Zero tolerance for workplace violence a double standard??

Nurses Men


Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Hi, I am here to ask if any body could offer me any advise or share a personal experience with my situation here. I currently work as a clinical coordinator for a medical surgical floor. I had a unit secretary,who happened to be female,threaten to physically harm me. My preceptor told be to beware of this person when I was in orientation because of her record of bullying behavior. I filled a formal complaint with HR regarding this situation and an investigation was supposedly launched. A week after the incident, little to my knowledge, both of us were on the schedule to work together. I refused to work with this individual and had put in a formal request to transfer to another unit of the hospital. I faced a lot of static from my boss and the director of nursing for refusing to work with this person. Needless to say, my attempts to transfer have been unsuccessful. I have informed my boss that I will be resigning. I know for a fact if I had been the one to threaten her, I WOULD have been fired at the very least. Possibly even arrested. Its frustrating because the tools that a man is given to combat inappropriate behavior against a belligerent female is proving to be ineffective.

That is a crappy situation. You're getting the static b/c of the standard of care that you do not "abandon" the patients. It does seem like a double standard, but you have a responsibility to take care of the patients when assigned to work.

My next step would be to try to find out how far the investigation has gotten. Try to discuss again to your boss that you really do not wish to work with said coworker in order to avoid a confrontation.

Good luck.

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Thanks for the advise. I may have been unclear in my original message, but when I refused to work with this co-worker, I floated to another unit and took an assignment there. I would not abandon a patient. Not just for ethical reasons, but I would not give them the pleasure of having them report me to the board. :oornt:

Specializes in Emergency Medicine.
hi, i am here to ask if any body could offer me any advice

i had a unit secretary,who happened to be female,threaten to physically harm me.

my first piece of advice is to get spellcheck...

next is grow a spine. unit secretary??? are you kidding me? you should have put her in her place. she has a license to practice what exactly? the day i refuse to work with ancillary help because of attitude and threats is the day i hand in my man-card.

you're the professional in this situation. be professional. so you have had it documented that she threatened you. great. she's still a paper shuffler. remind her she needs to shut up and do her job!

should it come to violence have her arrested.

I was the victim of workplace violence from my boss. She was in my office screaming and yelling and exhibiting threatening behavior. I do not tolerate this behavior from the children I have raised and certainly not from my boss. There are laws to protect us, or so I thought. I went to administration, I went to my union, nobody did anything about it. "That's just how she is" After a year of trying to get someone to listen, I relocated, enough was enough. I know that being a guy, and a large one at that, that if I had done what she did, I would have lost me job.

Specializes in ED.

spell check ? really? how about reality check? if patients can abuse a nurse why not a co-worker ?

color check

Specializes in ER, ICU.

I would assume that you aren't in a union. Have you consulted a lawyer? She could be guilty of assault. I wouldn't give up that easy, and you could be helping a lot of coworkers by pushing the issue. Obviously her behavior is unacceptable, and you're right about the double standard.

Tell her to meet you at the fence at 3 and snatch her up you know. Or on the other hand she might want to date you. Remember in school if a girl was shy and didn't know how to act she would act like a B**** really it turns out mean girls like that they want to date you most of the time. This might not be the case here but worth looking in to. Look i would try to make mends you might like her. I would go and offer her lunch or a coffee and talk. And if your not dating anyone might want to try date her or just see what happens. Hey stranger things have happen. These are my thoughts use them as you wish

I gotta say grow a pair....Have some face time alone with her and in a calm voice tell her that you will NOT put up with any form of violence and if it should occur... unlike the Rules of Engagement " in Afghanistan.. you WILL respond with overwhelming force and cannot be responsible for any harm that would come to her if you were to respond to any threat to your own well being...

But ONLY react physically to a PHYSICAL attack... then take her off at the knees... make sure.. when it is over you mention to everyone you feared for your life.

How butch is this girl anyway?

Specializes in ER, ICU.

An RT (male) that I work with had a similar story. He got so fed up once he told her "if you do that again, I'll punch you in your throat". I dont' advocate that kind of behavior but she shut up and never bothered him again. Fortunately she didn't have the guts to file charges against him. As an aside this has become the joke comeback on our unit ( I work nights so we can get away with it).

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro).

I'm not so sure that this is a case of a double standard so much as these sort of charges are hard to prove. I will not advise the OP to "grow a pair" and strike, threaten, or even disparage a co-worker. I believe he handled the situation correctly. If the situation continues, I would suggest hiring an attorney (25-50 bucks, in my area) to write your manager a letter (CC to HR) to the effect that the secretary is creating a hostile work environment that you do not intend to tolerate. While I hope you may not be at imminent risk of injury, you might remind the powers that be that someone with the poor judgement to threaten physical violence probably has, or will, threaten others, and must be presumed to have sufficiently bad judgement to act upon those threats.

I've said these charges are hard to prove. That doesn't mean ignoring them is acceptable, and your employer has an obligation to investigate them vigorously.

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).

I really respect all of you for bringing up and discussing this problem. I can't help giving kudos to those who write something profound or crack me up with their suggestions.

You know, some employees are impervious to ramifications of their inappropriate behavior. Some just don't have to follow the rules. I don't know if it's because they are the Boss' Bi-otch or what.

There are some really good suggestions here. Having had some experience in similar situations, I would like to share how I handled it:

Attempt to deal with the problem one to one. Not rectified? Inform the Supervisor. Still not rectified? Follow the Chain of Command. Document EVERYTHING. That includes the Culprit's behavior: threats, insubordination, etc.

The last time I had to deal with something like this was some time ago: This Tech was insubordinate and I followed the above protocol. I remembered something Edgar Caycee said: "You can get no one in more trouble then they can get themselves into."

So, I waited this Tech out. This Tech was a "drinking buddy" of one of the Supervisors. When the Supervisor did nothing, I let it be. Eventually, this Tech was terminated due to inappropriate behavior that could not be ignored.

I sometimes wonder, had the Supervisor addressed the initial problem, the Tech would not have allowed themself to progress to the point that they had. They'd been allowed enough rope, so to speak.

I had allowed the Tech to drive the final nail in their own coffin.

Here's to a quick resolution in your situation.


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