There is widespread incidence of nurse bullying within the healthcare profession that still continues today. Some nurses may have encountered bullies before which made them question their own ability, skills and nursing credibility. Remember that the victims are not at fault for the abuse that they are subjected to. However we wanted to explore this and how to respond to nurse bullying.
How to Respond to Nurse Bullying
Do not feel bad about Yourself
“When people don’t like themselves very much, they have to make up for it. The classic bully was actually a victim first.” — Tom Hiddleston
Bullies are often insecure people and tend to victimise individuals who they feel threatened by. They inflict resentment on their targets to feel better about themselves. If you feel that you have been victimised by one of your colleagues, try not to let it get to you and do not take it personally. Seek out other members of staff who can guide you and mentor you to become better in your profession if you do feel any insecurity in your role.
One of the best ways to combat bullying in the workplace is to be completely confident in your role and responsibilities. This will mean that you will be confident in your convictions and yourself should any colleague challenge you. Familiarise yourself with the policies and procedures of your company. You could even pursue further studies to continually enhance your nursing and healthcare knowledge. It is hard for bullies to question or confront you when they know you are well informed and confident.
Confront your Bully
Many people don’t like confrontation, bullies included. Sometimes individuals are not aware of the impact of their behaviour and do not perceive it as bullying. Confronting your bully brings their behaviour to their attention. They are then aware of your feelings and that you deem their behaviour as unacceptable. You can also make it clear to them that if they do not stop, you will call the attention of higher authorities to address the matter. Sometimes this is all that is required to end nurse bullying.
Keep a Journal
Keep a journal and diary of your working day. Nurses will be familiar with this practice in the healthcare industry! This is especially important if you find you are becoming the victim of ongoing nurse bullying or abuse. This practice will help you document details of any incidents at work. You can then use this resource to make your charge manager or superior aware of the duration as well as the nature of bullying.
Inform your Manager and HR in Writing
If the nurse bullying persists, you should approach up your HR and Nurse Manager to report what has been going on. You must also make the complaint official in writing and include as much detail as you can. They will support you and take appropriate action to deal with the issue further. It is their duty to ensure the workplace remains safe not only for you but the rest of the staff, and patients as well.
Avoid your Bully
Once you have filed a complaint against your bully, try to avoid him or her. You could request not to be assigned in the same team or shifts. If this is not possible, try to avoid them where possible. Continue to do your job to the best of your ability.
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