Nursing Jobs and the Workplace Bully. » Nursing Jobs Blog – Nurses Insights at Nursing Jobs.org

Nursing Jobs and the Workplace Bully.

April 17th, 2009  |  The Blog

There is a pervasive problem within the nursing profession. It’s been called nurse-to-nurse hostility, lateral violence, intergroup conflict, and eating our young. There are a lot of different names for it but whatever you chose to call the problem, it’s responsible for ruining a lot of nursing careers.

A Bully In Scrubs

There are many reasons why a nurse turns into a bully. Nurses have little autonomy in the workplace while being held accountable for everything that happens on our unit. We are also low man on the hospital hierarchy structure totem pole. Doctors and hospital administrators outrank us, and we work in a very intense environment. Throw in a few hostile patients and family members and you get the recipe for a bully in scrubs. Nurses who feel overwhelmed and oppressed at the bottom of the health care ladder engage in passive aggressive acts. Unfortunately, this type of behavior only perpetuates the cycle of lateral violence on the unit.

Lateral violence comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be verbal or non-verbal and either overt or covert. The most common forms of lateral violence include undermining, withholding information, sabotage, infighting, backstabbing, scapegoating, and undermining nursing colleagues. Bullying is a type of lateral violence that is generally associated with individuals at different levels of power and authority, but can also occur nurse to nurse. This type of behavior includes humiliation, intimidation, victimization, and verbal abuse.

It doesn’t take long before new nurses experience these types of destructive behaviors in the workplace. According to research conducted by Martha Griffin, RN, PhD, clinical specialist and program coordinator of nursing professional development at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, 60% of nurse new to practice leave their first positions within six months because of some form of lateral violence being perpetrated against them. Griffin’s research also shows that 20% of new RNs leave the nursing profession within three years due to lateral violence in the workplace. Even seasoned nurses can run into lateral violence when they chance jobs.

Bringing Down the Bully

It isn’t easy facing a bully, especially if you’ve been bullied in the past. However, you can transcend your fears and establish a healthier relationship with your coworkers by using a few simple techniques.

Improving the work environment starts with open, honest, and respectful communication. People must hold themselves and each other accountable for unacceptable behavior on the unit. Confront and address inappropriate behavior immediately as it occurs with the perpetrator. This is important because it shows that you will not tolerate the behavior. It is also helpful in some cases because the other person is not aware of their own behavior. Make “I” statements when you talk about your feelings. “I feel… when you.” Keep repeating yourself if the other person makes excuses, denies, or dismisses the incident. Keep records of incidents and communications if all else fails, and show them to your supervisor.

Patient care suffers when nurses can’t get along with each other. It’s time for the infighting to stop. Do you have stories about lateral violence in the workplace? Come to Nursing Voices and tell us about it. We’re waiting to hear from you.

Terri Polick
About Terri Polick
Terri Polick has been a nurse for thirty years, and is a published author living in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. She is currently working as a freelance writer, and is a frequent contributor to Nursing Spectrum Magazine. Terri works at a local community hospital as a psychiatric nurse.

189 Responses to “Nursing Jobs and the Workplace Bully.”

  • augusto de arruda botelho said on August 24th, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

  • Silvia Odete Morani Massad said on August 24th, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and
    look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

  • http://meuestilo.r7.com/ said on August 24th, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It is pretty worth enough
    for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Michale said on August 27th, 2017 at 6:54 am

    If you wish for to take a great deal from this piece of
    writing then you have to apply such strategies to your won web site.

  • interest rate said on August 30th, 2017 at 4:00 am

    I’m not sure why but this site is loading incredibly
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?

    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  • Augusto de Arruda Botelho said on August 30th, 2017 at 6:03 am

    I am really delighted to read this webpage posts which consists of plenty of useful facts, thanks for providing these kinds of statistics.

  • Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior said on September 1st, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I like what you guys are up too. This sort of clever work and
    exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve included you
    guys to my own blogroll.

  • Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior said on September 1st, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Hi there, I would like to subscribe for this web site to take
    latest updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

  • Silvia Odete Morani Massad said on September 2nd, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Excellent way of explaining, and pleasant piece of writing to take facts regarding my presentation topic, which i am going
    to convey in institution of higher education.

