The "bully" nurse - page 8

Hi, I was wondering if people could help me with a project that I was working on for one of my classes. We have heard nurses complaining about being "bullied" but I'm not sure what that means to... Read More

  1. by   NursieGirl199
    I was under the impression that to get ahead and be promoted one had to be a team leader and the ability to gt along with others!! How do bullies get in positions of influence so easily??? If you are not a person who gets along with others, and is one who instigates an atmosphere of nastiness and aggression how do they end up in charge???? This seems more common than not. The admin and DON where I use to work were the nastiest people I have ever met. Just lurking to pounce on someone: nurses, aides, etc. Does one really get to the top by getting along with everyone???? hmmmm .... not to mention the most important person while NURSING is the resident/patient and how is that going to better the patient when we are half the time busy covering our ***es getting out of the bullies way. IMHO ..... how convoluted this all is..... :bowingpur oh and yes the DON and Admin were micro managing ..... fun times had by all!
  2. by   wondern
    We should all expose bullies for what they are and the things they do so that others can easily identify and call out these unacceptable behaviors in the work place. Just to start with a few things the 'bully nurse' did that I was so unfortunate to work with, and also lost that battle with, was:

    1) Even though she's usually obnoxiously loud, she often told secrets in front of others, actually whispered like a child with her hand cupped over her mouth to coworker buddies.

    2) She spread rumors, some about competency of others, some profanity, not only about coworkers even her supposed 'friends', their children, spouses, and even the doctor she worked for, just in an attempt to alienate each other from working as a team, and to make herself feel superior, I guess.

    3) She would volunteer to you that she wrote good things on your peer evaluation. Then you'd be shocked when you got in there with the manager and she changed most everything, saying her husband told her to change it when asked later what happened. He didn't even work there. Isn't that a privacy issue in itself? It is to me. It also affected our annual raise, as well.

    4) She made others laugh by doing things like pulling your scrub pants down in front of patients, even some doctor's pants. People did appear to like her. She was funny and popular.

    5) She would try to push your buttons by telling support staff to not help, to leave patients waiting, that she and and the dept head needed their help instead. She was overheard by another RN and myself telling the LPN we worked with, "If you really want to **** so and so off, leave the patients charts in the bin for her to get by herself as much as possible..." That meant patients waited unnecesarily in a cancer clinic, for the love of God! I reported it to management. This was shortly before I was fired. How can someone be so hateful?

    Oops that was more than a few things, sorry. As you can tell, I could go on and on. That was a long time ago, too, almost 4 years. It still hurts at times. I'm still healing, I swear...
  3. by   NursieGirl199
    Wondern, If I had not seen it for myself where I use to work I really would not have believed that Nursing Supervisors could behave like this! It is terrible!
    When you think that they are caregivers to others and look how they behave with others???? If they treat their peers like this how can they be kind and compassionate nurses with patients?? I have been a nurse since August 2008 of last year and I know there are very professional nurses out there. but too bad we have to work with the nurses who, for some reason, have emotional problems. It is such a shame.... I am hoping to be a nurse that I myself can be proud of and bottom line respect myself. Pulling people's pants down and gossiping in public is anything but professional. I am amazed this behavior has not been reprimanded!
  4. by   wondern
    Thanks for listening and your replies, NursieGirl199. I appreciate your compassion and time also, sister.
    I'm feeling a little better already. :redpinkhe It's amazing what a friend in nursing can do to help each other if they just want to and then act on it. Every year around this time I remember the anniversary of my canning/freedom. 17 years was a long time, but stuff happens and without laws/strict policy what are you going to do? I should've given in and transferred away if I wanted to keep my job. Maybe deep down I knew I'd had enough. I was a fighter though. I did not lie down to the bully. I'm sorry you have witnessed this same kind of unprofessional behavior already in your career. If we can't respect and support each other even when questioning each other, how are we to evolve as a profession? Thanks again for the posts, NursieGirl199.:angel2:
    Best of luck to you in your nursing career!!!redbeathe
  5. by   PeachPie
    Quote from snowfreeze
    sometimes what appears as a bully nurse is only an insecure person trying to climb out of their own hole of insecurity.
    The whole "Bullies are insecure" mantra is overrated. On a website about bullying, it said that bullies sometimes have high self esteem. Some I've seen I am convinced are sociopathic. I also fear what bullying will be in the future, as people know less and less about consequences. Remember the cheerleaders who beat up the girl on camera to post it on YouTube, were put in jail, and honestly thought that they were going to going to make it to cheerleading practice that weekend.

