Bullying doesn’t necessarily take place when someone gets offended. After all, in today’s world, “offended” often means “have a different point of view.” Because different opinions exist to describe seemingly simple situations, it’s important to understand what bullying is. The Tim Field Foundation defines bullying as conduct that cannot be objectively justified by a reasonable code of conduct, and whose likely or actual cumulative effect is to threaten, undermine, constrain, humiliate or harm another person or their property, reputation, self-esteem, self-confidence or ability to perform.
The Workplace Bullying Institute calls it repeated, health-harming mistreatment by one or more people of an employee: abusive conduct which is verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, humiliation, work interference, sabotage, or a combination of any or all. Incivility or disrespect are more gentle synonyms for bullying, while horizontal violence and lateral violence refer to mistreatment from fellow coworkers or managers and supervisors.
Now let’s define another half dozen terms so you can tell if you’re being bullied. Actually, that’s not necessary because even when we couldn’t define it (probably around kindergarten), we’ve all known when we’ve been treated unfairly. As busy adults, sometimes we need to slow down to fully comprehend a hostile work situation. It’s more subtle because no one is throwing dodgeballs at your head and stealing lunch money.
Are you being bullied? Bullying takes on many forms in the workplace and signs and
symptoms vary. All of a “sudden” is your work not good enough? Are you accused of incompetence despite a history of objective excellence? Do you find yourself feeling sick to your stomach the night before work or obsess about work on your days off? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in a bullying situation. Tell us your experiences in the comments. We’ll explain what do do next in a later post, but besides our website, the Workplace Bullying Institute is a wonderful reference.
I’ve been a nurse for more than 5 yrs and this is my first time experiencing work place bullying . I am being bullied at work by my Rn manger and the ADON is also nasty. I got my review and they stated that I didn’t document on a pt and some other things . I have proof and copy’s of the things that they said that I did not do . Every time this Rn manger x is on duty , they never approach me in a nice manner it’s always negative. I love my job and the pt that I service , however I’m tired of being bullied . What actions can I take.
I am sorry that you are going through this violence in the workplace which is harassment. Know that you are NOT alone and many go through this.
First, you need to care for yourself meaning if this job is bringing you physical and psychological stress, you need to leave.
Document everything that has been happening to you in a FACTUAL manner, know your advocates and supporters including your coworkers, who you can trust. Be careful with HR….they are for the organization and seldom NEVER for the employee.
Start looking for other opportunities for jobs in case you decide to leave or they decide to terminate you. Better that you can leave on your own and have a job then they “surprising” you. Either way, you will be ok. I know because I have experienced it 🙂
Do you have support from family and/or friends? You may want to see an Employment Lawyer if needed.
You are being targeted because they feel “threatened” by you. Meaning, you are doing everything well…the RN manger and ADON have the problem(s). You need to acknowledge this and know this. Also if they were not targeting you, they would be targeting someone else.
Understanding and knowing this will help in keeping you healthy and not lead to self-blaming.
As nurses we need to care for ourselves so we can give back to our loved ones and our patients.
So during this time, do things that make you happy and bring you joy. Surround yourself with these individuals, activities, hobbies, pets….or whatever. Keep “loving” yourself. The key…to healing.
I know you are a wonderful nurse and this can be the “ONLY” reason you are being targeted. You will find your path to a healthier workplace where you will be able to share your gifts of nursing.
Finally, look over our website and FB page BEHAVE Wellness for additional resources and the Workplace Bullying Institute website is phenomenal.
Peace and Happiness,
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