Is Bullying in the Nursing Industry Really Something to Worry About?

While malicious gossip and cliques are supposed to end with high school, unfortunately they often don’t. In fact, according to a recent study, 39 percent of working adults have been bullied at work and 42 percent have witnesses bullying behavior.  From nurse cliques to rude or unfounded allegations, being a victim of bullying in the nursing industry isn’t uncommon.  Though you can’t control the behavior of offensive colleagues, with a little practice, you can control how you handle interactions with them.  Here are a few tips to help you deal with nurse bullies.

Kill Them With Kindness

If a fellow nurse is bullying you, it’s important to remain calm about the situation.  Even if they’re going out of their way to rain on your parade, continue being kind.  Avoid getting into arguments where you might say something you’ll later regret or that’ll be more fuel to the bully’s fire.  Refuse to stoop to their level and continue focusing on your work. Once they realize they aren’t able to get a rise out of you, they’ll get bored and leave you alone.

Be Positive

As hard as it may be, the best thing to do is to not let your bully get the best of you.  Instead, remain optimistic and try to find one positive thing about the person.  Do they have experience that you can learn from?  Are they really a kind person, that’s just having a bad day? No matter how small, everyone has at least one thing that makes him or her useful in the workplace.  It’ll be easier to overlook their rude behavior when you realize the value your coworker offers.

Confront Them

If the bully continues to attack you to a point where it’s damaging your ability to work, take charge of the situation and confront them in a professional manner.  Don’t yell or scream, but directly call them out on their behavior and tell them you aren’t going to tolerate it anymore.

Document Your Interactions

If the behavior continues after you’ve confronted the nurse bully, start documenting your interactions. This will help you provide evidence of hostility over time.  Keep your notes of the situation objective: Who was involved? What happened? Where did it happen? When was the incident? Include quotes of any verbal attacks as well. 

Report the Behavior

If the bullying gets to a point where it’s damaging to your career, approach a manager to intervene.  Your manager needs to understand what’s going on and take the necessary steps to but a stop to the behavior.  If they don’t, then you need to file a complaint with the human resources department.

If the bullying continues to take place after you’ve reported it to HR, it may be time to consider looking for a new opportunity elsewhere.  If so, the experienced recruiters at BOS Medical Staffing help.  Since 2008, BOS Medical has brought talented nurses, therapists and medical administrators together with top facilities in Northeast Georgia and nationwide. Contact BOS Medical today to get started with your job search.

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