Workplace mobbing... - page 2

Came across an interesting thread on another nursing website...where the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality has become the first government agency in the nation to institute a "workplace mobbing... Read More

  1. by   Nebby Nurse
    A couple of years ago I accepted another postion as a 3-11 RN at a local hospital. The administrator was fantastic and the 3--11 staff was top notch. However my few weeks there became a nightmare thanks to the 11-7 LPN. This woman had been in her position for 15 years and was making something like 13 bucks an hour. She was the big shot on the unit and seemed to wield a lot of power. She was friendly and helpful the first day. Second day she comes on she's sitting at the nurses station leaning back in her chair with her hands behind her head and casually asks: "So what are they paying you?" Fool that I was I told her. It was 21 bucks an hour. That did it. It looked like her big head was ready to explode and from that minute on she made my life hell. She refused to speak to me or make eye contact with me. She ran to administration over every little perceived deficiency of mine. But her favorite was to drag report on for over an hour. The stress of the new job was bad enough but her presence left me cold with fear. At the time I was caring for a friend in the terminal stages of cancer so her harrassment quickly became intolerable despite the encouragement from administration and staff who told me to ignore her. My last night there, in tears, I wrote a short note of resignation, slipped it under the administrators door and quit without notice. Wouldn't take the kindly adminstrators calls the next few days. It bothers me to this day.This LPN had done it to other RNs I later found out, but they stood up to her. I'm mad at myself for being such a wimp but it was a time in my life when I was vulnerable. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about it.
  2. by   Furball
    My God...this behavior is horrible. So horrible that I'm rethinking my plans on moving to another state.
    Last edit by Furball on Jan 1, '03
  3. by   live4today
    Hello Furball,

    I have always heard nothing but good things about New Hanover Hospital in Wilmington, NC! It's location (near the beach) is great, too!
  4. by   Huganurse
    I agree that the behavior mentioned is downright disgusting. We are supposed to be professionals. Mobbing shouldn't even be a worry in our profession. However, I think that socially, Mild mobbing type behaviors, like not befriending or sitting with someone that is on a staff who isn't pulling thier wieght or is just a total screw-up that can't perform the job is a normal behavior in groups of people. Those pressures put on by the rest of the group are natural and they can force someone to leave the group in a response similar to fight or flight (flight being the easier to take in these kind of situations). Kind of like monkeys and wolves isn't it, but much more civil usually when speaking of the human animal. New employees or those that are not performing at the level of the rest of the group usually know it and also naturally feel intimidated by others in the group. If the intention is to change natural human behaviors then a lot of people may end up in a big bind and nothing will change. If the intention is to root out the downright nastiness of people who do the types of things mentioned in the posts then by all means those people should be prosicuted. Stealing is against the law as well as harrasing someone could be too.
  5. by   Franca
    Thanks for this thread. Years ago, in a non-nursing medical department as a new employee, I soon learned that employees over the years had left the dept. b/c of a particular employee's behavior. It didn't take long for me to pick up that this employee had helter-skelter behavior, which, by the way, reminded me of a recovering alcoholic on a dry drunk, very unpredictable as to mood.

    I asked mgt. what my boundaries were in the situation; even though we two held the same job, I wanted my position clarified, b/c she had been in the job and with the company many years. I realized if we clashed, I'd be the one reprimanded. (The woman who trained me was fired soon after I was hired, b/c the two of them kept bickering.)

    Department mgt. was dependent on this employee's years of experience, so I don't think her behavior was ever fully addressed, although mgt could have gained many skilled employees to replace her who had quit b/c of her. I even thought that perhaps mgt. was trying to rehabilitate her by keeping her on (like mgt cared about her; boy, was I naive).

    I remained on a professional basis with her, although struggling with mixed feelings of compassion and anger. However, my anger was primarily toward mgt for what I felt was its poor treatment of her and the rest of us. Plus, it turned out, I learned I was also kicking at the fact that here again, as in childhood, I didn't feel safe in my environment when the environment should have been safe. Aargh!

    The good that came out of it was that I went to an EAP (employee assistance program) counselor at the company's expense to learn to stay in the situation until it was "time" to leave. The EAP counselor was a great start to helping me become less naive about people, and also I gained a clear understanding that I CAN take care of myself, that I have resources as an adult that I didn't have as a child. What a realization as to cause and effect as to her behavior and to part of the reason for my strong reaction to it!

