How to Handle Bullies in Nursing
Marijke Durning | NursingLink
Did you know that bullying affects at least half of the American workforce? According to a study published in 2010, back in 2007, 35% of workers in the U.S. reported having been bullied, while another 15% witnessed workplace bullying. That’s half the American workforce who admitted to experiencing or witnessing bullying behaviors.
Bullying goes beyond the playground; it’s more than just a childhood trauma. Bullying, or lateral violence, is a major issue in nursing.
Do any of these situations sound familiar to you?
• A nurse is giving report and a coworker is constantly interrupting with sarcastic comments about the care he has given during his shift.
• A nurse frequently belittles another nurse with condescending comments or demeaning language.
• A charge nurse consistently divides the patient load unfairly, giving the heaviest case loads or unpleasant patients, to one particular nurse.
If any of these situations ring a bell, you have identified bullying of nurses by other nurses. Just read any nursing forum and you’ll see plenty of discussions about “nurses eating their young.” According to the same 2010 study, when women are the bullies, 80% of the time their targets are other women. In a female-dominated profession like nursing, that’s a big impact.