New specialty bullying?

Updated | Posted
by amandaxyo amandaxyo, BSN, MSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in Med-Surg, Tele, Outpatient Procedures, ER. Has 5 years experience.

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Hi! I’m wondering if anyone has changed specialties and encountered passive aggressiveness / bullying from other nurses? 

I’ve been a medsurg/Tele nurse for 3 years. I also have some experience in outpatient same day procedures. I recently made the change to the ED. I have been encountering problems passive aggressiveness from some of the ED nurses. It’s unprovoked. They’ll make comments to me as they walk by or just flat out tell me they don’t know how I can work the floor without having critical care in my background. They act like an inpatient nurse, I never worked my butt off. I ignore it but it’s starting to irritate me.

If you have experienced anything like this, how did you handle it? 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,535 Posts

You will find those types of people in every specialty, actually, every job category in the world has them. It's not limited to nursing

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,169 Posts

People are people, so for every type of person in the world, some of them are nurses. Some specialties, especially the ED and ICU, tend to attract stronger personalities. You're on the right track if you're ignoring them. Once you've been there a while and they see you can handle the workload, they'll back off. Or you can feel free to call them out on it. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it's not worth it. You have to decide what works for you. 

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 36 years experience. 506 Posts

Are there other colleagues who are more pleasant? Keep your social interaction to them and limit yourself to strictly professional communication with the others. Stay calm and polite and just ignore their comments.

Pride comes before a fall. One of these supernurses will stuff up one day and their critical care experience won't protect them because we're all human. They think they're so great anyway so they're probably being less vigilant than somebody like you.  

Do your job, form links with the nicer colleagues, go home, have a whiskey and forget it. You are better than them.

Guest856929

Guest856929

486 Posts

On 12/19/2020 at 1:02 PM, amandaxyo said:

Hi! I’m wondering if anyone has changed specialities and encountered passive aggressiveness / bullying from other nurses? 

I’ve been a medsurg/Tele nurse for 3 years. I also have some experience in outpatient same day procedures. I recently made the change to the ED. I have been encountering problems passive aggressiveness from some of the ED nurses. It’s unprovoked. They’ll make comments to me as they walk by or just flat out tell me they don’t know how I can work the floor without having critical care in my background. They act like as an inpatient nurse, I never worked my butt off. 
I just ignore it. But it’s starting to irritate me.
 

If you have experienced anything like this, how did you handle it? 

You will have to determine when to take crap or give two shakes of a rat's behind about pettiness. My advice is to ignore it unless it is something that is affecting your wellbeing considerably. If it ain't gonna be relevant a year from now, let it be and keep striving to be better. 

ss21

ss21

16 Posts

Following this thread

JKL33

6,258 Posts

On 12/19/2020 at 2:02 PM, amandaxyo said:

They’ll make comments to me as they walk by or just flat out tell me they don’t know how I can work the floor without having critical care in my background.

?

Terrible.

But what you need to understand is that this has nothing to do with you or your background. The only thing it has to do with is people who are exceedingly insecure in their own identity. All of their little comments are simply them shoring themselves up with out-loud self-talk in attempt to convince themselves that they are okay. They do this by telling themselves that, if nothing else, at least they are something more/bigger/better than someone else.

If they felt truly good about themselves they would have no need for this kind of appalling behavior. And I do think it is otherwise appalling that they would make random comments in this way. In the end, though, it points to just how poorly they feel about themselves. Their comments declare it to the world.

As sort of a coping mechanism, I would realize that this is pitiful, and they deserve pity. Wouldn't it be sad to feel so poorly about yourself that you needed to treat others this way in order to try to feel better? Think on that. Do not respond to these unprovoked attacks; they deserve no reply from you. When you are able, continue on with trying to develop positive rapports with people. But don't respond to this stuff; it would be a mistake and will only drag you down.

Good luck! ??

 

FiestyNP

FiestyNP

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. 5 Posts

Unfortunately bullying is very common in nursing. Sometimes standing up for yourself and confronting the bully in a calm but firm manner will make the bully stand down. I have had to do that a couple of times and once the bully knew I wasn't going to readily take the abuse they stopped it. 

speedynurse

speedynurse, ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 544 Posts

On 12/20/2020 at 10:45 AM, JBMmom said:

People are people, so for every type of person in the world, some of them are nurses. Some specialties, especially the ED and ICU, tend to attract stronger personalities. You're on the right track if you're ignoring them. Once you've been there a while and they see you can handle the workload, they'll back off. Or you can feel free to call them out on it. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it's not worth it. You have to decide what works for you. 

Yes to all of this. I have worked in 3 different departments as a nurse....well, 2 ER departments and one pre and post surgical recovery and honestly, all to some degree had strong personalities. The first one I think the strong personalities were easier to deal with because I had been with the team for awhile and we all let things slide, the second was a complete nightmare, and the third was a mix. I have learned to pick and choose my battles. I used to never speak up....then I spoke up too much....and now I have mellowed again  and do sometimes confront people....if the time and situation is right. None of us are perfect.....no speciality is perfect....

nursetim

nursetim, NP

Specializes in ER, HH, CTICU, corrections, cardiology, hospice. Has 20 years experience. 493 Posts

Nurses eat their young, always have, always will. I had it during training, they went to extraordinary measures to get me to quit, it didn’t work.

Stand up to bullying, call them out in plain language. Set healthy boundaries and maintain them.

aok7

aok7, NP

Has 13 years experience. 111 Posts

I find truly focusing on my patients and my work was the only thing that helped me.  We all do focus on patients inherently, I know, but really directing mind here.  It takes time, but even the "mean" nurses either leave you alone or, more often than not, will come to respect you.  It is so sad, as consider all the energy and professional potential lost to bullies.  I guess I just advise directing this energy as well as possible.  For me, I was motivated to keep going to school, become a NP.  I now work with a group of mostly physicians and as long as I am working hard (and truly not asking stupid questions (those which I could look up to find the answers myself)), they are so supportive and love to teach in particular if they feel they are affecting patient outcomes.  I really think physicians are more secure so they are not inclined to use others to feel better about themselves, while nurses in the big ICU or ED know some stuff and it is here where the question of character arises.  In the medical world this arrogance would be knocked out of them some time in residency if not (and more likely) sooner.  Unlike physicians, nurses assume ICU and ED nurses must be smarter than everyone else.  Of course there are physicians who are obnoxious but they are usually bullying the interdisciplinary team or their students, not other physicians.  They are not truly respected like we "respect" ICU/ED nurses.  It is so interesting. And sad for our profession.

All this said, I have met some exceptional ICU and ED nurses.  Exceptional people who are great nurses.  For every nurse who rises above the bullying and serves with kindness and character I feel our profession makes strides and there is hope here for us.

Edited by aok7

Dani_Mila, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Progressive Care, Sub-Acute, Hospice, Geriatrics. Has 4 years experience. 379 Posts

Its funny how they talk about how you can work in the ED without a critical care background. How about their background? They probably started off there and had been working there for awhile. You have at least, experience in med/surge and outpatient. Ignore the bullies, because they have nothing better to do. I for one had experience with bullies and I ignored them and just focused on my work. They didn't last long at my job.