    I'd handle the situation differently now, more deliberately...up the chain of command if necessary as was suggested on the thread; but, I'd be as clear as possible if I did that to differentiate in my mind/heart what is all-out not appropriate about this person's behavior by citing incidents, and what part of the behavior is acceptable, although not comfortable, that I am reacting to b/c of an ingrained reaction I have to certain stimuli/situations.
    Last edit by Franca on Feb 23, '02
  6. by   zumalong
    Hi there furball--Where are you now with the cows??? I love Wilmington North Carolina. Am heading there next week to get away from this dreary weather up here in Western New York. Go for it. The city is beautiful the beach at wrightsville is the best and there is shopping, shopping, shopping. Go for it. I have not heard of any problems like this thread from my friends that are nurses at that hosp.
  7. by   Lisah
    I agree with documenting everything, and when you present your letters to the administration be sure to give them specific deadline to respond that way you still have recourse to go further. I have dealt with this as well, when I first graduate I worked at a psych institute with attendants who really resented nurses be brought in to the facility. I stated on nights with 2 such persons and each night all I heard was ,"the only good nurse is a dead nurse" I would not comment and just go on and do my work, Finally after a few weeks the comments stopped, and when I asked what happened to the comments about nurses and why they were no longer making them they proceeded to tell me they were still making them only not to me because they didn't consider me a nurse because I wasn't afraid to do my work. I guess that was a compliment, and over the 10 years I was there I feel I changed their ideas of nurses.
  8. by   Furball
    [Thanks for the response Renee and Zoomalong...moving to a new place is a bit scary. Thanks for easing my mind
    Last edit by Furball on Jan 1, '03
  9. by   Teshiee
    Nebby nurse that heffa was player hating you because you were making the money and she was making what her title makes. I even noticed that with other RN's especially if you are registry I don't go into specifics I give ranges of what we can make. I would pull her to the side and ask her nicely do you have a problem with me? If that doesn't work then I would go to the administrator big time. Arrange a meeting with the Administrator and you being present. Don't let anyone make you quit unless you want to. I hate to pull rank on people but I have done it and when I do I do not have anymore problems with those individuals.
  10. by   135ctv
    Prior to working in healthcare, I would not have believed that this was happening. I do not know why so many people like this tend to gravitate to healthcare -- they seem like the very last people you'd want entrusted to patient care. I have worked in other professions and other type of businesses over the years and have never seen this occur to the extent that I see it in the healthcare field.

    I wonder if the shortage of nurses and aides helps to promote this. Would these people be weeded out if there were a surplus of nurses?

    As a patient, I have reported this type of behavior when I observe it. I may have had to put up with this in a work situation, but I certainly won't tolerate it when I am paying for care. Unfortunately, what I see as a patient is only the tip of the iceberg as much of this occurs covertly.

    I am new to this field and I don't understand. Why does this happen so much in healthcare and why is it allowed to continue for so long? I just want to do my job and not be caught up in a "Jerry Springer" drama each shift!
  11. by   live4today
    AMEN, 135ctv!!! The drama must somehow be brought to a complete halt! How can we eradicate this mobbing type behavior from nursing? What is the "real" root cause of all the problems in nursing? Has that even been pin-pointed yet?
  12. by   RNKitty
    As P-RN nurse likes to say: Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.

    As a new grad I was "mobbed" (I like that terminology, by the way) for 6 months. After going home in tears nightly, I left for a new position at a great facility with caring nurses. NEVER again will I let anyone treat me that way. No, I did not go up the chain of command. When I was 22 and fresh from school (which was hell in itself - not at all a nurturing environment)I just didn't have the emotional reserves to fight to stay in a bad situation. It is interesting to read about all the options I could have taken. I still think leaving was the best for me!
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Apathy is a factor in this, I think. So often these days I see people who have no opinions and could care less about what is going on, as long as they get paid. As brought up in other threads, some nurses live for power over others, and can probably "feel" their victum out. Combine this with the majority, who don't want to be involved, and we have a breeding ground for emotional harrassment, whereby one nurse gets away with jeering another nurse for personal amusement.
    People who have excellent caring skills can fall victum to people who enter nursing just for the money combined with a staff who would turn their heads to mob behavior. Right? If you know how to "hold your own" and observe a nurse who doesn't know how to "hold their own" getting beat up on, do you just watch, or do you call them on it? Are you afraid to stand up for others, or do you care? Mind your own business? Let this perpetuate? YOU would be guilty for not assisting another nurse in need, and enabling the bullies to keep it going.
    I know work place drama is dangerous to a nurses emotional and physical health. You let this mob BS go on and your fellow nurse might get eaten up from the inside out with all sorts of psycho-somatic illnesses. YOU/WE gotta stomp out the bullies and the mobs. Just because you are not having a hard time, and are thinking mostly about shifts end, doesn't mean you are innocent. If you have good mob-handling skills, you must lend them to other nurses who need them. Yewd also be helping the mob out, if you turn your head on your fellow nurse in need. We are one.

    (humor) Now, Italians don't go for this either, and we have a way of handling this. If the nursing management is gonna ignore this idiotic behavior at the cost of nurses health, we'll start a mafia. :roll You think you can hide behind a mob in order to get your kicks by beating up on a loving nurse, then you'll answer to the black hand (cosa nostra). :kiss You wanna bully other nurses who are doing their best to care for patients? We won't allow that, or you. You can't harm good nurses who are trying to do their job. That upsets the entire place; You can't, and won't do that. You'll get several warnings to halt your bully tendencies, but if unheeded, you'll be sleeping with the fish, if you know what I mean:imbar