    I had a bully nurse who had emotional outbursts. As soon as she came in, she's start ranting about how unfair her assignment was. I learned to tell her to take report from me when she could be civil.
  6. by   wondern
    Quote from daytonite
    having been a nurse manager... a bully nurse will often be loud and very verbal about their views... try to take it over...will have a little gang of buddy nurses or perhaps just one other "friend" who thinks like ...they can be ring leaders for trouble and gossip. the more they are allowed to carry on that way without being stopped the more outrageous they can become with their power and will overwhelm the others who do not participate in the same behaviors. bullys exist by intimidation. they are not much different from the bullies kids run across in grade school except they are adults.

    i have to add that if a manager or supervisor doesn't step in and break up this behavior, she is going to lose a lot of good staff nurses. the problem is compounded even further if the manager has gotten sucked into the bully's power trip... a bully would be classified as a "difficult" employee and it takes a lot out of me emotionally to just deal with them because they are so arogant and persistant about the authority they think they have.
    thank you for being a good manager, a true professional, and for speaking out!redbeathe

    Quote from daytonite
    .....first of all i am an older nurse (30 years) and have many friends who are also older nurses by definition of experience.....the poster is right about bullies being intimidating. however, they come in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages and years of (in)experience. i speak from the experience of having been a supervisor and nurse manager who saw this kind of behavior and also experienced it over the years. a cna or a unit secretary can be a bully just as well as an rn. you are correct that bullys can ignore you, ask endless intimidating questions and complain about your performance, but these are only outward manifestations of the true heart of this beast who really has an ulterior motive of seeing herself or himself as being better than everybody else. bullys are inherently mean, negative people who want to have power over everyone else and will not stop at using these kinds of nasty little behaviors to accomplish this. bullys can be found in all walks of life, not just nursing.
    Quote from misschelei
    i think you are right on! i can sense them a mile away when i enter a unit. they just have that cocky smile and giggle with their buddies like its some kind of secret society. they will generally try to make you feel insignificant and stupid any chance they get.
    what is really sad is many times they are in with the supervisor and nothing is done to curb the behavior. one unit in particular...she was encouraged to take the job by the unit bullies and thier minions. when she took it they had her right where they wanted her. they used her it was sooooooo obvious.
    Quote from gennaver

    i want to thank you for being so clear on this.

    something else i have discovered about bullies, (as a former bully target for eyars) is that they are drawn to smudge people that are kind, respectable, compassionate, genuine and sincere.

    i suspect that genuinely good people trigger the bullies insecurities.

    p.s. have learned myself that a bully, is a bully regardless of their underlying issues, (however sad those issues may be) and no amount of understanding or rationalizing or talking or engaging with them will do anything more than 'feed' their attention seeking behavior
    Quote from gennaver
    hello smilingblueyes,

    this site helped me a lot in my last 'bully situation'. now that i have stepped back from the situation and matured a few more years i am very firm in my desire to just not 'feed' the bullies.

    they are not harmless-not at all.

    in their desire to inflate their own egos or needs they will step over others without conscience. matter of fact, i think there is a book titled, "without consicence" but i do not know who it is by.

    whenever i think of a bully i now think that i would not want them to have the authority to make another person feel bad, for thier own pleasure. i would not want to 'tolerate' bullying because wrong is wrong and someone is going to get hurt, (emotional/verbal abuse is hurtful).

    i also know that they only have the power that we 'give' them.

    i do not want to 'give' a bully any power either. however, i am very certain that they will always keep checking for it...

    yes, however, even if you stand up to the bully if management doesn't, they just go on and on and a little energizer bunny 'bully nurse'.:trout: if management is part of the 'bully nurses' club you'll probably find yourseld getting written up for nothing anytime you have a complaint about the bully treatment, too! it's just so crazy.they even tell people that you're crazy. i believe 'certifiable' is the word my bully loved to throw around about anyone she didn't 'get'.

    Quote from nancy428
    i'm being bullied right now at work.i just started a new job...i just think it's up to the nurse managers to do something about it,instead of being afraid of their employees.
    i agree. why doesn't management do something to stop the abuse? is it because they are not held accountable by any law or policy that demands zero tolerance. many of these nurses go home after being bullied all day to care for family and young children. the nurses' sadness is then felt by others they touch everyday. i don't care how much you try to leave work at work if you are constantly being bullied at work it can easily cause depression that is carried home as well. it doesn't just check itself out of your body at the hospital door. if only it was that easy to leave at work. managers should be held accountable for the bullies they allow to run their units and hurt their coworkers daily. please stop it, already, managers, administrators, don's. do something about your bully today please!!!!! other lives are counting on you. that's why you're a manager ftlog!!!!! stand up and stop bullying!!!!!

