Hospital bullying?

  1. I am a waitlisted nursing student working as a phlebotomist. I achieved my CMA waiting to get into nursing school and also gained 2 years of in home caregiving experience. Since working in the hospital environment I have experienced caddy cliques of women who ignored me daily and then who complained about me to my supervisor for not working fast enough. And these same women would argue, screaming around patients at one another. As well discuss pumping their breast milk and how big they thought their behinds were on a daily basis.Now I am in an inpatient environment working at nights. I had brought a half-sized notebook to track my speed of draws per room and random information I needed to know for the job. An anonymous person emailed my supervisor claiming I was journaling about patients and violating HIPAA. Needless to say I do not bring a nitebook to work anymore.A week or two later an incident was filed because I Left a tourniquet in someones bed untightened. Finally a week later I was told that a couple patients complained that I hurt them and they excessively bruised from their blood draws and nurses said I was yelling at patients which is ridiculous. But I lost my job anyway. It seems like anyone..a random nurse or someone that you dont even come into contact can say anything about you and you lose all that you have worked so hard for. Why should I even bother working hard in nursing school to end up in this kind of work environment? I am trying to get into healthare beause I am a cancer survivor not looking for this kind of drama. Nor would I take good patient care for granted and ever do things I have been accused of..hurting and yelling...absurd.
  2. Visit Phlebandcma2rn profile page

    About Phlebandcma2rn

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 12; Likes: 5


  3. by   TheCommuter
    I am sorry that you lost your job over these allegedly trumped-up complaints.

    However, I have learned that, in some work environments, one's interpersonal skills are more valued by coworkers than an actual job well done. You can be a wonderful employee with technically proficient skills, but you might not get very far in these toxic settings without stroking someone's ego.
  4. by   Phlebandcma2rn
    Thats my question..whats the use in working hard to learn technical nursing skills when at any moment an angry patient can perhaps bruise excessively bc their vein blew or they didnt want their blood drawn again or do not like the "pain" of a tourniquet around their arm and complain and administration fears lowered ganey scores and fire you? Or a staff member doesnt like you and just makes things up about you. And administration just rolls with it. Is his really so commonplace?
  5. by   TheCommuter
    In some work environments the toxicity and negativity is common. However, other work environments are more appreciative, supportive, and team-oriented.
  6. by   kcmylorn
    With all that is out there today in the media, all the campaigning on legislators part, all the reporting of the tragedies related to bullying, what is the matter with these people who continue- are they stupid, are they having difficulty understanding the material. I know I just stopped working an private outpatient clinic in acity where i live by the bullying I got as a new employee was beyond belief- talk about childish stupidity. I think 1/2 of them are too stupid to understand the material presented. They are little school girl mentality. They don't belong working in healthcare because they bullyied the patients also. They didn't like a patient- they wouldn't give them an appointment or would cancel their appointment, not notify the patient and in comes the patient, Transportation was an issue for most of the patients in this clinic. I know what i'm doing with the information- giong straight to the DOH and the BON. With all my years in and around these healthcare facilites- I knew enough to get names, dates and times. I can't wait for the other shoe to drop!

    Phleb- you don't really think they thought you were violating HIPPA do you? I think they used that an a ligitimate excuse. I think they knew you were taking notes on their behavior and antics and ran to the higher ups out of fear of what you might be writing about them to protect themselves. I'll take it one step farther and say that the managment was protecting them and the facility( from a lawsuit) by getting rid of you. making it out to be your fault.
    If I am reading your post correctly;

    Do you remember leaving a tourniquet? That's how you know when the guilty parties are starting to be afraid their actions are going to bite them!! Ask your self-what's wrong with this picture? Bullys are very clever in covering their own tracks. Go on to the website and read up on the types of discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, and termination. Go onto your State department of labor and workforce developement website- you can even file a complaint with the dept of labor. Readup on unemployment- I think most of thate's now- you apply on line for unemployment. Re examine your experience in that place. Take your documentation and send it to what ever governement authority it belongs with- EEOC, state labor dept, Dept of health or all 3. Make a complaint! What have you got to loose- nothing. Bullying in the workplace is against the law, So is hostile working environment, wrongful termination, concentual discharge/forced resignation. You need to speak with the unemployment office also Poor work performance and termination for such due to "on the job" harassment is grounds for collecting unemployment.