  • things you need to know about chuck norris said on September 3rd, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog
    and was curious what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any
    tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

  • anak 20 bulan susah makan said on September 4th, 2017 at 2:28 am

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.

    I’m quite certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  • start up capital said on September 5th, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours lately, but I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers
    made good content material as you did, the net will be much more helpful than ever
    before.

  • http://garna.com.ua said on September 6th, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    hello there and thank you for your information _ I have definitely picked up something
    new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the site many times previous to
    I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if
    your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect
    your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and marketing
    with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out
    for much more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again soon.

  • residential real said on September 8th, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  • car loans said on September 8th, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I
    am inspired! Very helpful info particularly the remaining phase :) I take care of such info much.
    I used to be seeking this particular info for a very lengthy time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  • best tips travelling said on September 17th, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting
    my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup?

    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips or
    advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  • travel deals said on September 18th, 2017 at 2:01 am

    I will immediately grasp your rss as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service.

    Do you have any? Kindly permit me understand so that I may just subscribe.

    Thanks.

  • planning travel said on September 19th, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I am actually thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this fantastic article at at this
    time.

  • Joe said on September 20th, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I think the admin of this site is actually working hard in support of his site,
    since here every material is quality based stuff.

  • Erica said on September 21st, 2017 at 7:36 am

    It’s difficult to find experienced people about this topic, however, you sound like
    you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Raymon said on September 21st, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Asking questions are really pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything totally, but
    this paragraph presents fastidious understanding even.

  • Karol said on September 21st, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve included you guys to my personal blogroll.

  • adminbbs.net said on September 22nd, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard
    against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.
    Any tips?

  • olimpus.in.ua said on September 22nd, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem
    still exists.

  • vanrain.com said on September 23rd, 2017 at 2:42 am

    I absolutely love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal site and
    want to know where you got this from or exactly what
    the theme is named. Thank you!

  • www2.thaisp.org said on September 24th, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite
    justification seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing
    to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries
    that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the
    nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect
    , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.
    Thanks

  • Major said on September 25th, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  • best butt said on September 26th, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I am now not certain where you’re getting your info,
    however good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or
    understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was searching for this information for my mission.

  • hamyangcho.com said on September 26th, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I was able to find good information from your content.

  • Brittny said on September 26th, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I_m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep
    it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.
    Cheers

  • forums.ggcorp.ninja said on September 27th, 2017 at 12:40 am

    I always used to read piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a
    user of internet thus from now I am using net for content,
    thanks to web.

  • dating guidelines said on September 28th, 2017 at 10:57 am

    For newest news you have to go to see the web
    and on world-wide-web I found this site as a finest site for newest updates.

  • Normand said on September 29th, 2017 at 5:10 am

    I have been browsing on-line more than three hours as
    of late, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It’s beautiful value enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made
    just right content material as you did, the web will probably
    be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  • Dadado Veiga said on September 30th, 2017 at 3:48 am

    hey there and thank you for your info _ I’ve definitely picked
    up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical
    issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the website many
    times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK?
    Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times
    will very frequently affect your placement in google and could
    damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your
    respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again soon.

  • asbestos study first said on September 30th, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Undeniably imagine that which you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest factor to keep in mind of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst people think about worries that they just don’t recognize about.

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the
    whole thing without having side effect , other
    people can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more.
    Thank you

  • brazil butt said on September 30th, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Thankfulness to my father who shared with me regarding this webpage, this weblog is really
    amazing.

  • jordan soccer jersey said on October 3rd, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It’s the little
    changes that will make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • butt muscles said on October 4th, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Hey very nice blog!

  • anticorruptionforum.net said on October 4th, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    I have read so many articles or reviews on the topic of the blogger lovers however this paragraph is genuinely a nice paragraph, keep it up.

 
Copyright © 1999-2014 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All Rights Reserved.
Call 888.613.8844 (M-F, 7-5 Pacific)

Send a message







By clicking the ["Send Message"] button, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and to the use of cookies described therein, and you also consent to the collection, storage, and processing of your data in the United States where the level of data protection may be different from that in your country.