What's the worst thing the workplace bully did to you? has done to you?

Nurses General Nursing


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433 Posts

Sheeessh...what horrible stories...cannot believe the audacity of these people!

I don't know if this person would be classified as a bully or not...maybe a snitch...however, I did her a BIG favor...she had a flat tire & I changed it for her. Several months later at work one day, I started my period...no one had any pads or tampons on the unit, too busy to go to another unit...so, I went & helped myself to an ABD pad....big whoop...I needed it....period! Apparently, this nosy nurse saw me going into the bathroom with the ABD pad...and she must have felt that it was her duty to call the nurse manager (NM was at home!). Sheeeeeeesh!! That woman is lucky I didn't put that ABD pad on her windshield...what a witch!! Agh!!

night owl

1,134 Posts

We also had bully nurses who got rid of pts they didn't like. For instance...We had a resident who basically just wanted someone to talk to and for someone to make a little fuss over him. He was depressed for being in the nursing home anyway and who wouldn't be right? Plus the fact he was almost blind he would always say,"My eyes are no good anymore, I can't see, my family sold my house just for the money, sometimes I wish the Lord would take me because I'm no good to anyone no more." So the day nurses got tired of listening to him everyday and complained about him to the head nurse. Can you imagine??? We, the night staff suggested to the day staff to move him to a private room because other pts kept him awake all night and he always complained that he couldn't sleep well. What did the head nurse do? She put him in a room with a pt who was awake all night and talked all night and sometimes yelled out loud. The direct opposite of what we asked of her because she knew that he would hit this resident and then he would be moved off the floor. The first night was hell for him, and so was the second, but on the third day one of the day nurses noticed the "talking" roommate had a mark on his nose and right away blamed the depressed pt for hitting him because everytime she bent down to look at the mark on his nose, the resident would back away as if "you were going to hit him." Well the day people got their wish because the depressed resident was moved to another floor. How crude could you be to place another pt in harms way just to keep your day staff happy??? This head nurse was forever humiliating other nurses infront of the entire staff, never giving you a day off when you ask for it well in advance. She just loved throwing her authority around all in the wrong way. She took care of her day staff and loved them to death. So much so that when her day nurses complained that there were too many meds at 0900, she made the doctor change all the 0900 med to 0600 so that the day nurses had NO 9am meds to give. We wound up giving over 400 medications at 0600! and it took over 3hours to do it! How unsafe was that??? Loaded the poor pts up with all kinds of meds all on an empty stomach before breakfast. We went to the DON and the HN was fired! Good for her! (B****!)

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,848 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I don't get bullied fortunately, my personality is too strong, and I'm in a position of authority as a charge nurse and sometimes supervisor.

When I was a newbie grad my assistant manager interrupted report and embarassed me about a mistake I'd made in front of my peers. When I went over hear head and complained to our boss, she found something to write me up about that was unrelated. Her apology was "I'm sorry you felt I was inappropriate. Now you're being written up for this......."


4 Posts

I believe there are always 2 sides to every story and even though one side is more right than the other, one must wonder. . .did my actions provoke the other person to behave in the manner in which they did? If so, even if I am right, am I wrong?

Specializes in Mostly LTC, some acute and some ER,.

~DDee, that is the way that I am trying to see it with my situation. It does take the edge off the anger. But I cant stand it when I am bullied like I am in boot camp. Maybe I'm not the best in the world, maybe I make mistakes, but I do think there is a nicer way of critisizm.


80 Posts

No story to share-but...

Wow, you guys are really freaking me out. I can't believe the things some people will do! Where do these people come from?

I hope to commit these stories to long term memory so when I encounter people like this, I can just do what others of you have done. It just really sucks that you have to be on your toes with patients all the time-and sometime with your co-workers, too.

Way to go for haning in there, all of you, and not letting people push you out of your career! And, for always having the patients best intrest at heart.:kiss


48 Posts

Future RN Mandi and Dee Dee do not feel guilty and put the blame on yourselves. Bullies feed on other people's insecurity and high standards (i.e. you know you are not perfect). Even if you have done something wrong you do not deserve to be bullied. These people need sorted out, but we all know that sometimes people with the power to do this would rather look the other way.

Now I have two real horror stories to tell. But I must emphasise that this happened in a small totally ****ed up country where I was an expat worker with poor employment rights compared to the locals and I have never experienced anything like it in more civilised and regulated countries. New RNs and students please don't let this put you off nursing. I got through it and love my job these days. These are extreme cases.

