. It doesn't have to be as long as I thought for sure.

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