Workplace mobbing... - page 3

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   135ctv
    I think that, along with apathy, the intimidation factor keeps some from getting involved. Show your support for a coworker who is being harrassed and you may become the next target.

    I think the same thing happens when someone steps forward and reports the harrassment to management. Though other coworkers may support this, they keep silent rather than face retaliation. With only one person reporting the situation, it is viewed by supervisors/administration as a personality conflict and often the reporter is viewed as being as much at fault as the agressor.

    At the risk of sounding sexist, could this behavior be attributed to the large percentage of females in this field? "Mobbing" brings back memories of Junior High and High School girls. I do not notice men getting involved in this to the same extent that women do. I have not observed as many problems on shifts where several male nurses/aides were present.
  2. by   mario_ragucci
    Thats why you need some kind of over (or under) the table organization which would "take care" of the loving nurses who would fall victum to unchecked harrassment. I understand workplace stress related injuries are no joke. People are suffering, and it REALLY angers me to think good nurses would be in harms way and no one would do anything about it. Whats right is right and whats wrong is wrong.
    My CNA training concluded 2 months ago, yet I can recall like it was yesterday the terrible feeling i came home with when some of the women burned on me. They did it when I was the only male there. I could imagine what it must be like to have to consider changing jobs because of a bully.
    Peoples negative energy builds up in them, and then when a positive person comes around, ZAP!!, a spark flies and then the positive person becomes a lightning rod. They will zap me until they transfer all my positive energy. Then they start pulling kryptonite out of their pockets and all the women get a good laugh seeing me fall down. These were potential care-givers, mind you. These were worst case, learning experiences for me, and I learned what hell was like when for 3-4 out of the 10 clinical training days I was the only male amongst 10-15 women students.
    I'll tell you one thing...I am not busting my hippocampus day in and day out to learn and learn, just to receive my RN and then go from pure joy to pure agony because of bullies. I won't take it. And, because I love and care for my fellow nurses, I won't stand for them to take it either.
    Now, i know Mario is no RN yet, but Mario will always be Mario, and this &^%$ won't fly around me, or on the nurses around me. Take that to the bank!
  3. by   135ctv
  4. by   betts
    Harassment violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

    Harassment of an employee by a supervisor, management, employee or co-worker, or harassment of a supervisor by an employee on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation is prohibited.

    Each department head shall endeavor to provide a work environment free from harassment. Department heads shall have managers and supervisors inform their employees of this policy and the complaint procedure herein, and shall endeavor to have managers and supervisors report instances of harassment to their respective supervisors or the Director of Human Services. All employees are encouraged to be aware of and sensitive to potential incidents of harassment.

    Disciplinary action up to and including termination may be imposed for behavior described in the following definition of harassment as it applies to the above-listed protected classes.


    A. Verbal Harassment - Epithets, derogatory comments or slurs.

    B. Physical Harassment - Physical conduct that is sexual or offensive in nature.

    C. Visual Forms of Harassment - Derogatory posters, notices, bulletins, cartoons or drawings.

    D. Sexual Harassment - Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or;

    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals or;

    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

    As a DON, I make it known that I will, without notice, walk-in on any shift at anytime and will investigate any and all complaints regardless of whom it involves. I'm fair as I've always maintained an open-door policy and wouldn't hesitate to place an employee on probation, 3 day suspension without pay, and terminate if called for with a report of the offender and offense to the State Licensing Board.
    A Nurse is supposed to be a Professional and Conduct herself/himself accordingly. If a medical facility, whether it be a hospital,nursing home, clinic, or assisted living facility were remiss in handling of such complaints in a timely manner as prescribed by law(see above), it can be not only costly in monitary means but in accrediation as well. Federal Stipends have been with-held, and medical facilities have been closed.

    As the other posters mention, document with witnesses!
  5. by   135ctv
    betts, I'm glad to see that, as a DON, you investigate and have no tolerance for this type of behavior. There are some very well-managed facilities where mobbing does not go on because there it is not tolerated. However, the reality is that does occur in far too many facilities.

    In the short time that I've worked in healthcare, I've never seen a CEU course or inservice that addresses this issue. I think it would make a good topic and one that would probably generate a lot of discussion. Has anyone seen or attended a class or an inservice on this?
    Last edit by 135ctv on Feb 25, '02
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    Originally posted by betts
    Harassment violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

    Harassment of an employee by a supervisor, management, employee or co-worker, or harassment of a supervisor by an employee on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation is prohibited.

    As the other posters mention, document with witnesses!
    The language sounds musty and old. Anyone can be harrassed for anything, and it could even be massively ignoring someone.

    Why don't nurses introduce a new education mandate requiring all nurses to complete and pass a standard class on how to get along with people? Extreme? Crazy talk? Check the numbers on how many people went out sick last year because of stress related injuries. And nurses, I understand, do not always have the luxury of paid sick leave. My dopamine production builds reserve when I read about nurses who suffer to the point they want to give up. This is nuts.
    We live under a society which, as an unfortunate by-product, breeds aggressive and jealous behavior. There is no place for it in nursing. You need to check that stuff at the TV before you start working with other people. There is no competition for a monitary reward if you care the best. Right?
    A manditory class should be introduced which addresses sneaky behavior, demonstrates sneaky behavior, and how it detracts from our mission, and how real people can be injured (patients and nurses). Then sign off on your understanding that sneaky-ness is a known, prohibited behavior. This should be taught, and caught, in the RN programs, but heaven forbid instructors weed out, and help/instruct, the students who show a propensity for this behavior.
  7. by   135ctv
    I agree. The military weeds out a lot of people who clearly do not belong there during basic training (entry-level discharges). I wish something similar could be done in nursing, however I'm afraid that nursing schools may fear lawsuits should they do this. It would be even harder in CNA classes which only last for a short time.

