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PTSD from nurse bullies

Nurses   (203 Views | 3 Replies)
by Jane77 Jane77 (New) New Educator Nurse

Jane77 specializes in Trauma Emergency Medicine.

29 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I feel like nursing has become a blood sport. Big conglomerate hospitals running leaner and meaner.  Nurses stressed and not much support from management has left nurses tired,  competative,  stretched thin and short tempered. After 15 years,  I  feel like the "nurses eat their own" is more true than ever.  

 

I left my job of 15 years because of the stress of nurse to nurse bullying. I approached bosses,  HR, and even the individuals themselves to no avail.  

So now I am about to start a new nursing job outside of a big hospital setting.  My anxiety is so high,  anticipating more nurse bullying and more management looking the other way.  I feel like the only way to continue any longevity as a nurse is to work alone or leave nursing entirely.  The long years of bullying, gossip and nastiness has taken a huge toll on myself and my family.  

Have you gone through this? Has years of bad behavior diminished your love of nursing? What did you do?

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12 Followers; 3,981 Posts; 30,128 Profile Views

In no particular order:

Don't borrow trouble; don't expect it. I'm sorry but you are going to find and have problems if a good portion of your thought processes are tied up with expecting them and looking for them and reading them into the situations you experience.

Keep your head down/stay under the radar and/or above the fray at all times or however you want to word it.

No need for close personal relationships at work...or really any personal relationships at work, for that matter. Aim for professional relationships, including the necessary basic pleasantries.

No need to engage in any conversation other than: Basic pleasantries so you don't offend everyone, and patient- or professional related conversations.

Quit worrying about other people's behaviors unless they are literally threatening or endangering you. You can't change others, you can only worry about yourself. Except maybe in extreme situations (violence, danger, credible threats to your health/well-being, etc) you can choose how you engage and respond to negativity, and you can train yourself to engage in a way that preserves your wholeness a lot better than becoming hurt, offended and overall injured.

Also quit listening to gossip to the extent humanly possible. Keep busy with work while at work. Improve your "selective hearing" abilities.

Keep in mind that coworkers are also just imperfect people trying to get through life. Yes, there are particularly malignant ones here and there, but you're not going to change that. Everyone else? Give them the benefit of the doubt whenever you can. Understand that they, too, are reacting to many different pressures and stressors and have their own internal demons, personalities and idiosyncrasies.

Don't base your feelings of self-worth upon others' approval. Base it upon doing what is prudent, right and good, and on being a kind, fair person.

Visit your provider if you have concerns of physical illness.

Visit a mental health provider if you have concerns about anxiety/depression/PTSD.

 

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

240 Posts; 967 Profile Views

While I think work overload is everywhere, I don't think bullying culture necessarily follows.  In my last ICU position, the only thing that made it bearable was great support from fellow nurses.  Everyone knew that they needed help, so everyone knew that they had to be there for each other.  Every place is different, and a bad leader/manager can make the environment miserable.  But don't expect the worst right from the start, it sounds like wherever you were previously was particularly toxic.

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

3 Followers; 1,703 Posts; 15,030 Profile Views

4 hours ago, Jane77 said:

I feel like nursing has become a blood sport. Big conglomerate hospitals running leaner and meaner.  Nurses stressed and not much support from management has left nurses tired,  competative,  stretched thin and short tempered. After 15 years,  I  feel like the "nurses eat their own" is more true than ever.  

 

I left my job of 15 years because of the stress of nurse to nurse bullying. I approached bosses,  HR, and even the individuals themselves to no avail.  

So now I am about to start a new nursing job outside of a big hospital setting.  My anxiety is so high,  anticipating more nurse bullying and more management looking the other way.  I feel like the only way to continue any longevity as a nurse is to work alone or leave nursing entirely.  The long years of bullying, gossip and nastiness has taken a huge toll on myself and my family.  

Have you gone through this? Has years of bad behavior diminished your love of nursing? What did you do?

Yes, I went through it. I worked at a hospital where bullying was the culture. 

I left and went to the community and I am so, so much happier.

I did have a period of time where I was hypersensitive when I started my new job, but it passed with time as I built trust in my coworkers. If you are concerned about the after effects, therapy is a good option, to help you work as you heal. 

 

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