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How to Handle Bullies in Nursing

How to Handle Bullies in Nursing

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

Signs of a Bully

“If you feel like you are being bullied, then you are,” says Bartholomew. “The definition is very clear – it’s the impact, and it doesn’t matter if the people intended to bully or not.” Everyone should be respectful at all times.

Between 45% to 60% of new nursing graduates experience rudeness and humiliation at work, says Bartholomew. “As many as 60% of new-to-practice nurses resign from their jobs with lateral violence the reported reason for leaving,” Vega adds.

At first, bullying behavior may not be obvious. Victims may even question themselves, wondering if they’re imagining the bullying behavior. Signs of bullying include:

• The silent treatment
• Constant criticism of work done
• “Jokes” at the victim’s expense
• Trivializing the work or result
• Nitpicking
• Backstabbing
• Stealing credit for work done by the victim

Victims of Bullying

The popular phrase “nurses eat their young” is one many nursing students here during their education. But is it reality, or is it a self-fulfilling prophecy? In nursing, is bullying merely a cycle of unbroken violence?

Some bullies target new graduate nurses, trying to instill their power over the “new kid on the block.” Others choose nurses who may not be confident enough to stand up to the abuse. Yet others bully those who are just different from them, or nurses they don’t like. There’s no one reason why someone becomes a victim of bullying.

Next: Consequences of Bullying >>

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