    Formal policies are worthless unless they are supported and carried out by management and supervisory personnel. Too often mobbing is reduced to a personality conflict ("Now you aides HAVE to get along") and the victim is blamed as much as the agressor(s). It seems easier to look the other way and deny that there is a problem, than it would be to tackle a difficult issue. However, tackling difficult or unpopular issues is an everyday part of management and leadership. Supervisors and managers who cannot provide this leadership, need to explore other career options.

    Supervisors need to have the authority to enforce harassment policies and their management must support this. It does no good to have a written policy if the "mob" can go to the next level of management and override a supervisor's actions. This serves only to render the supervisor powerless and may also make the supervisor a target.

    Spot checks are sometimes effective, but more often than not, aides and nurses turn into model employees at the sight of a DON. They put on a good show (a "dog and pony show", as we used to say in the military) which serves only to reduce the credibility of the victim's complaints.

    Maybe administrators and management needs to be made more aware of this problem and shown how decreased retention, increased absenteeism, and increased stress-related illnesses impact the bottom line. If it could be demonstrated how much this behavior is costing a facility, then steps may be taken to try to control this cost.
  8. by   numerouno
    You know i think whoever said when they start somewhere they keep thier mouths shut and ears open. Good advice one i always follow. Find out who your friends are. I always think that people that do these things are extremely insecure. They pick on others so noone notices thier insecurity. I have always felt the best way for me is to stand up for myself and refuse to let them hurt me. Honey usually wins over vinegar just takes some time. I have also noticed that when i stand up for myself others begin to follow.
  9. by   mattsmom81
    I'm a little late in finding this thread but it is great---and this type of dysfunction in our workplace is a big factor in our current shortage, I feel. The bullies seem to take root in our crazy facilities, for some reason. Groups of bullies form mobbing alliances. I have seen this throughout whole hospital administrations, and fell victim to one as I tried to move into a supervisory role and was eaten alive when I violated their pissy little 'group rules'. If you are better than them, they will attack you. My advice (and I have learned this well) is to get out while you still can if you encounter a vicious group of higher ups. I have a sixth sense about it now! LOL!

    In my situation I had my DON's support but the group took down the DON then went after little me; their peer review group decided I was "showing a pattern of behavior that was problematic" and reported me to my BON. This was so mind boggling as I knew I was an excellent nurse !! But that did NOT protect me from politics! I knew my nurse practice act well, and my BON reviewer was savvy enough to see the true situation and found in my favor. But, this was after spending thousands of dollars for legal representation with thousands of shed tears as strong faith got me through this ordeal. But I always have my guard up now for sure. And this incident comes up at every job interview to haunt me.

    I recently went on a job interview and heard an overhead page for one of the nurses who attacked me in the above incident....I RAN out of that facility never to return! LOL!

    Love this forum of sharing, guys, it is ALL GOOD!
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Mar 2, '02
  10. by   135ctv
    I think that this definitely contributes to the shortage. Anyone who is different or who does not conform to or submit to the group will eventually be run off. Those who attempt to remain risk damage to their career.

    I agree that if you do not have the support of the administration, the best thing to do is leave. If any problems occur, it is basically your word against the group. Witnesses would either be part of the group or, in most cases, too intimidated to become involved.

    I believe that staff needs to treat residents/patients with respect. I also believe that residents/patients should receive all the care that they are entitled to. This, many times, has put me at odds with this type of group.

    I work through agencies and I initially do not book more than one or two shifts with a new facility. I would not believe the number of facilities that I have seen this type of behavior in had I not witnessed it. (My view is probably somewhat skewed. Facilities where these groups operate seem chonically short on staff and, therefor seem to rely on agency personnel more often than well-managed facilities do.)

    Since I do work through agencies, I choose not to book anymore shifts at these types of facilities.

    I still wonder why this type of behavior seems to proliferate in health care. Those who engage in this behavior are the very last people I'd want to trust my or my family's care to.
  11. by   prmenrs
    So, what do you do if the 2 people mobbing you are the assistant NMs???
  12. by   135ctv
    I'd look for another job. You are in a situation where you can't win.
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Stop all this "put my tail between my legs" stuff. You don't hafta hide. You can run, but you can't hide. This idea of "bullying" has had the greatest impact on me as of late. To think, I am investing my life to help and care for others, and there is a threat to this in the way of a pack, or mob, of nurses who will annoy me to the point I want to leave. Seriously?

    It does kind of strike "fear" and "concern" into Mario, because Mario has been the victum of character assination before. At other jobs, I have seen this crap. Where you have adults who are being paid to be "baby sat" themselves.

    I won't take it - no way. But then again, honestly, I don't know what I would do, or not do. I do know that entering nursing is part of my core. Attacking my core would stir a fission reaction. Mario is fissionable material. You mess with my protons, and you'll feel radiation. Mess with the protons of other elements like me, and you'll start a "uncontrolled" fission reaction.

    It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.