I worked in LTC. There was an enrolled nurse who was real trouble. She bullied everyone, managers included. She would find out something about people that would embarass them or that they were scared of other people knowing, or she would lend them money or something, anything to gain power over them. She was always fishing for information about your personal life. I told her sweet FA. I was assertive but fair (I was RN, so usually in charge), so I avoided any real trouble with her for a long time. She would do stuff like:

One day I heard her tell an orderly to go somewhere. As soon as he left the unit she called the supervisor and said this orderly could not be found on the unit for more than an hour. He hadn't told her he was leaving, staffing levels were unsafe without him and he was always doing this. I called the supervisor and told her the truth immediately, and told the orderly what had happened and to watch his back.

She told a nurse who was going on holiday not to count the controlled drugs at the end of her shift - the bully would do it. Then she went straight to the supervisor and told her this nurse had not done the CD count because she was going on holiday.

She wrote 23 incident reports about a new grad (who was a good nurse).

She criticised good work and bullied the people to do her workload too or she would report them for their supposedly poor work.

Not calling a doc to review a patient who had extended his CVA and blown half his brain. The nursing aides said he was unconscious all day but she documented that he ate his lunch! She couldn't be bothered with the paperwork, CT scan, upset relatives or lifting the patient into bed. She left him sitting in a wheelchair. He was GCS 3.

I spoke to the bosses about her countless times, but they were scared of her too. How can one unfit to practice nurse cause such mayhem?

One night she wanted to get two nursing assistants into trouble about a patient who stubbed his toe, while getting into bed (unaided). I stood up to her and said as nurse in charge there was no way I was reporting them. They hadn't done anything wrong it would be a waste of managers and doctors time. She said I would be in trouble, because it happened when I was on the unit. I said no, you will be in trouble if his foot is seriously injured( heavy sarcasm), because I've been off the unit for two hours and in that time you - as nurse in charge - have done nothing about it. After that she was out to get me i.e. malicious rumours, telling people I'd said bad things about them, and just being the spanner in the works whenever I was in charge. She made a supervisor who covered our unit temporarily think that I thought this supervisor was useless and really critical of her and unhappy about my workload when in fact I thought this supervisor was ace and was happy with my workload.

I kept standing up to the b**** and reporting it to management. Things just escalated. One day she pulled my patient's NG feeding tube up to the back of his tongue while feed was running, to get me into trouble. I was devastated. This poor man was conscious and totally orientated, but had a CVA and could not talk, swallow or cough. He could have aspirated and died and he was so afraid. He understood what had happened. That poor man. I talked to four levels of management but nothing was done. She threatened me with violence and witchcraft - seriously! One night she and her husband followed me home.

I did a written statement of EVERYTHING that had ever happened and who I had reported it to, then got my lawyer to send it recorded delivery to every level of management in that hospital and keep papers about it in his vault. Those spineless swines cannot say they did not know and if the b**** ever does kill someone and it goes to court I will go back and make it clear that they all knew she wasn't fit to practice.

I moved jobs three weeks after that incident ...... but out of of the frying pan and into the fire. It was a cardiology ward and the boss was a bully. I hated her with a passion because she really knew her cardiac stuff but she didn't teach on the unit or use her knowledge to benefit patients. She used it to intimidate staff. She undermined and ritually humiliated people. She had the nurses from poor countries terrified that she would get them sent home if they ever challenged her. She would say one thing verbally (i.e. to one nurse who had just had a baby and her husband had left her and she had no family support - yes you can work day shift only. Then rostered the poor woman, who had no-one to look after her baby at night, to work nights only. The nurse had to work three months notice. We all swapped our day shifts with her, but what a b**** that manager was.)

I've written about this elsewhere on this site, but the worst thing she ever did to me was not support me when I had a young patient who was deteriorating (having a massive MI - only treatment s/l GTN and IV morphine a few times for the pain) and the consultant cardiologist would not listen to me and none of the junior docs would challenge him. She ( the nurse manager) actually ridiculed me in front of the other staff and said I'm sure a consultant cardiologist knows better than you if the patient is OK or not, when he wouldn't come to review the patient, or consider thrombolysis, despite my repeated requests. I said he can't know better than me if he doesn't come to see him and I begged her for help (I had already asked her to intervene). She laughed at me again and encouraged the other staff to join in. She said maybe his BP is so low because he has had GTN and morphine. I said maybe it's because he's in cardiogenic shock. The patient arrested and fifteen people turned up to resus him - unsuccesfully. Too little too late. He had the highest cardiac enzymes I have ever seen. I resigned and left that country.

It's just so hard to take that nurses will allow harm to come to patients in order to bully other staff. That was a really messed up country though (but tax free, that's why I was there.)

At least it means less malignant bullies bother me less. I see them trying to use their knowledge or position to intimidate people and I just despise them. Thankfully they are outnumbered by the good nurses who are quick to do favours and guide junior staff kindly.

