Recently, I attended an event with about 25 professionals of which at least 10-15 were nurses like me. I had the opportunity to share about my business and passion to help nurses who are experiencing situations of bullying and burnout. All of the nurses responded very positively to the presentation. They either had worked with nurses who were being bullied, had family or friends who were bullied or had observed others being bullied. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised but it causes “my eye to twitch,” as someone I know frequently says when something disturbs him.
My first reaction to hearing stories like this is sadness. Then my next thought is go to where these nurses are, take control of the situation and “fix it,” or “get rid of it.” Logically, I know that is nonsense and it can’t be done that way. I just want to say that we need to be intentional and plan to reconcile and restore our relationships with others. We need to be creative and intentionally plan to systematically eradicate the destructive behavior that pervades our professional practice. This negative behavior often steals the joy from our career.
I encourage each of you to step up and help yourself, someone you know or someone you see that is having this experience in your agency. Surprise the bully and stand together with others who want freedom to practice the way you know is possible and should be happening. Let the bully know that you will not tolerate the negative behavior in your agency or on your unit. Find a way to reclaim your power and positive, proactive attitude as a group of co-workers.
Many nurses have been vocal about their experience and their fears of losing their job and the retaliatory actions of administration. If nurses stand together and speak as a group and give examples of how this toxic situation is interfering with the provision of quality care to the patient and the satisfaction of staff with resultant turnover of staff someone in the upper echelon has to hear the “message.”
If you want to learn more about how to be proactive in this process, listen to your intuition and take control of your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about bullying sign up for my free email course: No More! Stop Nurse Bullying.
Have you experienced bullying? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you about the specifics of your situation, what you have tried and what you think your options are at this time.