    In this day and age with the unemplyment rate and the financial struggling going on in this country- do not let them get away with this. That doesn't help anything. it just keeps this crap going on and on. I don't know how old you are but my thoughts are this- now a days, young people today either don't think it's worth it, or too intimidated to do so, just let it go and move on and do not speak out against these social injustices and look at where it has got this country . people like that are walking all over the Joe Publics, the masses, who are now wondering where their next meal is coming from. Sit down and no mattr how strssful, upsetting and gut wrenching it is- re examine those notes you took. JMHO from some one who's been there- more than once!!

    Now you know what it's like in the hospital environment- Why all these new grads are doing back flips to get an hospital position- is beyond me. Maybe God is sparing them by them having a tough time getting into the hospitals. perhaps the hospital environments will all implode due to lack of funding, short staffing no one wants to work in, and cease to exist- patient's will seek care outpatient and the hospital as the "it" environment will become obsolete.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 26, '12
  7. by   Phlebandcma2rn
    Because I have been a pre RN student and am an AAMA Certified Medical Assistant I am sure I didnt violate HIPAA. I would have gladly opened my notebook to anyone to prove it. Yet it was still brought to THE lab manager that I was "journaling" about patients and violating HIPAA this was done on my second day. Odd since the notebook was on my person at all times and no one read it but myself. But somehow someone knew It had confidential information in it? False! A nurse reported the left tourniquet. I know it was loosened. Imwas told it was also. Its not shocking it happened. Sometimes patients would turn their own light out or cover themselves up as I walked across the room throwing away the sharp which was mounted on the wall. We didnt have a portable sharps container we could use. So if i had trash, tubes and needle in my hand the tourniquet may have been left in that instance. Especially if patient was asleep and i needed both hands to lift their arm or for whatever reason patient not too helpful in removing tourniquet from under their arm. Was an incident report necessary? This is a subject I am not familiar with.I am to be reassigned to a different hospital after speaking with an offsite supervisor. But these baseless accusations dont have me too keen on rushing back to work in such an environment. Although I do realize there was some sort of sick environment it doents lessen the sting that I was accused of yelling at patients or that I hurt them because they have excessive bruises from their blood draws. As if I was meaning to do harm? Firstly most of these patients already had a lot of bruising. More than I had ever encountered in the past. Secondly, since when do patients enjoy getting their blood drawn-its going to hurt!? Thirdly how am I supposed to protect myself in the future when all I do is stick people with needles for hours at work? Anyone can complain at anytime and there goes my job?And Im really second guessing going to nursing school now. Perhaps nursing outside of the hospital setting would be much better?
    Last edit by Phlebandcma2rn on Jul 26, '12
  8. by   Phlebandcma2rn
    Oh...all I had written was room numbers and the time I went in and out so I could track my pace of draws. And my locker combo. Ooooh violation!
  9. by   kcmylorn
    Don't you think some one should know that there was no HIPPA violation? HIPPA violations is a major big deal- HIPPA is a federal law. I wouldn't want that on my record.

