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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 >>

  • Nerdynursebutton_max50


    over 3 years ago


    lateral violence is why I began blogging and is a huge barrier to the advancement of the nursing profession

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Chaotick, lol. I too experienced this. I loved my job. Nursing is my passion but unfortunately I ended up quitting that job. I couldn't take it anymore. I don't understand ppl. I always welcomed the newbies and helped them adjust. So anyway, I'm pretty ill find something better. ;-)

  • Thefatlady_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    This is why I don't want to be a nurse anymore. I like my coworkers, for the most part, but there seems to be one out of control b-word in every workplace I've attempted and, for whatever reason, I must have a giant bulls-eye on my back that makes them zero in on me. And the 'nice' coworkers don't want to 'get involved' (maybe happy not to be victim of choice). My sanity just isn't worth it.

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