    Quote from hmtravelrn
    hmmm. lots of things come to mind... perhaps there should be a classification for bully nurses in the dsm-iv. lol
    yes, and they should have their enabling managers as their caregivers when they get this code! they deserve each other's loving care. i found all these posts so true. let's do something as nurses to stamp this behavior out!

    i guess my point is how long, sisters and brothers in nursing, are we going to put up with these bullies? how long will we let them rule the workplace and run off good nurses from the workplace? we have a right to work in in a professional, non-hostile envirinment without fear of retaliation for speaking out.

    thank you joint commission for making a zero-tolerance towards bullying in the workplace policy to help protect nurses in the work place. now please managers enforce it. thank you. what protects a nurse automatically protects and improves her patient care and therefore their patient outcomes as well. you see we're all connected like a big beautiful circle!rdnrs:most all the time!
    Last edit by wondern on Jun 12, '09
  7. by   Spritenurse1210
    Quote from Namaste4All
    So far I have only seen one really bad one and she is self riteous, spends time convincing everyone that her beliefs are nobel and they should back her and when they don't she screws them over or makes snide comments, tries to turn others against them. She has many views of what to fight against but no real views on what she believes in. She doesn't stand for anything positive or good in her life, just fighting others. Very negative, bossy, pushy, and errogant. It's very annoying in the work place. Ironically she is someone who is certain that she is always right and that's why she has to push her ways. In reality she is just negative and bossy and needs something to be negative and bossy about.
    Hey! I think this nurse works at my facility!!!! you know. when she doesn't walk on water!
  8. by   wondern
    Quote from NursieGirl199
    ..... If they treat their peers like this how can they be kind and compassionate nurses with patients?? .....
    Excellent question, NursieGirl199!!!

    Quote from PeachPie
    The whole "Bullies are insecure" mantra is overrated. On a website about bullying, it said that bullies sometimes have high self esteem. Some I've seen I am convinced are sociopathic. I also fear what bullying will be in the future, as people know less and less about consequences.....
    Great point, PeachPie!!!

    Quote from Jess1983
    Hey! I think this nurse works at my facility!!!! you know. when she doesn't walk on water!
  9. by   Valerie Salva
    Quote from boredofnursing
    I have a saying, "Nurses eat their young" This is what I tell all new nurses. The bully nurse to me is defined as the older nurse, not in age but in experience,
    This is a general, well known saying.

    I think most bully nurses are those with years of experience, but I have also seen brand new young nurses who are over-confident and too sure of themselves bully others.
  10. by   Valerie Salva
    Quote from PeachPie
    The whole "Bullies are insecure" mantra is overrated. On a website about bullying, it said that bullies sometimes have high self esteem. Some I've seen I am convinced are sociopathic. I also fear what bullying will be in the future, as people know less and less about consequences. Remember the cheerleaders who beat up the girl on camera to post it on YouTube, were put in jail, and honestly thought that they were going to going to make it to cheerleading practice that weekend.
    I agree. Also, we know that many perpetrators of school shootings have been victems of bullies lashing out.
    The same thing can happen at work.
  11. by   wondern
    The bullies' victim feels helpless and powerless if they don't have management's support. :uhoh21: It's abuse. Here's Joint Commission's policy. Let's get to know our workplace rights and demand them now, nurse peeps!

    The following link has some great tips at the bottom if you're being bullied. One of the best being, IMO, get out now, if management supports the bully by doing nothing, in order to preserve your health.
    Break free from those chains now!!!:idntdt:
    Last edit by wondern on Jun 12, '09
  12. by   SoundofMusic
    Wow, thank you again,, for educating me on this topic. I especially loved the link to the JHACO recommendations. If that doesn't fly w/ MY management team, I don't know what else will.

    I have just figured out that I have been bullied for quite a while now by a certain staff member. It's been going on very subtley for a long while, and I never really thought about it much -- but has escalated lately -- to the point I've had to go to management about it. But, it's been about a week, and she's just back to her old game, being rotten especially at change of shift when taking report from me.

    I plan to tell her specifically to stop the bullying with me. I'm going to tell her she's a bully -- I'm going to name it and tell her to basically take a flying leap in so many words. After thinking about it, she's NOT my boss and her constant nitpicking and criticism of me is something I don't have to really take any interest in. That's HER opinion only -- and most of it has no rational basis anyway. She's just bullying. She is really also just an average nurse -- no one that I would necessarily emulate in any way.

    She does it to other staff members also -- most of us newbies. She never smiles, struts around the unit like she's some sort of queen DIVA -- and of course, has her little sniveling group of minions that do her underhanded dirty gossipsing and backstabbing for her. I believe some of it has roots in her deep prejudices against me for various things. And of course, that is all ridiculous. She is emotionally immature and it shows.

    Man, work is just hard enough without having to deal with this type of person. All I can say is -- mentally unbalanced anyone?
  13. by   Katie5
    Great discussion.Great Advice. Daytonite and everyone u simply rock.