Originally posted by night owl

I worked with a so-called nurse that took every monthly note out of the eight pts charts that I had to chart on and did God knows what with them. I couldn't prove it, but she was the only nurse at the nurses station when I finished up the very last one and said, "Pheeeew, thank God I'm done with those dreaded notes!" The next day I went back to one of them to check on something I wrote and it wasn't in there. Huh??? I checked another chart for the same thing and IT wasn't there either. "What the ----?" I checked the rest of them and not one was to be found! I went right to the head nurse and told her the story and then told her I wanted a transfer off the unit today because I could no longer work with that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH!!!.... I was outta there in 2 hours.

She did other things like taking my work keys and hiding them for a few days until she saw me ripping my hair out trying to find them. When I finally asked for the last time, "Has anyone seen my keys before I spend $25 dollars to get new ones?" ($5 a key) She would say, "Oh, these?" And open the narcotic box and reach up top and way in the back and pull them out. "Yeah, thanks, those are mine!" and yank them out of her hand and give her the dirtiest look. She could have given them to me the first day I lost them, but nooooooooo, she watched me squirm for three days. I wanted to choke the "B!"

Another time I was decorating the unit for Valentine's Day. (actually had time to do this years ago) I must have cut out 500 hearts of all different sizes, plus bought some really nice decorations from the hallmark store. She asked me to run some blood to the lab. I asked her to watch my decorations, tape etc that were on one of those little stainless steel carts we used for meds (way back when) so the pt's wouldn't mess with it. (Alzheimer's unit) "No problem." I come back from the lab and I couldn't find the cart or the decorations. Asked her where did she put it. She said "I didn't touch it." Yet I found the cart put away, but no decorations. I just knew she put them some place so I searched high and low for them and never found them. I wasn't going to let her spoil my plans for decorating our unit, so that night I went home and I cut out another 500 hearts and went back to the store and bought some more prettier decorations. The next day I did the same thing and she says I found your decorations. "Where?" I said. "Right here in this drawer." "The h*ll you did!" I said "I looked in all of these drawers and they weren't there! But thanks, because now I have double the amount and will decorate to the hilt!" She says to me, ''Who's azz are you kissing?'' I said "No ones! Especially NOT yours!" Oh she burnt me up! But I got her back with all the decorating. Those were just a few things she would do to torment me besides humiliating me in report, spreading rumors about me, undoing dressings I did. She died 8 months after I transfered off the unit. Guess what from? Ca of the brain! And everyone that knew her had NOT one kind word about her.

So tell us if you care to share, your horror stories with the workplace bully. Inquiring minds would like to know.

I have a better question for you (and posters)...What do you get out of playing the victim of such ONGOING attacks? This kinda stuff idoesn't happen to people who stand up and take care of themselves. Not ongoing, anyways.

I establish my foot up the (you know where) of potential headache givers, like the one mentioned above. You'll find peace and love in the power of the foot (up the you know where).



1,326 Posts

You'll find peace and love in the power of the foot

- Rebelwaclause

:roll :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll

I think I just found my new motto!!


1,326 Posts

I did, I did just find my new motto!

Let me see if it appears as my sig. line.

ktwlpn, LPN

3,844 Posts

Specializes in LTC,Hospice/palliative care,acute care.
Originally posted by rebelwaclause

I have a better question for you (and posters)...What do you get out of playing the victim of such ONGOING attacks? This kinda stuff idoesn't happen to people who stand up and take care of themselves. Not ongoing, anyways.


I know we have discussed this extensively on this board and one thing that most of us have learned through researching the subject is that NO it is not always the fault of the victim.........


4,516 Posts

Originally posted by rebelwaclause

I have a better question for you (and posters)...What do you get out of playing the victim of such ONGOING attacks? This kinda stuff idoesn't happen to people who stand up and take care of themselves. Not ongoing, anyways.

I establish my foot up the (you know where) of potential headache givers, like the one mentioned above. You'll find peace and love in the power of the foot (up the you know where).


Pretty harsh comment IMO Rebel. Let's blame the victim, eh?

One thing I have learned, is no matter how dysfunctional, vindictive or sick these types are, they also are frequently politically astute and know how to come out of things smelling like a rose. They know how to work the organization to their advantage, and enjoy creating chaos. Perhaps undiagnosed borderline personality nurses?? Who knows?? Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to not run across sickos like Scotty, Nimbex, I and others have described. Lucky you.

It's also a hallmark of a dysfunctional institution to find these types in power...but we all know how dysfunctional healthcare facilities can be don't we.

Call me naieve once....but NOW I KNOW from experience these types are out there and how they operate. I am wary, believe me...as they can wreak havoc with our life and livelihood. I wish my Mom had warned me about 'em, which is why I like to warn my kids and younger associates. :o

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