    Don't be so quick to assume that the patient's were the one's who complained about you.I have found that alot of times managment makes this crap up, and yes, management lies. Gives the patient the blame, because they can't say- this nurse or that nurse said......... because a lot of times they know their staff are bullys, they just don't do anything to correct, discipline or terminate them. They become as guilty and as bad as the staff. The manamgent then becomes the problem. The manager is either too afraid of them and has no backbone to stand up to these bullys or they are too inept in their subject matter on workplace violence and hostile work environments to even know how to apply the information. They are just relieved it's not them that's the target. The manager thinks that blaming the patient is going to add more credibilty to the story.They are more mentally ill than their staff.
    As long as you are nice to a patient- that patient will never complain about you- This is a principal in customer service recovery and prevention of lawsuits. Theory has it, patient's are less likely to sue if the staff is nice to them. Put yourself in their place- it's more difficult to get angry and take action against someone who has been nice to you than if someone is mean, snotty, short or disrespectful to you. Management forgets it's own BS slining. So they ignore all the customer service talk from orientation, forget their employees have a brain to absorb it and start contradicting themselves. They can't remember what they said to who. They automatically think an employee forgets the basics because they themselves don't know the basics.
    If you were reassigned to a different facility in the same system, then you were not fired/terminated. Which says- some one in managment knows this toxic group is toxic and it has happened before to some one else or alot of some one elses.. Managment never admits it's worng or makes a mistake, It's done very subtlely- not fired but "re assigned" "won't deny you unemployment,is not hostile towards you. If they truely felt there were grounds for termination, your butt would have been fired. Some one 'outside' of the unit manager is aware there is a problem with that group.
    I would do my work at the new site, and keep my eyes open for any far reaching tenticles that come over to poison that environment.
  10. by   Phlebandcma2rn
    Correct...when one lady had said to me face to face..after my offsite supervisor called me about the notebook "you're violating HIPAA" I was so offended it felt like she was accusing me of driving drunk when I was stone cold sober. I know its a law and serious! Good grief! I dont want any of these false accusations on any record of mine. I really hope this next site is much better if anything not as bad. Thank you for your feedback.
  11. by   Phlebandcma2rn
    The good grief comment is what I was thinking when all of this was happening
  12. by   redhead_NURSE98!
    Quote from Phlebandcma2rn
    Thats my question..whats the use in working hard to learn technical nursing skills when at any moment an angry patient can perhaps bruise excessively bc their vein blew or they didnt want their blood drawn again or do not like the "pain" of a tourniquet around their arm and complain and administration fears lowered ganey scores and fire you? Or a staff member doesnt like you and just makes things up about you. And administration just rolls with it. Is his really so commonplace?
    I LOVE when people tell me these sidewalk stories about getting stuck and "OMG SHE PUT THIS HUGE BRUISE ON MY ARM." I always say "OH MY GOSH, DID IT GO AWAY IN A FEW DAYS?" lol seriously shut up laypeople.

    Oh and pumping the breast milk, cervical dilation stats and baby-go-potty stories, all things I could really do without. Don't want to hear it from my friends, surely don't care about it with my coworkers.
  13. by   Dafabb
    Oh my could I tell you some stories on this subject. Have no fear there is a silver lining!. I am an LVN for 35 yrs. Approx. 30 yrs were spent in the hospitals at various times. I have done traveling along with Home Agency since 1995. Many Hospitals in and out of State. Of course Many times we did our own labs. I always love it when Lab comes. One thing I will say from "Back then to now", nurses are some of the most cut throat professionals there are. Now please do not take that literally as there are so many wonderful co workers. But like any profession a few make up for the many. One of these comments about administration was right on target. Most will take up for their nurses unless it become a big problem. One thing you must never let get to you is when you bruise a Pt. There are so many reasons for this. Never put the blame on one person unless that person puts bruises on all of her lab draws. I would consider myself an good IV starter. Most of my career a great starter. I will give myself a little leeway as I have not started any since spring of 2011. With all my yrs of doing so I will only get a little slower or cautious not out of practice. I also do great lab draws. I have done Home Health for several yrs on top of hospital and get called for many difficult Pt even to this day. If I counted the people I bruised over 25 yrs(actually IV starts) I could have a nice dinner. I have even left a tourniquet or 10 in the bed. I have found them in the bed and simply throw them away. We all know certain Medications make them more susceptible. Off subject for a min. At 10 I had a facial cyst removed. 11 Sticks later I made the Dr come and do it. He took 1. Why is that. I am sure they were all great stickers!. There doesn't have to be an answer. My very experienced advice is to always be extra kind to your Pts(There are many hateful Pts out there in the world). Maybe hold the pressure on for another 30/60 secs. Ask them if they bruise easy(general info). Pay attention to the overall skin! Say something nice to every nurse you meet.(Have a great shift) I love your uniform(if worthy)Play the game. When you find another job The kindness they show you right away will be the tell tale of how it will progress. If you get a not so friendly nurse be extra kind to her. Let then know at the desk to call if they need anything. Nurses are like kindergarten children. If they think they can get praise they will tattle on you. Never forget that! Continue doing what you want to do and the way you do it. You will find a good home one day............Dallas
  14. by   Been there,done that
    Lateral violence is every where. I was a victim long before the term was coined. As nursing becomes more stressful, it will only increase.

    In my case.. I was charge nurse for years on the day shift. I even won a system wide yearly award for excellence in leadership.
    I went on the afternoon shift. Three months later, a particularly nasty bunch of nurses got together, made up a bunch of lies and I was in the directors office trying to answer them.
    It turned out to be a positive, I got the h*ll out of there ... and have had fantastic experiences since.

    There really is no answer to your question. It would depend on the luck of the draw regarding where you end up practicing.

    You've suffered enough. Use the empathy you have gained and direct it towards another field.

    Good luck.