Bullying in the Healthcare Workplace

Bullying in the Healthcare Workplace

You might’ve heard the saying that “Nurses eat their young,” which unfortunately happens to be somewhat of an “elephant in the room” in the nursing world.

For those who aren’t familiar, the saying refers to the unfortunate bullying that can occur in the nursing profession.

While bullying can happen anywhere and certainly can cause a lot of problems, it may be especially harmful in the nursing profession because it can affect how you care for your patients, as well as disrupt your passion and career.

So, throughout this week, we thought we’d concentrate on the topic of bullying and what you can do should you ever come across it during your profession.

For today, we’re going to concentrate on what not do in the event that you ever find yourself in such a situation. Take a look below: 

Don’t take things too personally 

When a bully tries to put you down, you need to remember not to take what they say to heart. More often than not, bullies say certain things just to get under your skin, because they want to feel like they have power over you. When this happens, try to shrug it off and keep in mind that what they are saying is only meant to hurt you, and has nothing to do with your performance or who you are as a person. 

Don’t give in or be discouraged 

People can be intimidating, especially when you are just starting out, but don’t let what they say get to you.

Instead, try to remember why you entered the nursing profession—because of your passion for caring for others—and try your best to not be discouraged by what people say, because giving in will only give them what they want.

Don’t fight fire with fire 

The last thing you want to do is to fight back against your aggressor in a similar manner. In the end, it will only make you just as guilty as them—so as hard as it may be, don’t stoop to their level.

Not all nurses are bullies. In fact, the overwhelming majority of nurses do not bully on the job. Still, it happens to be those few who end up making it hard for the rest. By trying your best to remember these tips, you can help to create a better environment for you and the rest of your team, and stop the bullying before it turns from bad to worse.

Check back on Wednesday when we give you a few tips on what you should do when bullied. In the mean time, have you ever had an experience like this? If you’d like to share your story, connect with us on Twitter.

Photo credit: Health Communications and Health Advocacy

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