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"Help for nurses who 'eat their young'" (Article from today's Chicago Tribune)

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tracel1

Specializes in MED SURG/ PSY.

I am a nursing student in a BSN program at a very large well known university. I experienced severe bullying during one of my clinical semesters. I have not fully recovered emotionally and the experience has stayed with me. The affects of the abuse are still lasting and, very near graduation, I am exploring my options in life without a BSN. The bullying was so extreme that I still cannot discuss it without tearing up. It has made me question the entire profession and whether or not I want to be part of it. I believe I am a kind and sensitive person who would make an outstanding nurse, but bullying is a way of life for most units. I have only been assigned to one unit (out of seven so far) that created a positive learning experience....not enough to keep me going. I am jumpy and on edge always because the behavior is so unpredictable and unexpected. The people who bully keep their victims off balance. It's a terrible feeling and very disappointing to me that the situation affected me to the point of no longer wanting to become a nurse....but....that is the way it is.......:crying2:

dont let anyone take anything away for u!!!! find ur way and get tough

Can anyone tell me WHY bullying exists in the nursing community? Why is it so prevalent, and what makes nurses act so outright cruel to each other? I just don't understand why nurses, who are supposed to be compassionate, sensitive and caring individuals, would treat fellow workers in such negative manners. The way I hear nurses belittling each other is just incomprehensible to me. What is it?? :confused:

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

Can anyone tell me WHY bullying exists in the nursing community? Why is it so prevalent, and what makes nurses act so outright cruel to each other? I just don't understand why nurses, who are supposed to be compassionate, sensitive and caring individuals, would treat fellow workers in such negative manners. The way I hear nurses belittling each other is just incomprehensible to me. What is it?? :confused:

uhm...I dunno, but girls are just mean in many instances and many nurses are just girls...

So what if they're girls? I'm a girl and I treat every human being with respect. I actually care about people's feelings. But obviously this concept seems to be diminishing in our society...

I have yet to be bullied by my colleagues (thankfully). On the floor we work as a team and try to help each other as much as possible. However I have been bullied by my supervisor. She never saw me work on the floor and yet said that I was cocky and borderline dangerous. As a new grad nurse this was very shaking to my self esteem and she had no evidence or reasoning to support these claims. After speaking with my co-workers it turns out she does it to everyone and I got the least harsh of the reviews. I don't know why she found it necessary to say those things but it destroyed the small amount of confidence I had built in the 3 weeks of nurse experience I had at the time. It took a while to rebuild my confidence level but hearing one thank you from a patient is enough to take away most of that pain I endured during that meeting.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 34 years experience.

Lillian,

I wanted to send you a note not to give up your dreams of the BSN. I also have had horrible experiences with other nurses but the patients will appreciate you very much. Trust me you are needed for the patients. I give report to a women in the morning and I have an anxiety attack just thinking about her coming to work. When I give her report she does not even face me. I really do not care that she does not say "hello" or "good morning" but come on, really someone that turns their back to the nurse giving report. What is funny is that I thought she had a pretty face when I met her and now I think she is the ugliest woman on the planet! I realize she is getting a divorce. However, does she really have to be so nasty faced. Sometimes she will turn around and roll her eyes at me. Truly I have never seen such behavior and this is a second career for me. But I try to be nice and friendly to all the nurses. Really it is the only way for me to go threw life. Please do not leave the field!

What kind of Nurse Manager would allow that to go on? :madface: Yes I know sometimes these people are friends with the managers, but to me she's letting her hostility affect patient care. How does she acknowledge that she is even hearing you? I think I would stop. I'd say I'm not giving report to the back of someone's head, and maybe you can tape it for this person if she can't bring herself to even turn in your direction while you are talking.

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

I totally agree that a nursing unit that has rampant bullying is a nursing unit with poor management...

and...the fact that some of us girls are nice does not negate the fact that too many adolescent girls have no respect and no consideration for the feelings of others...and they grow up to be shallow bullies in their adult lives as well.

nakinok

Has 4 years experience.

I have wanted to be a nurse for many years. I use to be a social worker and I visited many hospitals with or for clients. The nurses were for the most part nice to me and if they werent I had a few choice words for them, but I saw them be insanely disgusting with each other and students. I overheard nasty conversations and saw how they discriminated against each other. Many of them told me I should be a nurse because I actually knew alot because I did alot of research whenever a client had a health issue and was responsible for contracting nursing agencies for care after release so I wanted to know what to say and look for. 2 reasons that took me so long to apply: 1. I worked to much to consider such a intense program after work 2. the hazing and abuse in the ranks. I dealt with that already in my field and I couldnt see jumpin into another frying pan. But ultimately I want to be a nurse so I am going to suck it up and get mines, but I have had abusive bosses and snippy co-workers and yes it makes me jumpy because I like to chill but have a bad temper once you push the botton and I dont wanna get all wrapped up, but I just am going to keep goin no matter what people throw at me, so just keep pushing if you really want this. Your confidence will grow as you graduate and learn more. Find positive people in your life to hold you strong in the midst of it, because it is worth it if you want it. Try to shake it off.

I am a bit weary of the fact that as a student I may need to hold my tongue a bit more than in past instances because I cant fight a war while in school I have to prioritize and fighting isnt high on the list.

Good luck

I agree wannabeanrn90. Why do nurses/CNAs/ healthcare providers treat their coworkers like this? I've always tried to be nice to my coworkers but after having them always turn on me, I've learned that it's a dog eat dog world. you either talk about others or be the one talked about. And of course, I'm still the one being talked about.

Lillian2515

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Got a lawyer.....got more support....finished the program.

redhead_NURSE98!, ADN, BSN

Specializes in Med/surg, Quality & Risk. Has 10 years experience.

Can anyone tell me WHY bullying exists in the nursing community? Why is it so prevalent, and what makes nurses act so outright cruel to each other? I just don't understand why nurses, who are supposed to be compassionate, sensitive and caring individuals, would treat fellow workers in such negative manners. The way I hear nurses belittling each other is just incomprehensible to me. What is it?? :confused:

I get belittled by long time LPN's who apparently think their job description is different when they are working patient care for one of their buds versus me or the other new RN. They will pass po's for their buds but not me, even if someone has called off and I have 11 patients. If you ask them something like "have you checked so-and-so's colostomy bag lately?" you get these snide comments like "yes, it's not my first rodeo you know," yet you go back there at the end of the shift and the bag is busted off the flange from gas buildup and the patient says no one's looked at it since this morning. If you ask them to do something they roll their eyes and act as if I believe I'm too good to do it. No, I just have my hands full of needles and vials and can't restock the rooms right now, thanks. It's called delegation. Good luck reporting them because they go on vacations with our clinical manager and the manager just goes back and tells them what we said.