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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Nurse Bullies in the Workplace (Research, Video 2:35)


Bullying in the nursing profession seems to be far more prevalent than many realize. Why does bullying take place? What are the outcomes? How can bullying be prevented? Reported this year, research from Workplace Safety and Health states that bullying in the nursing workplace has been identified as a factor that affects patient outcomes and increases occupational stress and staff turnover.

Research on nurse bullying was done to assess registered nurses' exposure to workplace bullying. Pacific Northwest state professional nurses' association membership was solicited. Forty-eight percent of respondents admitted to being bullied in the workplace during the previous six months, with respondents choosing "being ignored or excluded" as the most common negative experience in the workplace.

The results of this study suggest that workplace bullying is a continuing concern. Reduction strategies must be devised as a means of retaining nurses and preventing these adverse outcomes. One strategy shown to be effective in curbing bullying is assertiveness and aggression training for nurses. The following video further explains nurses bullying other nurses and emphasizes the need to improve the environment in healthcare workplaces in general.



Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

8 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, I did not have to watch the video to know what was being said. I have been the "survivor" (victim implies defeat) of numerous incidents of severe bullying throughout my 20+ year career. The really sad part is that the worse incidents were committed by nurses who were my supervisors, or were part of Nursing Administration. I see daily incidents of bullying on the units too; unfortunately, those who have reported it have been told by administration, "That's too bad. You'll just have to deal with it because I'm not doing anything about". Bullies continue to thrive because those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of caring for the nursing staff are the very ones who are either committing the act themselves or turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the reports.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences and concerns about nurse bullying.

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  2. Bullying in the healthcare environment has serious negative consequences. Valued staff will often quit their job and transfer elsewhere to get away from "the bully". I an elder care institution, this results in is a disruption of the caregiver / resident relationship. That disruption then will likely result in mismanaged care for that resident until that special one-to-one relationship is re-established. Aside from this, the expense related to staff turnover is something that today's healthcare institutions can ill afford. Find the bully and eject them from the institution if you are serious about managing turnover and patient safety. This type of tiger will not change it's stripes.

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  3. AnonymousMay 12, 2014

    I am uncertain why this occurs but it does. As a supervisor i have had to counsel several employees over the years on supporting eachother as nurses rather than setting eachother up! It seems to come from a deep insecurity or a need to be the esteemed nurse on the case. They tear others down and cause the patient to loose confidence in another nurse in order to make themselves look like the most competent person on the staff. Very frustrating!

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    1. Thank you for adding your firsthand experience to this discussion.

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  4. AnonymousMay 12, 2014

    I, myself, experienced this mean behavior and I applaud the speaker in the video for doing her part in seeing this situation remedied. There should not be any bullying in healthcare, or any place for that matter. Bullying always has a negative impact.

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  5. It happens to medical social workers too..

    So hard to believe one is more likely to suffer mental, physical, and socioeconomic fall-out after being targeted by a bully in the healthcare or helping professions before they would encounter it working in financial, state or federal institutions. Baffling?



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  6. patti minickMay 21, 2014

    I'm sure it happens in all work situation. There are bullies everywhere. They have probably been bullies since grade school. This is the way they learned to cope with whatever their issues are dealing with. I've worked at lot of places and it's really not just the nursing profession. But the fact that it happens in a profession where "first do no harm" is the credo, makes it especially ugly.

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