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Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do

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jeastridge is a BSN, RN and specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

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What can you do about bullying in the workplace?

Bullying is real. It happens in all workplaces, including settings where we work as professional nurses. How can you recognize it? What can you do about it? You are reading page 3 of Nurses and Bullying: 4 Things You Can Do. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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This is a good point.  I hadn’t noticed it in my first reading.

I guess I was drawing on my on turbulent early years in nursing.My first preceptor was less than five years out of nursing, we were on the busiest floor of the hospital and she was not warm and cuddly, but very abrupt.  I thought she was mean.  However, she never called me a name, or belittled me or cut me out of “the group”. 

My next job preceptor *did* belittle, gather her friends around her and talk about me (in just a loud enough voice so I knew I was being run down, but not loud enough I could legitimately break into the conversation).

With maturity and hindsight, I  realize my first preceptor wasn’t mean, but overworked from being on a floor where the NM was desperately trying to prove to *her* bosses that she was such a great manager that she’d take on patient census and acuity that the other nurse managers would say “no” to.

My second preceptor was a bitter mean girl disappointed in how her own life turned out and I was an insecure easy target.

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On 12/7/2019 at 5:29 PM, Daisy Joyce said:

This is a good point.  I hadn’t noticed it in my first reading.

I guess I was drawing on my on turbulent early years in nursing.My first preceptor was less than five years out of nursing, we were on the busiest floor of the hospital and she was not warm and cuddly, but very abrupt.  I thought she was mean.  However, she never called me a name, or belittled me or cut me out of “the group”. 

My next job preceptor *did* belittle, gather her friends around her and talk about me (in just a loud enough voice so I knew I was being run down, but not loud enough I could legitimately break into the conversation).

With maturity and hindsight, I  realize my first preceptor wasn’t mean, but overworked from being on a floor where the NM was desperately trying to prove to *her* bosses that she was such a great manager that she’d take on patient census and acuity that the other nurse managers would say “no” to.

My second preceptor was a bitter mean girl disappointed in how her own life turned out and I was an insecure easy target.

I can relate to the bitter, mean girl part.  I have worked with some really unhappy people.  Their personal lives were a mess, they brought their misery to work, they took it out on newbies like me.  40 years later, I recall their ugliness, their meanness, their selfishness.  I should have a fake funeral for them, where I bury them once and for all.  Maybe that would help me forget them.  Of course, they were great examples of how not to be.  Many times, I've been told how helpful, friendly, otherwise wonderful I was by students and by coworkers.  Mainly, I don't talk about personal stuff, I get to work on time and actually do my work, I help others when possible, and try very hard to be friendly and courteous.  

Yes, I wish I'd known way back when that personal misery came out as ***ery at work.  I took it personally, like I was the one doing wrong.  Later, I figured out it could't have all been me.  From these horse's asses, I learned and have always practiced being a pleasant fellow to all.

Stand up for yourselves, guys.  No one else will or should have to.

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jeastridge is a BSN, RN and specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

5 Followers; 109 Articles; 447 Posts; 150,275 Profile Views

9 hours ago, Kooky Korky said:

I can relate to the bitter, mean girl part.  I have worked with some really unhappy people.  Their personal lives were a mess, they brought their misery to work, they took it out on newbies like me.  40 years later, I recall their ugliness, their meanness, their selfishness.  I should have a fake funeral for them, where I bury them once and for all.  Maybe that would help me forget them.  Of course, they were great examples of how not to be.  Many times, I've been told how helpful, friendly, otherwise wonderful I was by students and by coworkers.  Mainly, I don't talk about personal stuff, I get to work on time and actually do my work, I help others when possible, and try very hard to be friendly and courteous.  

Yes, I wish I'd known way back when that personal misery came out as ***ery at work.  I took it personally, like I was the one doing wrong.  Later, I figured out it could't have all been me.  From these horse's asses, I learned and have always practiced being a pleasant fellow to all.

Stand up for yourselves, guys.  No one else will or should have to.

Thank you for your response and glad you stayed with it! Joy

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Does anyone else think it's strange how we get bullying articles posted on the company's website (or emailed to us). "How to recognize bullying", etc, but everyone knows you can't get fired for bullying (unless maybe you physically strike someone). The company culture needs to change somehow.

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ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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How do you bully an adult? Tell them to &*^% off. 

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31 Posts; 182 Profile Views

Quit

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trixie333 has 35 years experience.

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On 11/27/2019 at 3:28 PM, Jedrnurse said:

Ouch. You can make your point without getting so personal.

Actually, as a 20 yr. experience travel nurse, I agree. Lots of hidden, influential connections at a new job, i.e. nepotism, cronyism, gangsterism too. Not every co-worker is a sweetie, or even 'professional'. (Some places, it is obvious why they need to supplement staffing with contract nurses.) ((That being said, I have worked across the country with some of the BEST.)) My opinion? if you made it to R. N., you're not exactly victim-hood material, you're a pretty strong person, so I'm going to listen to the complaint and give it its due.

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Renny specializes in Prospective Student Nurse.

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On 11/27/2019 at 12:17 AM, Snatchedwig said:

I dont care what anyone says. Bully can only go so far. It takes ONE time to man up and put them in their place, problem solved. Hell the ones that were considered bullies at my job and I get along perfectly well because I put them in their place the first time they tried. 

 

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HI! what are the ways to put them in their place? Reall want to know how without becoming a bully myself

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ArmyRntoMD is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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It’s easy.. you just stand up for yourself. We had this nurse who used to “bully” everyone on the floor. As a new nurse I just figured she was a very good nurse and expected the best from everyone. So I just took it, and apologized for my shortcomings... until I realized she wasn’t.. if you didn’t know every detail about every aspect of the patients history she would talk down to you and act like you were a moron, even if it was completely irrelevant, but you could ask her something like “what were the last vitals?” “Oh I don’t know child... they normal... I didn’t pay attention” or she would straight up say “I don’t know, I ain’t gon’ lie, his wife was gettin on my nerves so I just stayed out of that room”

I just started telling her about herself, and within a couple weeks she was on another unit. And when that unit would float over they complained about her and said “Y’all need to take her back!”. 

Its hard to bully an adult. What are they going to do? Stuff you in a garbage can? Hit you? I wish they would. I would sue them so hard I wouldn’t have to work anymore 🤣

Edited by ArmyRntoMD

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