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I am a student being bullied :-(

Students   (1,658 Views | 7 Replies)
by TexasGal1964 TexasGal1964 (New) New

649 Profile Views; 7 Posts

I am currently doing my clinical rotations in a hospital cath lab. I am actually a cath tech student but since there are no forums specifically for cath techs, I hope it's OK that I post this question here. I have read many of the posts on this site about workplace bullying and I think that nurses and techs have the same experiences when it comes to this topic.

I have been at this CCL for 6 weeks now, it is my first rotation. I have one year of classroom work only in the cardiovascular technology program, I knew nothing except the basics of sterile gloving/gowning and table set-up. But I was eager, motivated and teachable on Day 1. Things went downhill fast. I was criticized for my lack of knowledge, and my lack of skill. I asked a lot of questions, and was told to stop. Every mistake was met with annoyed attitudes and negative reinforcement including exasperated sighs and raised voices, open humiliation in the presence of others, disrespectful comments and the ever-popular eyes rolling back. If I did something wrong, I was asked "why didn't you ask?"; but when I asked something, I was reprimanded for not knowing it already, or for not searching out the answer w/o asking someone. I was ostracized socially and often found my preceptor and the other techs talking about me and laughing at me, they didn't even bother to hide it. I was ignored and rarely included in meetings, in-services, lunches, etc. I felt my confidence and self-esteem slipping away and began to have health problems. I suffer from adult-acne, and the high level of stress I was under, am under, has made it much worse. I also can feel my depression returning.

My instructor at the college says I need to grow a backbone or I won't survive. She doesn't understand how bad it is.

I need to add that I am a non-traditional student, I am 50 years old, divorced, with grown kids. I like the people at the cath lab, but they obviously don't like me. There are 3 techs that are the main bullys, but everyone seems to follow their lead. I have gotten visibly upset, the know what they are doing. But I have not verbally fought back or gone to the CCL manager. I thought this was normal, at least that's what my instructor led me to believe. If this is normal, then I want nothing more to do with it. But I love the work, and I am great with the patients. I desperately need some advice.

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28 Posts; 1,608 Profile Views

Ugh, my heart breaks for you. I am so sorry you have to go through this. Although I have not experienced being bullied in the same area of work as you, I know how petty and awful students/employees can be, especially women. I do NOT think it is normal and it doesn't sound like you have a good support system in your program. If it is possible, I would try to keep it professional and not verbally fight back... you don't want to stoop to their level. Just try to ignore them enough just to get through the program. If you feel like you are at your breaking point I would talk to the manager and politely tell them about your situation.

Once again, I am so sorry you have to go through this. But be proud of yourself for doing this program in your situation, it does not sound easy in the slightest. I hope others are able to give you more relevant advice!

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liberated847 has 10 years experience and specializes in CEN, CFRN, PHRN, RCIS, EMT-P.

504 Posts; 5,598 Profile Views

Go to the manager immediately, these bullies won't stop, see about switching hospitalists if this doesn't work

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AlwaysLearning247 has 4 years experience as a BSN.

1 Follower; 383 Posts; 6,663 Profile Views

This is not normal and you should not be getting bullied! You are learning and they need to understand that. I would try going to their management or even telling your school again about the situation. I had a bad experience in clinical once and cried because of one nurse and my teacher definitely did not tell me "you need to grow a back bone," she went out and talked to her. I'm sorry you're going through this.

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48 Posts; 2,172 Profile Views

I feel for you. But that's how medicine works. You are a fish swimming in the ocean. You don't want to be eaten by a shark. Your co-workers are the sharks. Consider this a rite of passage. Yes, healthcare has a lot of bullying. I bet you didn't know that before going into this field. Well, as a student, you have now received an early introduction. The whole growing a backbone is very true. It'll be very hard to survive in this field if you don't have a strong backbone. People you'll be working with are likely over-worked, stressed, tired, and would probably like to be anywhere else but at work. No one really enjoys working. Most do it for the money, the mullah, the big cheese, the bang-bang, the green stuff. You get the idea. This is just 1 of many challenges you'll be facing throughout your healthcare career. Wait until your actually no longer a student and starting your 1st real job. Normally as a newbie, or even as a student, you really don't have a voice. You can certainly try to speak up, that's up to you, but things may not work out in your favor. You should see how medical residents are treated. Again, they are fish, swimming, trying to find safe haven, before the sharks eat them alive. Welcome to healthcare.

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32 Posts; 1,388 Profile Views

Im a student myself, but this topic has been discussed between me and the multitudes in my family and friends that work in healthcare. Basically, all these answers are somewhat correct. Yes, you have to toughen up some. But nor all workplaces have this environment. One friend had such a horrible group of bullies that she worked with she found another job in 6 weeks. On the bright side, she furthered her education and became one of that groups bosses few years later :-) . You MUST toughen up and learn to deal with people, you must learn your craft, and you will find that while there are many messed up bullies in this world, its also chock full of good ones too!

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7 Posts; 649 Profile Views

I appreciate all the comments very much. I spoke with my preceptor today and she said that we are going to work on this next week and see if we can resolve some of these issues. She still put the blame on me, but at this point I don't care if I can just make it through.

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emt2lpn2 has 3 years experience and specializes in pediatrics.

57 Posts; 1,905 Profile Views

I feel for you. I work with adolescent patients and I have a 14 year old. With that said I am a big bully advocate. This is not the health care world but some people use being a seasoned individual as their EGO. I would turn them in to the administrator at the school, especially your instructor. I always throw out their to the children when you feel you are being bullied embrace it with what ever they said. For instance my daughter is in a lot of advance classes and wear glasses and of course other kids would tear her down in the 7th grade. I told her let's fight back quietly. We brought nerd shirts that said nerd and brought shirts that were made and said I am a nerd who will be the next president. No one had nothing else to say once they had nothing to talk about. No one has called her a nerd since. When it comes to it reverse psychology always work with humans.

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